Saturday, February 19, 2011

I'm a Green wrapper

I declared my hatred for wrapping paper years ago, around the time I started getting invited to lots of baby showers, bridal showers, and kids birthdays. Seeing those trash bags full of colorful wrapping paper just got me peeved.
Okay okay I don't want to be a "Debbie downer" here. Sure who doesn't love a lavishly wrapped present with bows and shiny paper.

But when it comes down to it that wrapping paper just gets ripped off in seconds and thrown in the trash. Not the recycling bin, as its printed with non recyclable materials and laminated, and those plastic bows are just the same.
So instead of adding non biodegradable materials to a landfill I decided to get more eco-friendly with gifts and still manage to make them look pretty.
When I was around 22 I just went the easy route, with the color funnies from the Sunday Paper for family gifts. But showers and weddings presented a problem. These gifts were on display and the comics were not quite appropriate for those occasions.
The wrapping paper section at stores don't usually have a "green" or recyclable option, and to make it worse the options they do have are not cheap! On average a small roll of decorative wrapping paper will set you back about $5.00 for enough paper to wrap one large gift and the ribbon another $3.00 minimum. Gift bags are even worse. With tax that adds on about $10.00 a gift that's just getting thrown away.
That just doesn't make sense to me. I rather spend the money on the gift and come up with a cheap way to wrap them without damaging the environment.

This year I have been invited to a couple of bridal showers in the spring and we are going to the weddings early this summer so that means gifts! Here are a couple of make shift wrap jobs I came up with just using supplies I had on hand and a roll of what I call "every occasion wrapping paper".
This 3 foot x 140 foot long roll of builders paper I picked up at Home Depot for $9.00 puts those $5.00 rolls of 6' long colorful paper to shame. I can wrap over 50 gifts with this baby, and recycle the paper!

I took a scrap piece of linen fabric from my scrap pile and hemmed it with a contrasting green thread.

I enjoy a earthy more subtle look to wedding gifts and white is always a good choice.

The brown, white and green combo are very typical "me" colors but this paper works with any colors you want to pair it with.
I took the linen runner I whipped up, wrapped it around the mysterious brown box and finished it with a raffia bow. The raffia (comes from a palm tree) I had in bulk from a hula costume I made a couple years ago. I customized a mini card with green initials of the bride and groom.

Here is the bride's shower gift. A bit more color to hers came from this up-cycled gift bag from a retailer.
A gift I received recently from Anne Taylor Loft came in this beautiful white paper bag with amazingly fun big grosgrain ribbon handles.

Normally it would be a big "no no" to stick a bridal shower gift in a reused bag with a retailers name on it, unless the gift was from that store. In this case it's not. But I think that's silly. Why throw this perfectly good and pretty gift bag away when it can be re used?

So I cut out some large hearts from my roll of brown paper.

Stuck them over the "Loft" on each side of the bag with a little wood glue.

Let that sit with weight on for about 10 min.

Then reused the tissue paper in a crinkled technique.

I cut it into strips and rolled it up in the shape of 2 roses.

Glued those roses to the hearts and drew on the bride's initial to make it personal.

I think they look pretty darn good for practically nothing in cost. I find it fun and really personal to wrap gifts in these unique ways. I hope that this trend catches on as its good for the pocket book and the planet!

1 comment:

Janet said...

Ok I just love that you are a green wrapper the wedding gift in brown with linen and straw is really beautiful. The re-use of the "loft" bag with pretty crinkle rose is really great for a shower. Bravo to you in watching our planet and your pocket...Mom

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