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Most people (self included) put it away for next year — at least some of it. Commercial wrapping paper is so expensive these days that the thought of throwing away a roll or two just doesn’t make sense to me.
Of course, since I know that commercial wrapping paper cannot be recycled (except to be used for another Christmas) and that tons of it wind up in landfills every year, I see hanging onto any I have leftover as being ‘green’ conscious.
Here are some fun things you can do with all that leftover holiday wrapping paper, bows and ribbon…
I thought this was a very cool and creative way to use leftover wrapping paper.
It’s also a good way to use pieces of wrapping paper that didn’t get ripped to shreds when people were tearing into their gifts.
Plus, if you do this, then next year you won’t have to buy any bows! It’s a great way to make your own cool and unique bows, and kids can be involved with this one too.
#2 Make garlands.
Remember when you were a kid, and you used to make those construction paper rings for decorations? Well, you can do the same thing with leftover holiday wrapping paper! Then, you can use it the following year to decorate your Christmas tree. Or you can save the wrapping paper leftovers and have the kids start making garlands for your Christmas tree in early December. It gives them a fun craft to do while they wait for Christmas, and you get some pretty decorations!
If you purchase bows every year and always have leftovers, consider using them all year round for birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, and other gift occasions.
#4 Make gift tags.
Save all the Christmas cards you receive, then cut off the decorative fronts. Use those as gift tags for your Christmas gifts next year! This is a great way to preserve the beautiful artwork that appears on holiday cards, and a great way to recycle as well. You can also do this with leftover wrapping paper from any occasion; just write on the white side and tape it to your gift.
As an author, I run monthly contests from my website, and I’m always sending somebody who has won one of my contests something! I often need packaging materials to take up empty space and cushion the item inside the box. Bubble wrap can be expensive, so one of the things that I’ve been doing is saving holiday wrapping paper to use as packaging material! The wrapping paper that’s been torn into works great, but you can also use what is on leftover rolls as well. Of course, scraps of ribbon, bows, and other holiday wrapping materials would work too — and, much like confetti, it would be quite colorful! Consequently, I discovered that I’m not the only who does this.
If you do other crafts (like scrapbooking, or making bookmarks) where you have leftover card stock, you can use that card stock — along with some leftover wrapping paper and a glue stick — to make your own holiday cards. You might even consider using cardboard from cereal boxes. After all, if you were going to be covering up the picture with wrapping paper (it might take a few layers), who’s going to know? Add a bit of ribbon, a few stickers and voila, you’ve got the perfect Christmas card! Of course, you might have to look for envelopes that will fit. Then again, you could make your own envelopes out of leftover wrapping paper too!
TIP: In order to get the most mileage from all of your leftover Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows, the next time you are buying these things, you may want to look for colors that can be used for gifts all year long. That way, the scraps can also be used for any occasion, including birthdays, weddings and such. This would save you a bundle on wrapping paper & bows, and would also keep some of those wrapping supplies out of the landfills.
Hopefully, these tips will help you beautify your holidays and personalize gifts for special occasions all year long — without buying new stuff every year! Trying even one or two of these ideas would go a long way towards keeping more of our holiday stuff out of the landfills.
My favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with pregnancy, weddings, saving money, living green, and life with dogs. When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my husband, read, create 3D artwork and Native American beadwork.