Monday, March 31, 2008

Newspaper Column: Green Gift Wrap Ideas

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Green Gift Wrapping
By Cathie Filian

Recycling, re-crafting and making your own gift-wrap has been around for ages. When I was little, my mom and I would wrap gifts in the “funny pages” of the newspaper, we would carve potatoes and use them as stamps to create whimsical patterns on kraft paper and cardboard jewelry boxes were decoupaged with magazine cut-outs to create new fancy boxes. We were being “green” and we didn’t even know it.

Creating recycled gift-wrap is really taking trash and creating a treasure. It is not only great for the planet it is good for your wallet. With the prices of designer gift-wrap, you could easily spend ten dollars just to wrap a small gift. For just a few pennies you can get creative and craft your own gift bags, boxes and paper flower bows.

For quick and easy gift-wrapping, you can transform plain gift bags and lunch sacks into stunning “designer” look bags with the simple addition of paper flowers.

Who says a gift box can’t be a tube? Drink mix containers can be stripped of their labels and decorated with scrapbook paper and ribbons. They are the perfect size box for a bottle of lotion.

If you have some small jewelry boxes on hand and they have a department store logo, cover it with a scrap of decorative paper, ribbons, silk leaves and a paper flower.

You can use just about any kind of paper to create the paper flower bows. Grocery bags can be cut, crinkled and layered to create a natural looking bow. You can add a layer or two of colored plastic wrap for a shinny look. By adding a petal from a mismatched silk flower you can create an organic look. To add a pop of color, use magazine tear-outs and bits of scrapbook paper. The flower bows are super easy to make and they add so much flair and style to a package.

Now that you have the basics for creating your own paper flower bows, all you need is a gift to wrap.

To Create A Small Bow
1. Cut 8 circle shapes from paper or plastic. Begin with a 3” circle and work your way down to a 1” circle.

2. Add an organic look to the edge of the circles by cutting waves, scallops or zigzags. Gently crinkle each circle in your hand.

3. Layer the circles from largest to smallest and secure in the center with an office or scrapbook brad. Attach to your package with hot glue or tape.


  1. I just love these flowers!! I am going to make some tonight! Maybe I'll get crazy & throw in some tissue paper. I'm always looking for cute, inexpensive things to add to items I sell for a better presentation for buyers. I love when I purchase something and the package is as much fun as what I actually bought. Thanks for the pretty idea.


  2. Wow! what can I say that was very adorable gift wrap nice idea I like it. Keep posting!



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