wrap it a little differently

I really like thinking of new ways to give presents to people. I’ve always thought it was a bit funny the idea of buying gift paper, wrapping a present and then watching it being ripped to shreds by the recipient. Not that I don’t like giving presents, I do. Actually I love it. However, if it’s expensive beautiful paper it seems like such a waste and if it’s cheap, well it’s still a waste. I’ve mentioned before using chocolate wrappers which if you go through the quantity that our household does certainly puts it to good use.

Christmas is still a little while away, but if you like these wrapping ideas they may take a little while longer to accumulate.

1/ Old maps make perfect wrapping paper. They are square and flat. Easily bought in second hand shops where they are quite often sold very cheaply as areas change. Places get outdated easily. Looks funky too, well I think it does. Add a ribbon or some wool, tying it up and gift is ready.

2/ Old movie or music posters. Quite often sold in music stores cheaply as they were advertising a band or album that was coming out. For the music or movie Β fan this can make an exciting present….(well the wrapping of it anyway.)

3/ Turn your head slightly on the side and look at your food packaging slightly different. Bulk rice bought in a bag can be a wonderful way to present a gift. Linen sack of oats, beans, coffee can all be done the same way. Just have Β a look around. This one is a zippered 5 kilo bag of basmati rice.

4/ Second hand stores are usually brimming with baskets of varying sizes. Save wrapping a present altogether and present it in a basket.

5/ Use retro fabrics, easily picked up in second hand places, (or auctions). Hold the fabric together using ribbons or wool.

6/ Use simple brown wrapping paper that hasn’t used dyes and decorate it yourself. Draw your kids hands all over it and get them to decorate it. Paint some flowers all over it. Or write little messages all over.

So many possibilities.


23 thoughts on “wrap it a little differently

  1. Great suggestions! We once picked up a roll of insulation paper – brown paper on one side and shiny silver on the other – at Reverse Garbage in Marrickville for a song. It wrapped everything for years! I love the rice bag idea, I think we usually just throw ours away.. πŸ™‚


  2. I love your wrapping ideas and have been collecting my chocolate papers ever since reading your post about that. How do you attache the papers together is what I’ve been wondering?

    Brown paper is my standard – I love the plainess which shows of a colourful ribbon so well and there is something about “brown paper packages tied up with string” – I just make my string colourful. Sometimes decorate with gold chocolate coins or ink stamps.

    I also had a phase when I used glossy magazines as they are so colourful. CT uses newspaper – no fancy ribbons to smarten it up though!

    Your green ribbon highligting the green border of the map makes for quite a elegant package I thought.

    We were given a Japanese gift cloth many years ago and have used that a few times, but you need to know the person well as we always take it back.


    • Ohhh I like the sounds of a japanese gift cloth. Furoshiki…love it, just looked it up. Some beautiful clothes to be had. I’ll have to practise my wrapping techniques.
      For the chocolate wrappers, I just tape them together. depends on how big the present is, how I arrange them.
      You are right too, brown paper with a great ribbon or string just looks lovely… Maria was right!


  3. Great post Brydie! I was thinking you know how in stores they offer to wrap stuff you buy (that perceived added value thing) what if, there was an alternative wrapping stall outside the stores, so you could buy your gift/or make your gift and then take it to the alternative wrapping stall and pay a small amount to have a one off/unique recycled wrap? Maybe a charity could do it as a way of raising funds, use their old publicity materials that sort of thing… or a class could do it as a pre Christmas exercise…

    I know I would use it, as I am not that keen on wrapping, I like the idea of it, but in practice…


  4. I was thinking of you over the weekend Brydie, when hubby broke out a bottle of whiskey (don’t despair – a celebration of sorts was in order!) -the bottle was wrapped in very nice paper with faded scrawly writing on it.. I’ve set it aside and will iron out the crinkles and save it for wrapping! Love that rice bag, I don’t know where I would buy basmati in a bag like that near here (we go through a LOT), and the fabric/brown paper with ribbon/string is always a favourite.

    Our local IGA has gone plastic bag free and offer cute brown paper bags with string handles for 20 cents or so, sometimes I opt for the bag instead of using my own, just to have a few in stock for last minute gifts. πŸ™‚


    • Love that you thought of me opening whiskey πŸ˜‰ The paper sounds lovely.
      For the rice would it be worth asking your local supermarket to trial getting the bigger bags in? I’ve seen them popping up in a few more places lately. A little cheaper than buying the smaller packages as well. Basmati is always a favourite herel…oh, hence the 5 kilos worth!


  5. I agree completely about wrapping paper – and don’t even get me started on the waste of money that is greeting cards!
    When my kids were little I used to let them draw on brown paper and then use that as wrapping, but I especially love the idea of maps.
    Very funky!


    • Glad you like the map idea. I think I may have high-fived myself when I thought of that πŸ™‚
      Cards…I adore giving cards, and usually make my own. You can spend soooo much money on a single card though- sometimes they are good ones and sometimes they are really average.


  6. I love the wrapping as much as the gift when it is thoughtfully wrapped. I went to an auction and bought a huge pile of vintage tablecloths and napkins and used them for years to wrap gifts.
    I also like using corrugated cardboard with raffia ribbon- very masculine!
    I love to wrap children’s gifts in cereal boxes. Once I found a pair of jeans in my grandson’s size, tied up the legs with ribbons and rubberbands- filled the legs and pockets with gifts and then ran a heavy yarn through the belt loops and sealed the top. He loved the many miscellaneous gifts I filled up the legs with soft hand balls, the pants with books and small puzzles and the pockets with yummy treats. Once he emptied the pants- his mom washed them and they became the bottom part of his favorite outfit.
    Great post, Brydie! Great ideas.
    ( I filled the rice bag with compost and potting soil, cut small slits and dropped the root ball of trailing petunias and ivies and hung it out on a shepherd’s hook after I’d soaked it in a large bucket of water. I had more people admire my bag of flower this last summer! πŸ™‚


    • Heidi what a great idea for a kid. I’ll have to remember that for The Monkeys. You are right there is nothing a kid loves better than ‘discovering’ another hidden goodie somewhere.
      …and love the potted rice bag idea. That’s brilliant!


  7. Wow., I remember Mom used to get Kris & I to do all sorts of paintings & drawings on butchers paper & she’d use it for wrapping presents (we were homeschooled, guess it was her way of keeping us busy huh)…, but I still like using creative ideas for wrapping presents, your right…., there are so many ideas if you just turn your head on its side a bit & look at things differently.


  8. I’m not going to buy any Christmas paper this year and probably never again. I love the chocolate wrappers, bad luck Cadbury are now using cardboard. I’m saving the bright junk mail catalogues that come in the paper and I have used newspaper and junk mail before. I thought I might tea stain some news paper or maybe use beetroot juice for a more festive colour.

    Paper flour packets would look good too.

    I love brown paper as well and might try some potato stamping (I think I can manage a tree shape).
    Sherrie at Simple Living made some kids party bags from a Donna Hay mag and they looked really good so I might see if I can find one at an op shop.


  9. Pingback: top ten eco friendly gift wrap ideas | cityhippyfarmgirl

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