It's great fun to watch small children excitedly tear through the paper on the way to their gifts, but for adults and everyday gift-giving, you can do away with wrapping paper altogether in favor of more creative solutions. Here's your chance to express your creative side while caring for the environment. Why use wrapping paper when there are so many other fun ways to decorate packages?
Using a couple of old russet potatoes, carve your favorite holiday shapes to make stamps (simple shapes like ornaments, stars and trees work best). Create your own personalized wrapping paper by dipping your hand-carved potato stamps into red and green tempera paints and decorating a roll of brown Kraft paper. Children will enjoy finger painting designs, too.
Funnies: Not Just For Sundays
When I was a child, birthday and Christmas presents mailed from my grandparents' farm came wrapped in the Sunday comics and packing twine. Since their local newspaper contained several different comics from my own, I had almost as much fun reading the paper as I had with the gift!
Bag It Up
Use holiday print to make bags in various sizes and shapes. For the simplest bag, carefully cut out a long rectangle from desired material, hem both short ends, fold inside out, and sew up the long ends. Turn right side out and tie closed with a length of cloth ribbon.
Shred It When You've Read It
Use the paper from your shredder to fill gift bags, baskets, homemade boxes and mailing cartons. It's also great way to get rid of junk mail.
Think Inside The Basket
Use a lovely basket that fits your gift's theme: a wicker fishing creel for Dad, a picnic hamper for Mom, a nice willow basket for your boss or a flat-bottom flower basket with gloves for Grandma.
Scarves Pull Double Duty
Use a large square silk or nylon scarf to wrap boxes, tubes and even bottles. Hold the neck or top closed with a nice piece of cloth ribbon or a handmade bow. Keep the bow together and attach it to the bottle with pipe cleaners or yarn.