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recycled collage-style wrapping paper

wrapping paper

Happy 2014 everyone! I hope you all had a lovely holiday however you celebrated it, and are feeling hopeful and inspired about the new year.

We spent Christmas with my parents, in the Kansas town I grew up in, for the very last time. My folks are moving north at last, back across the border into Canada, so it’s possible that I will never see what I still consider my hometown again, at least not for a very long time. I’m still trying to piece together my feelings about that, and I have a blog post in the works that covers some of those feelings as well as a bit of a look at the house I grew up in, which I think demonstrates where much of this crafting habit of mine first sprouted…

But more on that later. For now, I’m looking ahead, into the new year. In fact, I’m looking really far ahead into 2014. All the way to next December. You remember how November and December got right away from me this year, what with our Desert Bus for Hope fundraiser followed so quickly by Christmas? Well I have vowed not to let things get so out of control next year, and to that end I’m starting to make preparations now.

Apart from plans to have our Christmas shopping done by October, I’ve also got blog posts for next holiday season lined up, and I’ve got some things put away to help with the festive prep. The one I’m about to share with you is a nice way to re-use bits of this year’s wrapping paper without having to keep all of it, and without having next year’s wrapping look just the same as this year’s.

And this idea works for presents and wrapping papers for any occasion, so if you have leftover birthday or wedding or Easter or whatever other wrapping paper, try this idea out for some of the holidays coming up a little sooner than next Christmas.

Now go grab all that crumpled up paper back out of the recycling bin, and get ready for some Christmas collage-ing!



What you’ll need


  • used wrapping paper
  • [for later] glue stick
  • [for later] plain butcher paper or whatever other plain, cheap paper you have around or can pick up


  • scissors
  • [optional] circle (or other shaped) punch or a pen and various shapes (circles, squares, stars, etc.) to trace onto the wrapping paper and cut out (this is particularly necessary if your wrapping paper has an ongoing design on it, instead of, say, a bunch of images of stars or angels or santas that can be individually cut out.


Putting it all together

1) Find the parts of the wrapping paper that aren’t torn and don’t have tape marks, etc., and cut out shapes from those places. If your paper has distinct images on it, like the one below with the angels and hearts and stars, you can simply cut those out.



If it has just a general pattern or design like the floral paper below on the left (not Christmas paper of course, but obviously you can do this with any wrapping paper, for gift giving at any time of year), you could cut simple shapes out of anyplace on the paper instead.



2) If you’re not going to be wrapping gifts right away, at this point you can actually just collect up all the pieces you’ve cut and put them in an envelope with your other gift wrap supplies till you need them.


But to find out just how all this will come together later on, continue reading. And if you have late Christmas or other gifts to wrap, craft right along with the following steps!


3) To actually use these bits for gift wrapping, first wrap the gift in question in your plain butcher or other paper. 



4) Then grab a glue stick and glue the cut out wrapping paper shapes onto the plain gift wrap in whatever way looks nice to you. You can lay things out unglued first, to decide on an exact design.

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5) Then simply add ribbon and tags and whatnot, and you’re all set! A pretty, creative way to reuse your old wrapping paper, even if you only have small useable pieces of it leftover that wouldn’t normally be worth keeping unless you gift a lot of jewelry and flash drives.

I think you could make a pretty cool effect doing this on top of newspaper, even…

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