The Wrap-up on Holiday Wrapping Paper

You emailed your family and friends a link to Jill’s post on reusable wrapping paper alternatives. You wore your “Wrapping Paper Sucks!” pin everywhere you went for weeks before Christmas. Yet here you are, stuck with mounds of clawed, crushed and crumpled paper. Not to worry, below are 5 great ways to turn all that trash into shredded treasure.

1) RECYCLE IT: Before you do anything else, check your local recycling policy because ‘used’ paper is accepted in most city recycling programs. Shredding before recycling is one option, and if you have a manual shredder, you use no electricity.

2) COMPOST IT: Shredded paper is a great starter component for that vermicompost you always wanted to try, but which gave you the creepy crawlies. As one blog commentator wrote, “I use [shredded paper] in my worm composting bin. They love it and then the castings are great for the garden, house plants, even as a type of fertilizer for your yard.” Something to jot on your list of New Year’s resolutions.

3) STUFF IT: When shredded, gift-wrapping paper makes a great packaging tool. This of course means you would have to save the stuff for the next time you’re snail-mailing a delicate gift cross-country to grandma. You can also use it to return that sagging bean bag chair to its original, more rounded, shape.

4) MUSH IT: Make papier mache masks! What kid wouldn’t love his or her very own personalized mask? And it’s easier than you think. All that is required is equal parts flour, water and imagination. If the idea of a mask spooks your kid, make a papier mache bowl instead. Painted Fish Studio has a great tutorial.

5) PET IT: When minced into tiny bits, discarded paper makes great bedding for small pets. I’ve been doing this for over a year now, and our pet bunny couldn’t be happier. It does absorb less than store-bought bedding, does not contain deodorizers and so will require more frequent changes.

If all else fails, you can go the route of this resourceful recycler: “I stuff torn pantyhose and knee highs with shredded paper, spray with Febreze [or Mrs. Meyers] and stuff this into my kids’ stinky sneakers!” But I’d suggest a quick Google search first.

Related Posts

13 Responses to “The Wrap-up on Holiday Wrapping Paper”

  1. adam says:

    Um, how about just reusing it? If you don’t tear it to shreds, its actually quite reusable. My family has been doing it for years now.

  2. ” “I use [shredded paper] in my worm composting bin. They love it and then the castings are great for the garden, house plants, even as a type of fertilizer for your yard.”

    Wrapping paper would NOT be good for worms! All those inks, and lacquer gloss varnishes, and the metallics….no no no! They say to use newspaper for worms…but p[lease don’t use wrapping paper.

    I have a friend who spins used tissue paper and newspaper in yarn!

  3. Desmond Williams says:

    Great idea Adam. I only got to do this with one sheet of paper this year. Kids tend to enjoy that rrr-ripping sound as they reveal each wrapped present. And Mary Ann is correct. Though I have not come across any facts stating that dyes are harmful to worms, it it best to err on the side of caution. The same hold true for pets. If your wrapping paper is of the plasticized, gilded or otherwise ‘unnatural’ variety, keep it away from animals.

  4. dave says:

    Um, how about just reusing it? If you don’t tear it to shreds, its actually quite reusable. My family has been doing it for years now.

  5. alizee says:

    Great idea Adam. I only got to do this with one sheet of paper this year. Kids tend to enjoy that rrr-ripping sound as they reveal each wrapped present. And Mary Ann is correct. Though I have not come across any facts stating that dyes are harmful to worms, it it best to err on the side of caution. The same hold true for pets. If your wrapping paper is of the plasticized, gilded or otherwise ‘unnatural’ variety, keep it away from animals..

  6. Lawrence says:

    Even if I have not got a use for waist paper I get in the habit of soaking in water squishing into a pulp and tossing in the recycle bin.
    Unlike shredders it uses no electricity!

    Lawrence..

  7. toni4roses says:

    Wow what a great selection of crafts you can do with paper shreds. I have been researching composting and paper shredding and you have given me more ideas on what to do with those shreds of paper. Thanks.

  8. bstepheneg says:

    Um, how about just reusing it? If you don’t tear it to shreds, its actually quite reusable. My family has been doing it for years now.

  9. ecokaren says:

    I didn’t buy wrapping papers or boxes at all this year because we’ve been reusing wrapping papers for three years now. The ones that really get torn can be shredded but if you carefully unwrap them, they can be reused year after year. I also include a little message on the gift tags to reuse the wrapping paper so the recipients also get the message to recycle.

  10. ToysMum says:

    This year I tried a little furoshiki as an alternative to gift-wrapping with paper. I bought bargain-priced Christmas fabric after Christmas at sales, and saved it with the intent of wrapping gifts this year. I looked online for ways to wrap that would keep the gifts from coming undone.

    Only did a few gifts that way, but the people who received those gifts were admiring and appreciative. I still have lots of paper leftover, which I re-use, along with ribbon, whenever I can each year. My family used to reuse paper over the years. There is some that is decades old! Happy memories when wrapping with “old” paper.

  11. cwee says:

    if you put your own pictures on it and make personalized wrapping paper then you can re-use it for scrapbooking or even make thank you cards with the scraps

  12. elaine says:

    I think all are great ideas. I like creating functional things from recycling. The one thing I have used that is great are making boot shapers. Using old leggings or thicker type tights/nylons ~ stuffing them with shredded paper and forming the “legs” to keep boots in original shape when storing is functional and fabulous. Even using cardboard to curve and shape is great. Latest are using already thick cuts of Styrofoam or cardboard in big-box-item packaging and wrapping them in plastic or hey, how about in wrapping paper and tape to ensure the cardboard or foam does not ‘shed’. enJOY!

  13. CeladonRoadNic says:

    I use it to wrap and pack up our ornaments and christmas decorations for storage.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments.

Add your comments

NEW USER

CURRENT USERS LOGIN

Lost your password?

Let's make sure you're a real person: