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Recycled Craft Projects: DIY Gift Wrapping Ideas

Posted: September 20, 2012

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Make recycled craft projects fun by using almost anything lying around at home! Some DIY gift wrapping ideas for you!

By Anu Gummaraju

This article was originally published at The Alternative – an online publication on social change and sustainable living.

Spending exorbitant amounts buying reams of new gift wrap every time a birthday or an anniversary comes up? You can make unique and fun gift wrap at home, with materials you have lying around. Bits and pieces of paper, fabric, packaging from kid products – you name it.

Raw materials you can use for your recycled craft projects

Recycled Craft Projects: Raw Materials


1. Used party invites, other invitation cards and envelopes, earring holder sheets, etc.

2. Labels / tags from clothes, candy boxes, band aid or other kid product packaging, party crowns with colourful figures which someone gave you at a party. Save them all.

3. Magazines with colourful pages, interesting pictures, brochures.

4. Cardboard boxes of various things that you buy.

5. Paper shopping bags and covers.

6. Plastic wrap from bouquets, pieces of torn gift wrap, crepe paper from craft projects, tissue wrap (like from watch boxes), left over brown paper (the ones used to cover school books), colourful covers of hard bound books.

Easy DIY Gift Wrapping Ideas 

1. Wrap boxes of gifts with the dull side of the brown paper (used to cover school books) on the outside. Once you have wrapped it, use any of these labels, tags, used party invites and envelopes to create gift tags and add a whole bunch of colour to your gift.

Recycled Craft Projects: Gift Tags

2. Use shopping bag paper to wrap your gift. To make little motifs, pop ups on the gift, cut circles out of the same paper, one larger than the other. Cut slits all around. Place the smaller one inside the larger circle, crimp a bit and glue it on. Use the pieces cut of packaging, magazines, etc. to make gift tags.

3. Cut out images from left over gift wrap or kids colouring books, torn comic books, you get the idea… and simply glue on regular intervals on a plain shopping bag cover wrap.

Recycled Craft Projects: Decorate

4. Cut tissue, crepe paper, magazines and make interesting top ups for your gifts. You only need thin strips of paper for this, so do not throw away pieces of gift wrap that get torn when you open something! Or do not chuck even the thin strips that may get left over from other wrapping when you cut it down to size. Cut a length of paper. Roll it. And cut slits half way through. Crimp a bit and glue on.

5. Do not throw away magazines with colourful pages! Cut out circles of different sizes. Place one inside each other, the largest one at the bottom. Cut slits almost to the center. Crimp and glue on. You can do this for gifts covered in black and white newsprint too. Adds a  lovely dash of colour!

Or simply cut the magazine paper into strips and glue on, for a psychedelic zebra look.

Recycled Craft Projects: Add Ons

Do you have any interesting recycled craft project ideas? Let us know in the comments!

*Featured Image Credit: asenat29 (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

All other images courtesy Anu Gummaraju.

About The Author: Anu always wanted to be a writer-reporter and worked for a couple of media companies, before joining Infosys. At Infosys, she put in a stint of 11 years, first as a technical writer, then as a user experience manager. Since leaving a corporate career Anu blogs on food and design, and co-founded Second to None - a venture that promotes and facilitates reuse and recycling.

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