What to Do with Leftover Wrapping Paper

Christmas is coming, and that usually means a mountain of wrapping paper. Try these creative ways to reuse wrapping paper!

We spend around $7 billion on wrapping paper in the U.S. alone, and we use the bulk of it during the holiday months. What’s worse: wrapping paper is especially difficult to recycle, because of the ink-to-paper-fiber ratio. ”The ink diminishes the yield, it creates extra sludge when you process it, it requires additional chemicals,” paper recycling consultant Bill Moore told NPR’s Emily Siner.

It’s so costly and inefficient that Moore recommends throwing leftover wrapping paper in the trash, rather than in the recycle bin. That’s why it’s so important to limit the amount of wrapping paper we use during the holidays.

Of course, the best leftover wrapping paper is no wrapping paper, but it’s pretty hard to avoid receiving any paper-wrapped gifts. You may be using creative, reusable gift wrap to avoid wasteful wrapping paper, but chances are not everyone on your list is doing the same.

Don’t let someone’s choice of gift wrap ruin your holiday cheer! Stash away that free paper, and try one of these fun ways to reuse it.

1. Origami Paper

Leftover wrapping paper is the perfect weight for folding. It holds folds like a dream! Because wrapping paper is a little bit lighter weight than origami paper, it can be more prone to tearing, so take your time and choose a project that’s about form, not function. A wrapping paper paper crane would be great, while something like a paper box wouldn’t hold up well.

2. Collage or Decoupage

Shiny paper, pretty patterns, vibrant colors…wrapping paper was basically made for art projects! Grab your Mod Podge, and get sticking! You can collage your wrapping paper onto a flat surface or decoupage it to cover something 3D, like a glass jar or even furniture.

3. Wrapping Paper

This one’s for the very dedicated, but with careful unwrapping and a little bit of TLC, you can actually reuse leftover wrapping paper to wrap another gift. Throw a lightweight piece of fabric on top of the paper, then press away. Don’t press too hard, because wrapping paper is usually pretty thin and you don’t want to tear it.

4. Packing Paper for Shipped Gifts

If you have a mountain of crumpled leftover wrapping paper, stash it away to use as packing paper. You can use it crumpled to pack your box, or use it in layers to wrap fragile items, like dishware, for transport.

5. Paper Chains

My kid is obsessed with making paper chains right now, and wrapping paper works like a charm for this project. Just cut your paper up into strips about 1/2 inch to one inch wide and four to six inches long, and string them together, using a stapler to close the circles. You can hang your creation up as a festive party decoration at your next shindig.

Related at Care2

Christmas is coming, and that usually means a mountain of wrapping paper. Try these creative ways to reuse wrapping paper!

Image via Thinkstock.

171 comments

Ingrid A
Past Member 22 days ago

Thank you

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Marie W
Marie W9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Veronica D
Veronica Danieabout a year ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danieabout a year ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danieabout a year ago

Thank you so very much.

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Peggy B
Peggy Babout a year ago

TYFS

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natasha p
Past Member about a year ago

cool

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Angela J
Angela Jabout a year ago

Thanks

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Daniel N
Past Member about a year ago

thank you

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joan silaco
joan silacoabout a year ago

TYFS

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