Every time we unwrap a present there's either some gift wrap or a pretty gift bag to then dispose of. But while many people simply throw it in the recycling bin, smart folks hang on to it to be reused.
Whether your priority is saving money or helping the environment, there are loads of clever ways to reuse old gift wrap and gift bags. Check out these eight tips on how to do it.
Arts and Crafts Materials
Craft hobbyists always have an eye for saving valuable items which others cast away as rubbish, but even if you don't do a lot of crafts, it's worth keeping pretty paper and bags for this purpose. If you have young children they will want to start sticking, colouring, cutting and creating soon enough. Patterned or plain gift wrap can be used for a multitude of arts and crafts, especially for little ones with great imaginations.
Storage for Kids' Craft Tools
If you have already started a craft box for your kids, it may be in some disarray with all those ribbons, cards, buttons, pipe cleaners and tape. You can use old gift bags to bring some order to your craft box by separating items by type into different bags.
If you are wrapping something, you can use old wrapping paper as extra packing material. Gift wrap tends to be heavier duty than regular paper so it will help protect goods sent in the post. This is a good choice for paper that is too crinkled or ripped to be reused for anything else.
Create Gift-Wrap Boxes
Hang on to old gift wrap to help create new gift boxes. Next time you finish with a small cardboard box (such as a face-cream box), hold on to this as well so that you can cover it with gift wrap and transform it into a beautiful gift-wrap box.
Use to Cover Books
If your kids are expected to cover their exercise books at school, then rather than go out and buy brand-new book covers you could just use old wrapping paper. This is an especially great use for any wrapping paper that was just too pretty to either discard or use as packing material.
Use as Scrap Paper
Any wrapping paper that is in a perfectly good condition but perhaps not pretty enough to reuse will make great scrap paper. Keep a pile by the phone to take phone messages and also some in the kitchen to create shopping lists.
Make New Gift Tags
Rather than buy new gift tags, you can use old gift wrap to create new ones. Cut some plain card into a tag shape, stick the old paper on and then make a small hole and push some string through - now you have some brand-new gift tags.
Make Gift Bags into Wrapping Paper
When you receive a present in a charming gift bag it always seems a waste to just discard it. Instead you can cut the bag into two squares and use to wrap smaller presents.
Reusing old items is both eco-friendly and financially sound, so next time you go to throw your gift wrap away, think instead about what it could become next.
Our guest blogger today is Zoe, an enthusiastic craft blogger and experienced freelance writer. In her free time she loves discovering new craft blogs, and Zoe will have around eight DIY projects on the go at any one time! Currently, Zoe is writing for UK packaging suppliers Ambassador Packaging.