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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

by Chiot's Run

I'm always game to save money in any way I can. Gift wrapping can be very expensive, even if you buy it on sale after the holidays, and buying something that you're just going to recycle and throw away seems a little crazy. One inexpensive way to wrap gifts is by using brown kraft paper. You can buy it in big rolls very inexpensively at home improvement stores, but I find that if I save the stuff that comes in packaging throughout the year, I never have to buy any, in fact I always have a pretty good sized stash on hand. Not to mention I'm able to reuse something before it goes into the garden (we always compost kraft paper products instead of recycling).

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

The paper is usually crumpled, so I crumple it even more to give it some texture (and to make it look intentional). I love using kraft paper because it goes with just about any kind of decor and it's not gender, age or holiday specific. You can adorn any way you like if you want to add some pizazz. I have a box of saved ribbon in the basement that I occasionally use, especially if wrapping a birthday gift. I find that garden twine works well and looks lovely, especially if you include a little natural element like a pine cone or pine sprig. All those little scraps of yarn work as well, you could also use scraps of fabric, paper or just decorate with markers.

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

You can also save those brown paper bags that you get throughout the year to use as wrapping. I have a stash of all shapes and sizes from very tiny to fairly large. These are fabulous because they're quick and easy! I usually punch holes in the top and use a twig or a piece of ribbon to close it. I think a stick of peppermint would nice as well or maybe a pencil or something useful.

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

This is a great frugal way to save on wrapping expenses and to keep extra things from being produced and purchased simply to throw away or recycle. I find that when I gift a gift wrapped this way, people tend to stop and take notice. Perhaps it will make them consider doing the same the next time they have to wrap a gift.

What kind of wrapping do you use in your household? Any great ideas for saving money in this area or for creative wrapping options?

I can also be found at Chiot's Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Not Dabbling in Normal, and you can follow me on Twitter.

24 comments:

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife said...

I tend to use reusable gift bags or pretty cotton shopping bags so the recipient can use them again - but last year I used brown paper for some birthday presents.

To act as a feature/bow, I lightly sewed a trio of colourful, reclaimed buttons onto paper - it looked very fun and pretty, even if I do say so myself! ;)

LindaG said...

You're gifts look wonderful. :)

Jan Hatchett said...

I think your gifts look lovely.

Years ago, I used novelty fabrics and plain ol' pillow ticking to make reusable gift bags of various sizes. For my kids, we made huge "Santa bags" and all Christmas gifts to them go in there. It's no muss, no fuss, and easy to drop the bags and get to bed on Christmas Eve!

Sofia's Ideas said...

I love the photos! It demonstrates that using the paper doesnt have to look "cheap" or unattractive or plain at all. Because I have been diligently requesting plastic-free shipping, we've been getting oodles of this paper, and they usually keep it intact! We've been using these long sheets of kraft paper for all sorts of stuff! I'll never have to buy kraft paper again! yippee! :)

Fantastic post! I'm tweeting this one! :)

Rae said...

Love it! I may have to try that, as I have lots of paper from our recent move. I especially like the pine sprig. My mother used to keep Sunday comics for wrapping children's presents. I remember having a lot of fun with that as a kid.

Chiot's Run said...

My grandma used to wrap presents in comics when we lived in South America and she would send them down to us. She would do it carefully so we could read them after opening, it was like 2 gifts in one!

Willo said...

Beautiful! More beautiful to me than any other wrapping I have seen this season...including (unfortunately) the comics I used to wrap my son's Christmas present.

Janet said...

I agree on the waste of wrapping paper and like the craft paper idea. 1 of the best wrapping efforts I ever received was a friend who used the black and white daily comics page from a newspaper and coloured in random panels.

brendie said...

the bag with a twig thru idea is a good one, like the suggestion of using a candy cane or pencil too. think i will use that idea for my gifts of homemade soaps.

Tiffany Jewelry said...

many people always trow out these things, a big waste and pollution.if they tart to recycle them,they will also feel interesting .

Anonymous said...

You probably aren't going to post this, but it reminds me of the adds for mail order sex toys in the back of certain magazines "...comes in a plain brown wrapper."

p.s. They are very pretty, though.

queen of string said...

LOL @anonymous! You can also iron the paper for a smooth finish and then potato print suitable themes onto it. I now use a mixture of collected items over the year, thrift store baskets and tins. I have to admit to some store bought wrapping too, as I have yet to overcome buying mountains of things for the kids. Baby steps, baby steps...

Paula said...

I use magazine pages that have pictures that fill the page for small gifts, and then tie them with white curling ribbon, of which I still have a bunch.

I like your bag and twig idea, too. I bet Martha wished she thought of it!

Ray Ban Sunglasses Sale said...

Last year, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) wrote a bill requiring the EPA to find ways to reduce packaging by 30 percent over 10 years. It was tossed aside for lack of cosponsors.

JoyceAnn said...

I like the natural look of the packages. May use the twig idea this Christmas.


~ Blessings ~

Konnie said...

Never thought of using a twig instead of a bow. Definitely stealing that idea, and your right, crinkling the paper does make it look intentional, so I will be using that idea as well. Thanks

Catherine Love said...

The beautiful simplicity of brown paper packages is my very favorite wrapping!
I love the way you've embellished yours :) .

Blessings,
Catherine

Significantly Simple said...

What a great idea! The gifts look fantastic - I especially love the tiny one with the twig closure - I think I would put a little name tag on the middle part of the stick. Thank you for these ideas. :)

Sabrina Smith Saxon said...

Great ideas. I am just getting ready to wrap my grandchildren's gifts and I know they will just tear into them. I may use your idea instead and just have a festive ribbon tied around it. Thank so much and I'm going to start following your blog as well. Thank you for being here and taking the time to share your experience with others!

sawn61 said...

I'm trying a new twist this year. Making reusable home made bags for each person's gifts,in hopes of saving them from one year to the next.We'll see how it works out.

(http://lifeisshortsawn61.blogspot.com/2010/12/one-down-few-moreto-go.html)

Hazel said...

They do look lovely.

I reuse paper other people have given us gifts in, and at the moment my favourite wrapping paper is/are some free Chinese newspapers that DD1 and I 'rescued' at the end of the day from China Town. I use it with a big ribbon (if I know it's not going in the bin. How can people throw ribbon in the bin?!) for women's presents as well as more simply with twine or yarn. I like the juxtaposition of glamorous with utilitarian.

For non-Christmas wrapping I'm using our old road atlas. You can tailor the pages you use to the recipient- use wilderness areas for the outdoor-type, or the town where someone used to live. Looks great with blue or green yarn.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Great ideas. I was thinking the same thing yesterday as I was wrapping up some gifts. I used old yarn and no tape. Worked just fine for me!

Liz said...

I have been wrapping most of my presents in brown paper - and like you, some is claimed from packaging. I've also used some tissue paper that was used in packaging. I've decorated the paper with stickers that I've got in my craft stash and tied mostly with odd bits of ribbon, or some funky yarn.

I like the stick through the bag idea :)

Wendy said...

I picked up some beautiful scarves at the second hand shop for $2 each. I chose a lovely pale blue deisgn to wrap my elderly Aunts Christmas gift in and tied a big bow around it. New slant on reusable gift wrapping. I did the same with another gift for a friend who has an asian deco in her house. The scarf suited her house and I thought it funny that she loved the wrapping just as much as the gift inside. I have also wrapped gifts in tablecloths, towels, aprons... whatever the person can use and would like. Cheers, Wendy