According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the average American spends so much on wrapping paper during the holidays that they could use it to cover almost 6,000 football fields with shiny, Santa clause covered paper. This year, we should try to see if we can minimize how many fields we can cover with these alternative wrapping ideas:
If you are a long time reader, you may remember Quinn’s article on Furoshiki. Furoshiki is a traditional folding technique originating in Japan. All you need is a pretty square of fabric big enough to wrap your present with. No tape or ties needed!
You can buy cheap cuts of fabric or use old bedsheets to create your very own wraps. Check out this great video demonstrating how unique your gifts will look.
2. Brown paper
This is a timeless classic. If you want to add even more style, be creative with markers or crayons to draw your very own artwork. Colleague, Nora W. just told me the other day that she gifted a package wrapped in brown paper to her nephew. He refused to open it because Nora had drawn Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in her own style. He cherished it more than what could have possibly been inside the box. Very cool.
3. Sheet music
Do you have any music lovers in your family or friend circles? Using repurposed sheet music would be a classy way to show you know them. Second hand stores should have the possibility of some. Check there first. These are great if you’re gifting vinyls, Spotify gift cards, or anything relating to music. To really put the twist on, the sheet music could be the gift.
How cool would your brother think you are if you wrapped his gift in a retro AC/DC poster? Or, would your niece still think it’s cool if you used a saved My Little Pony poster your child is done with on their wall? Of course they would! And you’ve repurposed something that would have gone into the landfill. Don’t throw your posters away – put them to use as themed wrapping paper!
For those that are over 30, you remember how ubiquitous roadside maps were in convenience stores. Not just a last second purchase, but necessary to travel, maps have now become a little less needed when traveling around the country. All of our old paper maps are now redundant. Use pages of states where you went on vacation last summer, or places where the recipient wants to visit.
Using the ol’ Sunday comics a break, you can choose to focus on headlines that can give your family a chuckle. Remember that huge snowstorm headline? Put that on the package of gloves. Are you giving a political memoir? Wrap it up in newspaper with the print of a political headline (which shouldn’t be difficult after this year). Show how easy it is to wrap presents using up-cycled newspaper sheets. If you spend some time carefully choosing your sheets, you can end up with some brilliant results.
7. Book Pages
I did some research and wanted to include this, even though this sounds barbaric to me. If you’re using a smaller box for a gift, you may (not me, but you may) consider tearing pages from a book you no longer read or has reached the end of it’s life. Well, give it a new life. Give your book lover something to notice your gift. They’ll be sure to find it charming.
If you’ve tried any of these alternative wrapping techniques, let us know about them! How did they work? Was there a positive reaction? We love your comments!