Wrapper's Delight

I just came from a shoot for Mommy in Chief, a web series on the Madame Noire website. I got to chat with lovely host, Karyn Parsons, about all things wrap.

During the holiday season, household trash increases by about 25%, resulting in 5 million extra tons of garbage. Add to that the money spent on paper, and you realize how much waste we're putting out there.

It pays to get creative. Gift wrapping happens all year long, so you might as well make it cost effective, make it green, and have some fun with it.

I remember once reading that Candy Spelling, the late producer Aaron Spelling's wife, had a whole room just for gift wrapping...it was intense.Well, I have a messy little shelf where I store a few things --when I remember. Here are some items that can come in handy:

Old Newspapers, Magazines, Comics, and Maps
These are all terrific because you can custom wrap accordingly. The comics for a child, or the child at heart; the maps for the globetrotter; the pages of W for your style maven friend, etc. You can also do the same with any old maps you might have; they're colorful and unexpected. Your only extra cost here is ribbon, so just add something bright and festive and you've created a lovely personalized package.

Fabric Remnants
Fabric remnants are also a great way to go. I have small bolts that have come back as gifts from India and Africa. Beautiful stuff, but I'm probably not going to learn to sew that perfect little pencil skirt, so I put the fabric to better use. You might have some pieces like this sitting in your closet; or perhaps some curtains or a table cloth sitting around.  Invest in some craft scissors to even out edges and tie it all up with some pretty yarn or twine. You can even add a contrasting color fabric to create a bow.

Butcher Paper in White and Brown
Butcher paper is a great investment, and you can buy recycled versions as well. Generally, for about $20, you can get huge rolls of paper. It can be used for any holiday or occasion, allowing you to custom decorate with colorful stamps and stickers. Kids really love helping out here, so put them to work!
You can add natural touches, like a bit of pine branch, pine cone, cinnamon sticks, dried flowers (borrow elements from potpourri that has lost its scent), or the shells you've collected over the years, etc. A glue gun will probably work best here, but if I've lost you at the mention of "glue gun," (I can get lost there too), a nice glob of Elmer's generally works fine.

Gift as Wrap:
Sometimes you don't even need paper. Giving something like a scarf and gloves? As artfully as you can, roll the scarf around the gloves, tie with a nice thick bow, and let the fringe spill out on top. A gift such a serving spoons looks great wrapped in a pretty dishtowel tied with ribbon.

More Tips:

Save greeting cards: They can be repurposed as gift tags. Just cut them neatly into squares, punch a hole in a corner, and add some ribbon.

Keep some old wrapping paper and tissue paper on hand:
No, I'm not suggesting that you hoard, but some of that old paper can come in handy. You can run it through a paper shredder and use it as pretty, festive padding for fragile gifts.

And that's a wrap.

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