Arts & Crafts Corner: DIY giftwrap

atlas shrugs

By Jessica Kellner for Mother Earth News

The holidays are almost here! Start saving your giftwrap-able trash now! Conventional giftwrap is a waste of resources and money that ends up as a big pile of torn-up trash on Christmas morning. Save money (the giftwrap industry makes $2.6 BILLION annually—what better things could we do with that money?) along with trees and transportation resources by reusing household materials to wrap gifts.

 Here are some of my favorite tips and ideas:

When using utilitarian paper, ball it up, then unroll it. Crumple it repeatedly until it crushes easily into a small ball, creating a handmade texture that resembles crushed silk. From Natural Home and Garden.
Corinna Vangerwen
Use nature to decorate! I love using pretty bits of nature to decorate indoors. Why not let wintry boughs decorate your gifts, as well? From Corinna Vangerwen.
Rather than plastic bows, use craft supplies such as twine and raffia or reusable items such as mismatched costume jewelry, stray Scrabble letters or extra buttons to decorate gifts. From Natural Home and Garden.
atlas shrugs
Reuse pages of an outdated atlas or yellow pages for a gift with worldly style. From Marinana's photostream on Flickr.
shirt giftwrap
Cut up an old shirt and wrap gifts in its parts. Blogger Make and Do Girl wrapped a cowl-neck scarf in this men's shirt sleeve. Adorable! From
pinking shears
Use pinking shears to create colorful adornments out of just about any paper you have lying around the house: junk mail, packaging, magazines and more! From Natural Home and Garden.
paint deck
Still have old paint swatches around the house from your most recent remodeling project? Use those complementary colors as the perfect palette for giftwrap or adornment! From Attention2Detail blog.
Make the name card the adornment! Here, old sheet music and maps are cut out into large graphic gift tags. From Attention2Detail blog.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.