Eco-friendly gift wrap ideas

Why buy fancy wrapping paper when it will only end up
crumpled in the recycling bin? Every year, Americans spend billions on ribbons,
paper, and bows, only to see them ripped up and tossed away.
These creative,
eco-friendly gift wrap ideas make use of materials already lying around your
home -- maps, shopping bags, even kids' artwork. Did we mention they don't cost
a cent?



Biodegradable stuffing

(Photo: Martha Stewart)




Biodegradable stuffing


Biodegradable stuffing cushions small, fragile items just as
well as plastic bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts, a recycler's worst nightmare.





Potato-chip bag gift wrap

(Photo: Martha Stewart)





Potato-chip bag gift wrap


Give a new life to empty potato-chip bags by dressing up
your gifts in them. Cut open a potato-chip bag along its seam to reveal the
shiny white or silver inside of the bag. Flatten the bag, wash it with soap and
water, and air dry. Then wrap your present and adorn it with ribbons and
homemade cards.







Cloth gift wrap

Clockwise from top left, we used: vintage scarf, burlap rice
bag, wool scarf with a knitting needle, tea towel with rickrack, scrap from a
vintage kimono. (Photo: Martha Stewart)





Cloth gift wrap


In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts in cloth is called
furoshiki, and it's brilliantly eco-friendly. Use scarves or towels (which
become second gifts) or fabric scraps leftover from other projects. Secure open ends with a button, safety
pin, or knot.



Stamped shopping bag gift wrap

(Photo: Martha Stewart)




Stamped shopping-bag gift wrap


Have shopping bags around the house? Repurpose them into
festive gift wrap. Cut an open paper shopping bag along one fold and scissor
out the bottom of the bag. Wrap your gift in the paper. Dip one end of a wine
cork into ink or a dark fruit juice and begin stamping patterns.



Repurposed paper gift wrap

Clockwise from top left we used: Vintage wallpaper, Chinese
newspaper topped with colored paper, recycled map, grocery bag with Japanese
beads. (Photo: Martha Stewart)





Vintage and repurposed paper gift wrap


Easy to find and work with, vintage and repurposed papers
add pop to presents. Layer several colors and textures, or add vintage beads
for a finished look.



Kids artwork gift wrap

(Photo: Martha Stewart)




Kids' artwork gift wrap


Children's drawings make for inexpensive and delightful
homemade gift wrap, especially for family members. Have kids doodle on Kraft
paper, calendar pages, shopping bags, magazine pages, and phone book pages.




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