Gift wrap is one of the most wasteful parts of the holiday season that I have almost entirely given up. Here’s how I skip spending money on gift wrap that looks cute and then is promptly thrown away. I use brown grocery bags and tie by packages with thrift store yarn and label with a marker. Read on for this simple technique and give up wasteful gift wrap!I use brown grocery bags for a few reasons. I haven’t completely gotten with the bring-your-own tote to market program and lots of times I have to get bags from the store. I ask for brown bags because paper products literally grow on trees, can be reused for many, many things, composted, and are a renewable resource that supports American men and women. I use small ones for popping corn in this post here, and I use the trimmings from wrapping gifts to start fires in the woodstove and while it is not a no-waste method, it is a totally cute, much less waste method.
Cut down the side of the brown bag.
Turn the corner at the bottom and cut the bottom off the bag. I have tried using the bottom and they are just really stiff and difficult to work with so I usually let my kids color on them and that’s the end of their usefulness.
Carefully pull the handles from the bag. Sometimes the glue is deceptively firm and I end up tearing the main portion of the bag. Use caution.
Place the large rectangle on a table, print side up, unless you love the print, in which case put it print side down. I like plain so my kids can decorate but that is clearly optional.
Place the gift upside down if possible or largest side down (since not all gifts are rectangular!). Place it closer to an edge if possible so you can wrap more than one gift from the section of the paper.
I like to use the crease marks from the bag as cutting guidelines much like those handy grid lines on the back of store-bought wrapping paper. Those lines are the most virtuous part of the wrapping paper, in my mind.
Label and you are done!
I used a metallic marker just because I had one handy and it was a pretty addition but I think the super scratchy thrift store yarn is the best part.
I think a big part of this has to do with the idea of it being acceptable to others and to yourself to do something like skipping gift wrap. My love languages (not to get all early 2000’s on you, but the love language idea is simply the way we communicate love) are acts of service and words of affirmation so it comes totally naturally to me to skip the pretty but wasteful wrapping paper. I am however aware of my friends whose love language is gifts. I know one friend, in particular, sees the gift wrap and the effort to choose, coordinate, wrap, present, etc. as PART of the gift and I have reconciled within myself for those people receiving my humble presents must realize that that effort is redirected in choosing a gift that I think they will love and use with all my heart.
The other mental hurdle may be worrying (if worrying is a pastime of yours, you are in good company) how your gift presentation will be perceived by others.
I’m here to encourage you and say that it will look darling, smart, and it will let the gift inside shine.
Happy Holidays to my frugal, sensible, and very Dear Readers. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Thanks for letting me post an extra post this week, Wildflowers. I haven’t ever posted on a Tuesday, nor in the evening but I wanted to try both posting criteria out and I didn’t want Christmas to pass without sharing this with you since I got over the mental hump of thinking it sounded too simple. Sometimes we all need encouragement, right? Don’t worry, I have a little, light post scheduled for Thursday morning like normal. Xo.