There’s so much waste this season. Time, money, resources… I’m trying to get better about using a minimum of materials. I still offer to wrap things on my etsy shop for customers, but my family isn’t so lucky 😉
I try to reuse paper when it’s doable, and use gift bags that can be reused by the recipient the next year when size/shape of the gift allows. I’ve made some fabric gift bags that can be repurposed as well, but haven’t quite gotten fast enough at sewing them up to make a widespread attempt. What was kind of neat was a woman in line in front of me at the fabric store last year had agreed with her sister that they’d each make at least a few bags (very bright and decorative ones guessing from her fabric) each year and keep swapping them between the two families.
Being a total magpie (or perhaps packrat) I try to use every bit of everything I can, and *hate* throwing away anything pretty. Years ago a friend of mine showed me how to make folded paper stars in return for me showing her how to make cranes.
We had a lot of fun in the dining hall swapping back and forth, and those stars make great fidget projects. You see them occasionally see jars of them for fundraisers made with the traditional papers. (She used to sometimes send me glow in the dark paper; I have an origami dealer in NYC!)
Somewhere along the line I decided that the small bits of wrapping paper were too pretty to throw out. I started cutting the scraps into strips and making them into stars. I gave small jars of them as gifts, and then decided that they’d make nice hanging ornaments for my friends and family who use them.
So if you have paper you like, save the extra bits, or the scraps once they’ve been torn off their packages, and make stars out of them. They take a long time, but little attention once you get a feel for it, so they’re a wonderful watching television or chatting time type of project. Once you make enough you can put them in glass jars or bottles to catch the light, use them as swanky packing peanuts for small fragile gifts, or carefully put them into hollow glass ornaments. It’s repurposing with class. And a super early start on next year… So unwrap those packages carefully!