Happy holidays, Care2! I know that not everyone does the Christmas thing, but if you did open gifts yesterday, chances are that now you’re wrangling a mountain of gift wrap. Rather than tossing it in the trash or the recycle bin, check out these ways to reuse all that beautiful paper.
Sure, you did your best to use eco-friendly gift wrap alternatives, but I bet that even with your best efforts, there was still some gift wrap under the tree. Maybe your mother-in-law isn’t quite ready to start folding furoshiki and your cousin maybe didn’t get the memo about fabric gift bags this year. That’s OK! Rather than feel guilty about that gift wrap, get crafty instead!
Related Reading: 24 Ways to Reuse Old Sweaters
Salvaging Gift Wrap
Used gift wrap isn’t always the pristine, beautiful paper that it was when it was on the present. It gets torn and wrinkled, so you’ll need to do a little salvaging to make it look nice again. Here’s how to revived wrinkly wrapping paper:
1. Set your iron on low and lay a piece of fabric over your paper on the ironing board.
2. Iron just like you would a wrinkly garment, but be a bit more gentle to avoid tearing the paper more. Gently work those creases out of the paper.
Now that your wrapping paper is all ready to use, let’s get to the list of ways to reuse it!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by meddygarnet
How to Reuse Gift Wrap
1. Origami – Cut your left over gift wrap into squares. It makes beautiful origami paper!
2. Make bunting – Bunting is any festive strand that you’d use to adorn walls for a party or just for fun. To make gift wrap into bunting, you can follow this tutorial and use reclaimed gift wrap in place of vintage paper.
3. Make a tray liner – Martha Stewart shows you how to use wrapping paper to line a party tray. I don’t think she intends it to be reclaimed paper, but your salvaged gift wrap would work perfectly here!
4. Pretty packing material – Send that gift wrap through the paper shredder and use it instead of bubble wrap next time you’re mailing a fragile gift.
5. Create tin can organizers – Cover an empty, clean in can in reclaimed gift wrap to make a simple organizer for craft supplies or for your desk. Just use a hot glue gun to attach the paper to the can, wrap it around, and use a glue stick to stick the paper to itself to finish it off.
6. Paper crane desktop mobile – Use gift wrap in place of the origami paper in this tutorial.
7. Upcycled party hats – Use reclaimed gift wrap for the decorative paper in this party hat tutorial. You can also use reclaimed, light cardboard instead of the vellum. Think cereal box-weight here.
8. DIY Gift Bow – Turn that paper in to pretty gift bows for the next gift using this tutorial from How About Orange.
9. Collage – Grab your scissors or decorative punches and use that gift wrap to make a fun collage!
10. Decoupage – Whip out the Mod Podge and use gift wrap to add adornment to a table top or set of drawers. Have fun with it! Cut out shapes, do a collage, or use the wrapping paper for an accent.
Up Next: 10 more ways to reuse gift wrap!
Image Credits: Creative Commons origami photo by The hills are alive; Crane mobile photo by Becky Striepe
11. Paper beads – Paper bead tutorials usually call for using magazine pages, but reclaimed gift wrap will work just as well. Here’s a simple tutorial that you can use!
12. Make paper chains – Cut your gift wrap into strips and link them together to make old-school paper chains. You can use them as decoration for a party or just for funsies!
13. Fold a treat box – This tutorial uses an old calendar page, but reclaimed wrapping paper would work just as well.
14. Make snowflakes – You can use these paper snowflake embellishments for wrapping gifts, scrap booking, or string them up, bunting-style!
15. Homemade envelopes – If you have big enough pieces of gift wrap left, fold them up into homemade envelopes! To put the address on, you can either glue light-colored scrap paper or use adhesive labels.
Related Reading: 22 Ways to Repurpose Old Magazines
16. Reusable gift bag – Turn that single-use paper into a gift bag that you can use over and over.
17. Picture frames – Roll up that gift wrap to make this pretty 3D picture frame.
18. Coasters – Weave up strips of gift wrap into colorful coasters.
19. Nesting Baskets – Gift wrap would work beautifully for this coiled basket tutorial.
20. Make a wristlet – Another woven project: turn that old wrapping paper into a cute little bag for going out.
Have you found any fun ways to reuse gift wrap? Tell us your ideas in the comments!
Images credit: Creative Commons paper bead photo by Bernie Jersey