How to Reuse Items as Wrapping Paper

One man's trash is another man's wrapping paper image by Diana Doherty

Wrapping paper doesn't have to be bought at a store. There are increasingly costly wrapping papers on the market, and most people don't realize how much they can save by reusing items as wrapping paper. How crafty you get with reusing items will be up to you, but anyone can use some simple methods for reusing items as wrapping paper. It's good for the environment and for your wallet.


Step 1

Keep newspaper smooth by storing it on an empty paper towel roll or folding it up and storing under something heavy. Because newspaper tears easily when wrapping, the fewer the wrinkles, the easier it will be to wrap with.

Step 2

Double layers of newspaper can be used to wrap gifts that are shaped strangely or have sharp corners.

Step 3

Draw on newspaper with bright markers or post paint to personalize it. Stamps with bright ink also dress up newspaper wrapping paper. Try using holiday stamps.

Step 4

Cut out big newspaper letters to spell the gift recipient's name out on top of newspaper wrapping paper. Use mod podge or thin white glue to attach the letters. Don't use too much or it will saturate the paper.

Step 5

Use paper bags that have been cut into flat sheets to wrap small packages or tape them together (the side that will be facing the gift) to wrap larger packages. Paper bags are thick and can be decorated more heavily than newspaper.

Step 6

Use printer paper for wrapping small gifts. Leave the printed side facing out for an interesting look, or face the printed side inward to decorate the outside. Large stamps work great on printer paper, because one or two stamps can cover the whole surface.

Step 7

Flip used printer paper over, then put it back in your printer. Use a photo editing program, like Photoshop, or a text program like Word to create your own wrapping paper design, and then print.

Tips and Warnings

Always decorate wrapping paper before wrapping a gift. Decorating it after you wrap could leak glue or marker onto a gift or just make it very difficult to design. If you haven't got a crafty bone in your body, don't worry. Use plain paper bags to wrap a package, tie a bow around it with plain twine. Attach a gift tag or use one Christmas tree rubber stamp on top. Use the plain white side of printer paper, and then add a thick, bright bow.

Things You'll Need

Newspaper, Paper bags, Used printer paper, Stamps, Poster paint, Markers, Colored pencils, Scissors, Tape

About this Author

Diana Doherty is a freelance writer and editor. She blogs at Reading is Sexy and Bona Fide Freebies and was a project manager at One Million Pages, a non-profit literacy group. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Oswego State University in New York.

Photo by: Diana Doherty

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