Last year, Herb had me make some of his teacher friends, who were expecting, a baby’s first bowl as a special gift for their new baby. I had a lot of fun with them and sold all of them as they were a huge hit. So, I decided to have a few of them on hand for the Holiday Open House on Sunday and so I am sharing those with you today. They are really small but really sweet and as the child grows, they can begin as a bowl for cereal and applesauce and evolve into a snack bowl for cheerios or m&ms and raisins or peanuts. I have six of them. We will see how they are received.
My True Love gave to me… Ten Ladies Dancing.
So you think you want to give someone dance lessons for Christmas?
Then let’s look at how we could wrap up dancing lessons so that it is a creative package for someone to receive. Let’s brainstorm and then look at gift wrapping today so that we are not using resources that will end up in the landfill. Hopefully, you will not really have to purchase much to wrap your gifts. I am lucky enough to have resources at my work place of large sheets of paper. I usually try to use that paper for the base of my packages and add lots of adornments to it to create a unique look.
A Gift of Dancing Lessons could be as simple as purchasing a gift certificate for the lessons and then wrapping it in a shoe box with a pair of old dancing shoes. If you have dance studio in your area, you could go there and see if they have an old pair of dance shoes that you could decorate and put the certificate into inside the box. The shoes could be as much a part of the gift as the certificate. They could become a “sculpture” of sorts that you paint, glue glitter to, or add ribbons to. Then of course, wrap them in a shoe box and decorate the box. You may decide not to add the dance theme to the outside of the box so as to not give your gift away.
I just finished wrapping the gifts for the child from the angel tree at work and used a white paper that is used to separate the fresh plates for the presses at work. It was fairly thin so I had to use several sheets so I didn’t get show through of the gift. I had purchased some pretty ribbon at Michaels and tied the ribbon on. The tags were the creative part of those gifts because I found some vintage Christmas card images of children and printed those, cut them out and put them on some other scrap paper and tied them on with a gold string. Design Sponge had a really great article yesterday about gift toppers using found objects such as buttons and string. And these paper ornaments from Martha Stewart’s site are some beautiful ornaments that I have put on my tree from card stock. They also make wonderful gift tags.
- Save your paper from year to year. Or save the gift bags that you get from year to year and reuse all these items
- Save ribbon from year to year. I have a box that is ribbon scraps that I dig into all the time for something to add to something else. I also try to tie the ribbon so that it is one long piece so that when the recipient unwraps the gift the ribbon is still usable for the next year.
- Save tissue paper, even if it has holes in it. Folded and placed into the box layered with another piece just makes the gift look like you put extra care into the wrapping. If you get desperate you can set your iron on a low setting and actually iron the tissue paper but I like the wrinkled look.
- Use found objects to tie onto the package. small pine cones, old cards that are cut up into new shapes, cookie cutters, buttons, as in the Design Sponge article above,
- Draw on the package or stamp a design on the paper
- Have a gift wrap party and invite friends over to make paper. (If you have a cheap source for paper like I do)
- Try your hand at making homemade paper using old mail that you put in the blender and mix up, pour the pulp onto a screen and use that paper to cut out your tags. You can add seeds to the mix and they could plant the tag in the spring for an added surprise. Use cookie cutter shapes to cut the paper out or use a template for Christmas shapes like stockings or birds.
- make applesauce ornaments to tie on the packages Recipe here…
- make paperdolls to wrap around the package
- use fabric to tie around the package the way the Japanese do. If you get bandanas then the recipient also has a handkerchief for those hikes in the woods, better yet, get one of the bandanas that have a topo map printed on it of trails in the nearby National Park
These are just a few of the ideas that I try to focus on when I am wrapping gifts so that I have as much thought into the wrap as I do the gift and also keeping in mind trying to not waste resources so that I keep the paper out of the landfill. Over the holidays the biggest source of extra waste is the use of wrapping paper and cards that package Christmas gifts. On average, over 8000 tons of wrapping paper and almost two billion cards are thrown out throughout the season. By simply reusing or recycling your wrapping paper and cards you will be able to help reduce the over 300,000 tons of holiday garbage created each year.
Some great resources are:
- How You Can Reuse & Recycle Wrapping Paper and Cards
- CAL Recycle on No Waste giving
- Use a Biodegradable Wrapping Paper these companies use soy based inks and use renewable energy to produce the papers
- eHow’s Christmas Wrapping Paper: lots of really good ideas for wrapping environmentally
- Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments from Martha Stewart
- Trimmings without the Trash
- How to make bows out of chip bags and magazine pages
Just remember to RECYCLE as much as you possibly can. Start a box this year to store the ribbons and paper that you unwrap Christmas morning and next year you will be surprised at the money you save and the space that is save in the landfill. Plus you will have a box of supplies to dip into when you need that added punch of creative something for a new package.