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An alternative to wrapping traditional gifts!
Every year I use recycled items to wrap my gifts. I read that an estimated amount of 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bags are wasted every year during the holidays. That's crazy! So, I use newspapers and paper bags from the grocery store.

Although I made one sort of attempt to reduce my carbon footprint during the season-I did use spray paint to get an added effect. I always have a can of black and gold spray paint (as I've said before in previous posts-those colors come in handy for many different projects.) I was thinking about using acrylic paints, but the spray paint was alot nicer to my wallet. Plus, spray was quicker and less messy.

Posted by Jaymi Ann from U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, United States • Published See Jaymi Ann's 55 projects »
  • How to make gift wrap. Gift Wrapping Alternative. - Step 1
    Step 1

    Remember to lay down newspaper, and to open a window or door for safety purposes.

    I first wrapped each gift with newspaper, then lightly spray painted the already wrapped gift and paper bags in the gold spray paint. I suggest to lightly coat it, but to be a little more heavy around the distractions on the paper.

  • Step 2

    Then, I cut out some neato paper snowflakes out of scrap paper, held it up to the bag/gift (that was already wrapped in newspaper) and sprayed that randomly all over each.

  • Step 3

    You do not have to spray every side of the gift. Just one looks lovley. Also, when doing this, you do not have to spray every gift, just some. The variation of newspaper, brown bag, and the spray painted gifts looks very pretty. Plus, you will be using less of the spray paint which isn't so eco-friendly

  • Step 4

    After you allow each color it's drying time, which isn't usually long; you can add you can begin to add ribbon to your gift.

    I had purchased ribbon at a local thrift shop on sale for half off. Much, much cheaper than in-store. And had included much more product.

    But before you ribbon you need to decide how you want your final gift to look. There's different ways you can go about it-you just throw in the gift, fold it over, and tape it; or you can just fold it over and thats it; or you can leave it open and rip up tons of recycled newspapers as tissue paper.

    When you're done tieing your ribbon, in a criss cross pattern, or just around the gift, whatever ribboning you perfer ( I just switch it up gift to gift ) use your scissors to curl the ribbon.

  • Step 5

    One note to gift giver is that the bags stand up well, people usually oepn them and they stay intact so I always grab them so I can use them again, or for another project.

    The duration of this project will all depend on how many you want to spray paint, and how many gifts you have. Buuut, the bags are nice because there's no cutting, or wrapping. So this part will save some time.

  • How to make gift wrap. Gift Wrapping Alternative. - Step 6
    Step 6

    For the tags I used price tag deals I put on my handmade jewelry. I colored them with colored pencils and used a silver marker for decor. These are nice because they will not get ruined in the unwrapping and you can easily grab them and reuse them the next year!

  • Step 7

    Also another added benefit is it provides an outlet to yet another project. And we all love that don't we! When you get done spraying and using your snowflakes, they are caked with paint and look pretty rad I must say. You can use them as decor! I was planning on framing them neatly, until my boyfriend layed them on top of eachother and they got stuck together and my favorite one ripped. (I was pretty bummed to say the least.) But I did manage to get some of them apart, so maybe I can salvage them. I also think you could do the same thing to the bags/gifts to a t-shirt/skirt/pant which might look really neat.

    (These are just two photos of the several I had done. Wish I would of taken some more. I will try to upload some more randoms.)

    Sorry this post was so long. I just strongly believe in recycling paper and encourage others to do so. Especially during the holidays when people get careless.

  • How to make gift wrap. Gift Wrapping Alternative. - Step 8
    Step 8

    I thought I would add in that for some oddly shapped gifts, or for a last minute wrapping I used tissue paper I actually had. Lay it down, twist it up, use extra ribbon, string, or hemp, or something that's laying around to sinch it in and tie a bow. Then do the same technique with the spray paint as explained before-but at a little more paint to the edges of the tissue paper. (Like this candle that was wrapped.) I do this more for birthday gifts than Christmas gifts.

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Lauren S.
Lauren S.
Those look really cool in your pictures. Great idea and environmentally friendly!

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