With the holidays approaching, many have started their checking off shopping lists with gifts purchased for loved ones. As those gifts are opened, the shiny wrapping paper will end up in piles around the room and eventually make its way to the garbage can. But, for the environmentally conscientious reviler, there is an alternative to the traditional wrapping — one that is both recyclable and compostable — the paper bag. This is not the paper bag that you duct taped onto your high school textbooks so you could draw on the cover when the teacher wasn’t looking. When you are done with this easy reuse method you will have a gift that feels as if it were wrapped in soft brown cloth. Begin by taking a clean paper bag and carefully unfold the bottom of the bag. It’s OK if you tear the paper a little — you will be trimming this later. Then, cut along the fold at one edge of the bag. Once completely open it should look like the below photo. Then trim any of the frayed edges that may have occurred when un-sticking the bottom. This is a good time to check the size of the box you are wrapping against the size of the paper. Place your gift in the middle of the open paper bag and fold the edges over, checking to make sure that the paper will overlap by half an inch where it meets over the box. Cut the paper bag to the appropriate size and put the scraps in your recycle bin or compost pile. Now for the fun part: crumple it. This is the longest part of this process, so you may want to do this while watching a flick or your favorite TV show. You will want to crumple and un-crumble it until it takes on the texture of soft fabric. There is no wrong way to do this; just make sure not to rip the paper or you may have to start over again. Once the paper is soft to the touch, you can wrap your present. Make sure to put the part of the bag with the advertizing on the inside. You can also use twine or ribbon to make your gift even more festive. The simple wrapping may seem lackluster in comparison to traditional wrapping paper, but in a mountain of sparkle your gift will be the one that draws the eye. And, the best part is, you have reused a bag you already had that can then be recycled or composted. So, while giving a gift to a friend or loved one, you will also have given a gift to the planet.
How to Make Holiday Wrapping from a Paper Bag
Reuse an old paper bag to make a unique wrapping for your holiday gifts in a few easy steps.