natural celebration

diy gift wrapping and it’s recyclable, yo

Wrapping paper, it’s the only thing standing between you and your holiday gift. The paper is often captivating and a peek into your holiday soul. It can even be used as a great way to coordinate with your year’s theme. And as fun as all that is, wrapping paper is also pricey and wasteful. On top of the price tag, there is something so sad about the inevitable trash bag being stuffed with short lived wrapping at the end of an opening frenzy. It’s hard to believe recycling isn’t an option for the large majority of holiday wrapping paper.

That’s why for the second year in a row we will be going the DIY gift wrapping route. We are using materials we already have on hand or can find for free. The best thing is that everything can be later recycled, you know, once the paper is ripped to shreds to reveal the wonders inside.


My number one go-to is Trader Joe’s grocery bags. They have seasonal festive prints and can easily be thrown into the recycle bin, compost bin, or even vermicompost. And I love how when you unfold the bag, it is like a perfect pre-cut piece of paper. The thrifty, earth friendly paper even fits right in with last years tree.


If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can choose paper next time you are checking out at your local grocery store. You can use pens and other crafty things around the house to add some flare. Here is a how we are doing it…

The first thing I do is carefully detach the paper handles.


Then gently go around the bottom for the bag pulling the glued pieces apart. The goal is to open it up without ripping. Starting from the edges working my way to the middle works best for me.


Once the bag is completely open, I take scissors and cut one corner of the bag end to end.


From there, it goes down like you are wrapping a gift using the store bought stuff.


For this particular gift there were no other cuts made. I was able to tape the back side tightly closed with just a little overlap in the paper.


Next are the sometimes challenging ends. Thanks to previously having a job where gift wrapping was a usual task, my skills have drastically improved. It’s all about seamless wrapping, y’all.)


With the gift concealed, it was time to jazz it up.


Using parts of nature right outside our door, Ryan created the perfect touch wiring some greenery into a bow made with the bag handles.


No waste here except the tape, and I do feel bad about that. Our DIY gift wrapping will consist of several Trader Joe’s bags and brown craft paper Ryan saved from the trash at work. What can we say, we are all about saving and reusing.

Happy wrapping (and opening) to all, y’all!

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