part of my homesteading lifestyle is being as frugal as possible. i take no exception when it comes to wrapping gifts. to me, gift wrapping is an art in itself but it seems foolish to me to spend as much on the wrapping as i would on the present, or even more, considering i make the majority of my gifts.
i tend to collect items throughout the year that i think would make good wrapping decorations. i tend to get a lot of packages in the mail that are padded with brown or white paper. it is usually wrinkled but i like the crinkled look and often wad it up more before smoothing it out to use. although i prefer it plain, sometimes when the kids are helping, i let them decorate by drawing pictures or stamping on them.
another medium i use for wrapping is newspapers. foreign newspapers are especially fun. occasionally, i get a chinese newspaper that was used as packaging for some herbs i buy. comics are great for kids, especially the colorful sunday ones.
fabric scraps are another great way to wrap. lay the item down, pull up the ends, tie with string and decorate as desired. buying old sheets and clothing at the thrift shop is a great way to recycle fabric and put it to a great use. an alternative to wrapping with the fabric is to sew up gift bags that can be used again. these are fun and easy and can be cinched closed with string as well.
i’m also extremely fond of corrugated cardboard. it makes lovely wrapping and when i get an item in the mail packaged with some, i covet it and save it for special items through out the year and more importantly, someone who truly appreciates my efforts in wrapping.
i also have the advantage (ha!) of inheriting a lot of junk when we moved here since the previous tenants used the back yard as their dump. i collect old rusty washers, wire and other interesting looking items to decorate the packages with.
other garnishments i find during nature walks…miniature pine cones, interesting twigs (once after an ice storm i found some with buds on them that were red. they made a lovely contrast to the white background), fresh flowers during the spring and summer, dried flowers during the fall and winter, bird and chicken feathers, corn husks, even cicada shells make exciting decorations for boys’ gifts. nothing is safe if it can be tied down!
binder twine makes excellent ‘ribbon.’ i’m partial to the natural twine and shun the orangy plastic twine although sometimes, it is a nice contrast. i’ve also used baling wire before. never barbed wire though. morning glory vines make excellent ribbon as well.
to me, wrapping is the best part of gift giving. i could spend days just playing with them!
does anyone else share my passion for wrapping using recycled items? what other fun things have you tried for wrapping?