DIY Gift Wrap

Americans throw away 4 million pounds of wrapping paper each year. That’s because it’s dyed and laminated in a way that makes it tough to recycle. But you can cut down on the waste of onetime wrap jobs with these ideas for making your own, that are as beautiful as they are sustainable. And cheers to a less-wasteful new year!

Keep it simple.
Brown Kraft paper is made from 100% recycled materials, and it’s a perfect canvas on which to unleash your creative genius. Try stamps, stencils, paper cutouts, or even just a good pen to leave your mark. If a blank slate scares you, clean lines and geometric shapes are an easy and timeless way to go.

Go organic.
Tiny pinecones, evergreen boughs, dogwood twigs, juniper branches, dried berries, rosemary sprigs, cinnamon sticks; they can all add a natural touch to this year’s trimmings.

Use odds and ends.
Buttons, lace, bows, felt, yarn, burlap scraps, even old postcards or photographs can all be repurposed as unique decorative splashes.

Give old materials new life.
Maps, calendars, sheet music and magazines all make for wrapping paper that’s colorful and unexpected. Create gift tags by cutting up and repurposing old greeting cards.

Try textiles.
Scarves, tea towels, or a beautiful piece of fabric are all wraps that can be reused or treasured on their own.
Just place your gift in the middle of the cloth square. Tie two opposite corners together in a single knot and do the same with the opposite corners.

Gift Green.
It’s not just wrapping paper. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, residential waste increases by more than 25 percent. But the holidays don’t have to be a time of total excess. Check out these green lower-waste gift tips!

When shopping for gifts, keep the following gift-giving philosophy in mind: give “something they want, something they need, something to wear, or something to read.” We like to think of something to eat or drink, too. A DIY spice starter kit from our bulk department, WedgeMade Mulling Kits with a bottle of wine, bulk tea, or a basket of fresh fruit and mixed nuts all make tasty and low-waste presents.

Consider replacing some gifts of “stuff” altogether by giving gifts of experiences. Consider trying an activity like snowshoeing, giving tickets to a play or sports event, going to a new or favorite restaurant, or giving a membership to a museum or their favorite co-op.