Repurposed wraps: “second careers” for a variety of items

Artdog Images of Interest 

Do you believe in second chances? Second acts? Second careers? How about onsite recycling?  Today I have a lineup of repurposed items you might want to reconsider for their gift-wrapping value. You might be surprised and delighted with some creative ways to re-use things that it’s possible you have already lying around.

And anyway, it’s almost Christmas! Who has time to go out for wrapping supplies, when there are options available at our fingertips–if only we have the creativity to see them!


Wrap it in . . . 

In Thursday’s post I shared the idea of using fabric scraps in place of wrapping paper (among other ideas), but those aren’t the only non-traditional wraps you can utilize.

Remember printed-paper newspapers? Well, some of us old fossils still like to read that form of news. Among their dozens of other secondary uses, they can make attractive, economical gift wrap.
Here’s another blast from the past: paper maps! Yes, we used to rely on them to get us places. Now they can enjoy a second life as gift-wrap. Designer Bryan Patrick Flynn offers an example here, and suggests we might choose a map of a specific place the gift-recipient knows and loves.
Designer Denise Sharp recycled these old film tins for gift-enclosures, and gave them a special look with a well-chosen ribbon. Here’s a creative challenge: what old baskets, boxes, tins, or jars do you have lying around? Could they be exactly the creative wrap-up you were looking for?

Top it off with . . . 

Accents and flourishes make all the difference when your goal is a stylish presentation. Ribbons, bows, and other tie-ons can make even ordinary butcher paper or kraft paper stylish. Here are a few recycled creative toppers to brighten up your holiday gifts.

Is your old Scrabble set a few tiles shy of a full box? Recycle the rest as eye-catching gift box name tags, as suggested here by designer Bryan Patrick Flynn, then hint to your family that you need a new Scrabble game! Don’t want to break up your perfectly good, complete set? Scrabble tiles are also for sale as craft items, though that kind of defeats the “onsite recycling” idea!
Here’s another creative idea from Bryan Patrick Flynn: use paint chips as colorful gift-box tags. Cut them into shapes, strips, or use as they are, with printed or permanent-marker names added. 
It might seem like a “well, duh!” once we mention it, but if you’ve done much gift-wrapping you probably have lots of little scraps of cool-looking wrapping paper left over. Recycle them as eye-catching accents, if there’s not enough left to cover the whole box. This example comes from designer Morgan Levine.
In the right creative hands, all sorts of odd bits and bobs can become attractive tie-ons to set off a gift package. These are old pieces of artificial greenery and cinnamon sticks, from Handmade Holidays,. You might also consider the potential in old toys, cut-outs from Christmas cards received in past years, old Christmas ornaments, or pinecones from old holiday wreaths.

I hope this series on creative gift-wrapping ideas has helped stoke your creative fires and brightened your holiday a little. Yes, I know it’s another whole week till Christmas–but after seeing a good idea, making it happen takes time. I hope I’ve offered up these ideas in time for you to actually try some. Happy wrapping!


IMAGES: Many thanks to the Honolulu Advertiser, for the illustration of several ways newspapers make creative gift-wrap. Thanks also to HGTV, whose “Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas” collection continues to inspire. And a big thank-you to designers Bryan Patrick Flynn, Denise Sharp, and Morgan Levine, as well!

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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