I love to wrap gifts. TV show on, favorite beverage, alone time (obviously, since my housemates have to clear out in order to not spoil my awesome surprises for them). Every year I challenge myself to up my gift wrapping game. I try to find some way to be a bit greener and ever more innovative.
I wrap on a spectrum of quality, and it has nothing to do with my love for my recipients. Not every present gets the same time or creativity investment, because I don’t like to pressure myself or take the fun out of it. I just … do what I want. So, that’s my first “tip,” if you can call it that: spend time on what is fun, and work efficiently and conveniently for the rest.
Here are some other random things I like to do, or want to try this year, with my gift wrapping. Maybe one of them will inspire you.
Most commercial gift wrap is glossy and not recyclable. You can seek out recyclable, and even compostable, gift wrap with lovely pre-printed designs, it’s out there.
You can also decorate newsprint style paper, which I buy either on a roll at IKEA in the kids’ section (so cheap) or in tablet form at a large craft store. Pinterest abounds with ways to decorate said paper, but I like to leave it plain and doll up the package with accessories. I also like to use vintage maps to wrap gifts; I find them in thrift stores. Both of these can generally be recycled, and newsprint made with non-chlorine bleach can be composted in many cities.
Of course, the greenest option of all is reuse. Granny’s stash of old gift bags is GOLD. If you wrap a nicely made box with a separate lid, you can reuse that thing for years. And while Amazon is not one of the loves of my life, I do have a growing collection of the drawstring bags they use when a buyer selects “wrap this item.” I plan to have them forever and leave them to my heirs in my will.
Leaning greener with the paper or box/bag hopefully offsets some of the accessorizing I like to do with ribbons and bows and bells (oh my). My favorite wrapping craft in recent years has to been to hot-glue pompoms in varied colors (blue and white for one family holiday, red and green, for another) and sizes onto the top of each package. I like to throw in a jingle bell or two. I get all of these at craft stores or online. I love to add these textures and sound-makers—tangible additions to the anticipation about what’s inside.
This year I want to incorporate some google eyes on my packages for little ones. I also want to try using wax seals in my wrapping repertoire. We’ll see how that goes. If none of it works out, I can always use my husband’s gift wrapping system … which reminds me to stock up on tin foil in the days before December 25.
Oh, and P.S. Don't forget to add a super special gift tag. You know, like the ones we sell.