Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Down With Gift Wrap

After reading Eco-Craft by Susan Wasinger, the Homemade Mamas have decided to challenge ourselves and our readers to give up store bought wrapping paper. How wasteful to chop down trees for the sole purpose of covering a gift and then to be thrown out. Gift wrapping is such a great opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle. Over the next few months we plan to start collecting our "new" earth friendly gift wrap.

Here are some of our ideas, please share your recycled gift wrap ideas with us.


  • children's art work
  • newspaper
  • maps
  • junk mail
  • mailing labels
  • decorate brown paper bags
  • cut up pretty shopping bags or use them as gift bags
  • sheet music
  • used gift wrap (our grandma could open a package without a single tear)
  • reuse gift bags


Make your wrapping part of your gift. Cloth shopping bags, baby blankets, bath and kitchen towel, colanders, laundry baskets, flowerpots, mugs, table cloths all make great "wrapping paper and gift baskets".

Don't forget your trimmings. Forget plastic ribbons. Get creative! Make paper ribbons, cloth ribbons, twine or other ties that can be reused. Tie on pretty flowers, leaves, bottle tops, cinnamon sticks, candy canes, pretty stamps from your mail.

We hope you will take up this challenge with us. We can't wait to hear your great earth friendly gift wrap ideas - send pictures too!

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  1. I love this challenge! I RARELY use gift wrap. I use old magazine pages, left over fabric scraps, newspaper, etc. I only really use gift wrap if I'm not at home and need to wrap something.

    I bet you'll get some cute pics! You can do some amazing things with stuff other than gift wrap!

  2. Hi Rebecca and Maggie -- I'm stopping by and following from the MBC's under 100 group!

    I love your blog, your great ideas and recipe above!

    I've been known to take a fabric scrap (leftover from crafty projects), french (double) hem around the edges and wrap a gift. This way, the wrap is washable and reusable! I always use some kind of ribbon (twine, fabric, etc.) that can also be resused.

    Dee :D

  3. LacyHolly: Yay! Glad to see others are into avoiding commercial gift wrap as well! :)

    Nanny Dee: We're happy you found us! We like the tip about hemming the edges -such a simple idea, but it would make a big difference in making the gift look more polished rather than having frayed edges. Great tip!

  4. I saw a post somewhere of someone turning a cereal box inside out so that the plain inside is the one that shows; it kinda looks like craft paper. a little ribbon or event-appropriate sticker, and you're good to go.

  5. I LOVE this challenge! In addition to regularly reusing gift bags, I've decided to start wrapping in catalog pages, the Sunday comics, and who knows what else!

    Someone gave a gift wrapped in the Sunday comics to my son, and I thought it was wrapping paper made to look like the comics!