"The best of all gifts around the Christmas tree; the presence of friends and family all wrapped up in each other."
It’s been decades since I paid full price for gift wrapping supplies other than the tape. And more importantly I’m a shameless scavenger of gift
wrapping “stuff”. It makes me crazy to see perfectly good boxes, paper, tissue, bags and ribbons get thrown away. I have no qualms about gathering what was going in the trash and taking it home to add to my collection of wrapping supplies. I’ve been known to embarrass family members as I crawled around on the floor snagging re-useable wrapping supplies after the gift giving portion of wedding and baby showers. I haven’t had to buy ribbon or tissue paper in years.
Estate sales, garage and yard sales and thrift stores are good places to find old, funky and interesting paper, ribbon and greeting cards. Using these more “vintage” materials make a charming presentation. A roll of 1940’s wallpaper that I paid 50 cents for fifteen years ago is still a favorite.
Apparently some people have whole rooms dedicated to the art of gift wrapping. We won’t go there. Instead you might use a closet shelf, a storage box under the bed or a cardboard box stuffed into the back of a closet. Keep all your scavenged items and wrapping supplies together. It will make things so much easier. Place the following into the space or container:
-ribbon or raffia (preferably recycled or recyclable)
-roll of brown or white paper (recycled)
-cards (recycled or recyclable)
-any other wrapping materials that you have collected by recycling what you have received or scavenged
The purpose of this is to always have these gift giving essentials at your fingertips because we know what happens if we don’t. We’re in a hurry, we stop at the closest card shop or supermarket and grab the first thing that looks good to us. It’s usually overpriced and not environmentally friendly.
An excellent way to cut down on the expense and amount of wrapping materials is to choose a “signature” wrapping style. It could be brown paper with a particular color ribbon or twine, white butcher paper tied with bias tape or rick rack that you picked up at an estate sale. Hey, I figure if signature wrapping works for Tiffany, Pottery Barn and Victoria’s Secret then it’s good enough for the rest of us.
If you have to buy…buy GREEN or become a scavenger. Do not allow people to discard perfectly good boxes, wrapping paper and ribbon. Offer to gather it up and put it to good use. You might take a little good-natured kidding but you will be having the last laugh. While you’re saving money you are also saving our planet and have made yourself an excellent example of how it’s done (even if it embarrasses your children).