Recycle and Wrap it Up

Dec 2011

In case you haven’t noticed, the ultimate recycling experience this holiday season seems to be gift wrapping.   There are ideas all over the blogshere and everyone from HGTV to Martha Stewart and Nate Berkus are featuring the concept.  Here are my ideas to add to the mix.

It is rare that I purchase any sort of wrap. Throughout the year, I save all types of packaging {bordering on hoarding}, ribbon or tchotchkes that come my way. And don’t think for a second that earth friendly needs to be brown paper and boring. With a pair of scissors and a little ingenuity, a shopping or plastic bag can go from trash to treasure in a few short minutes. Large garbage bags with the addition of stickers and slits can house awkward, hard to wrap items and then after its opened, you have a built in container to put any trash in that you absolutely cannot recycle into something else.  Liquor stores are usually a good source for tracking down cigar boxes.

nate cigar box 2
Cigar Boxes, shredded junk mail, recycled ribbon, pine cones and garage sale craft supplies. Shipping tags hand printed with original design using print gocco.

My interior design sources save swatch panels for me and hardware stores are a great resource for wallpaper books that are out of print. To be honest, I can’t believe how much I have accumulated in the short time I’ve been collecting. I love my shredding machine-junk mail makes great packaging material! Cigar boxes, office supplies, newsprint, they all work, and magazine pages make fantastic bows like the one on the Chinese newspaper box in the top photo..

nate wrap fabric w label 3

Recycled Fabric swatch and ribbon to wrap bottle. Wallpaper swatches for the other two packages. Old buttons & I printed gift tags with my original designs using print gocco.

nate berkus newsprint 4
Sunday comics and leftover pillow trim. Chinese newspaper and newspaper bow, with accent of recycled ribbon. Trader Joe’s current Christmas Season bag, recycled ribbon and shredded shopping bag accent tied in the ribbon.

My paternal grandmother was a true recycler, long before it was fashionable. We used to think some of her habits were a little strange {like washing out and drying plastic bags}, but I guess she was just ahead of her time. My father followed in her footsteps and I suppose is responsible for my early interest in the topic. “Cheap” was a precursor to “eco-friendly”, but he certainly knows how to make something last and squeeze all the life out of it before it meets its end in the trash. Did you know that nails are fairly easy to straighten and re-use!!?? Yikes. So I guess you could say recycling is part of our gene pool.
Put on some music, pour the eggnog and Happy Wrapping!