Archive for the 'DIY' Category

No Bag Left Behind


I love to wrap gifts.

My husband can attest to this fact: Sometimes, I spend silly amounts of time finding just the right piece of wrap or ribbon to create a pretty little prize for the intended recipient.

Sometimes, I’m even more excited about the wrap than the gift itself. (Although if the wrap happens to be around a gift I’ve also made, then it’s a double-whammy of DIY bliss for me!)

And I rarely buy wrapping paper, instead preferring to reuse some of the more beautiful pieces I’ve received, as well as ephemera I’ve collected.

So, when I was considering the millions of brown paper grocery bags we’ve managed to accumulate — in spite of diligently bringing our own cloth bags when we shop — it seemed like a no-brainer to repurpose them into something a little more fun that might give them a second use before they hit the recycling pile. Like gift wrap!

vignette80I started by making paper bows, layering cut flowers of the brown paper and decorating some with ink. Next, I moved on to gift tags; a few forgotten mini potatoes that were languishing in our pantry and an inkpad later, and I had some simple little block prints to embellish them. I cut and folded some tiny gift cards, which I also stamped.

Like a conscientious hunter using all the parts of a prized animal, I was determined to reuse 100% of that bag. What to do with all the scraps of my cut-outs and punched holes? I soaked them in warm water overnight, found an old screen, and used the pulp to make one single sheet of 8-by-14-inch textured wrapping paper which I also embellished with my trusty potato.

I probably ended up throwing about 25% of the bag into the recycling pile — mostly bits and pieces that had industrial glue on them or ink blotted from my stamps. Not quite the full animal, but close! Next time….

Top right photo: paper bow. Bottom left photo: top row of wrapping paper (top), gift tags (middle left), gift cards (middle right), more bows (bottom).