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by: The Beat Asia
December 21, 2022
Only a few days left and it’s Christmas! If you’re done with your last-minute shopping, the next and final step is to wrap things up before you meet with your loved ones.
The thing about Christmas wrapping, however, is it produces too much waste. Most people would buy new wrappers and materials, which their recipients are likely to throw away afterwards. Imagine the raw materials manufacturers have to use every year to make them once the festive season starts.
To minimise waste, it’s best to start with you — the giver. Here are some Christmas wrapping ideas that are not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet!
Have you been saving those ribbons that you get when you buy pastries, or those ribbons that some stores use to tie their paper bags? You can reuse them to make your wrapped gifts look fancier! Or, if the gift you bought already comes in a nice box, you don’t have to wrap it anymore and instead use the ribbon by itself.
A newspaper isn’t the most colourful option out there, but it will do with a little creativity! Use a string yarn and add a personalised tag to your gift or draw Christmas-related themes on the newspaper and write the names of the recipients with fancy lettering. You can also paint the entire thing if you have the tools and time to wait for the newspaper to dry properly.
Speaking of getting creative, did you know that you can make paper bags out of newspaper? Yes, it’s possible. All you need is a pair of strings and a glue.
In connection with using newspaper (or any kind of paper) as a wrapper, you can use stickers and washi tape to decorate your gifts further. These are good alternatives if you don’t have ribbons. They’re more stable and won’t slip off, too! If you’re after the aesthetic feel, you can also use washi tape to stick dried flowers and leaves onto your gifts.
Have you bought anything lately that comes in a drawstring pouch? Don’t throw that away just yet! Wash and reuse it as a packaging for irregularly shaped gifts or if you’re planning to give multiple gifts so you don’t have to wrap them individually. Add a few decorative touches and they're good to go.
Got an old handkerchief or fabric you’re about to throw away? Don’t add to the textile waste in our landfills and use them as a gift wrap instead. Furoshiki or the Japanese art of fabric wrapping doesn’t need tape, scissors, or any tool. All you have to do is fold the fabric in a specific way. It works with almost anything, from small boxes to wine bottles!
Another Japanese art that you shouldn’t forget this festive season is origami. Although there’s a dedicated paper for making it, you don’t necessarily need to buy them. Any piece of paper (preferably cut into square) will do. Simply follow the instructions to make a box, envelope, or gift bag and you’re done! If you’re wrapping multiple gifts, you might also want to double this idea as a bonding activity with your loved ones.
Worried about gifting fragile items? Instead of using bubble wrap, you can use socks to provide some cushion. For wine bottles, you can use knee or thigh high socks to cover the bottle completely. This also works for long sleeve tops. If you want to give your old clothes a new life, you can cut those sleeves and repurpose them.
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