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Quick Wrap: Make Your Own

by Margaret on December 20, 2011


First I started crumpling. And twisting. Twisting really worked well.

Then I balled it up, unrolled it and balled it up again.

I even crushed it. And for fun, I asked my eight-year-old to get in on the action.

Before long, we turned a brown Trader Joe’s bag into wrapping paper.

The sheet was soft and imperfect, just like a piece of handmade paper.

I decided to cover a jar of Urban Apiaries to-die-for-local honey that I picked up at Talula’s, a gourmet food market that sells lots of local goods. Encased in the the bag-turned-gift wrap, my honey needed a bit of sparkle, so I attach the World of Good, Inc. ornament I purchased early in the day.

I used hemp string for the job.



I was so pleased with the results I grabbed other gifts and began bundling them the same way.

Fresh greens came in handy as a topper delivering a natural touch.

It was so easy, and FUN, and I felt good about creating my own gift sacks made from paper I had planned to burn in the fireplace or recycle.


Let me explain something: I am NOT A CRAFTY PERSON. And this isn’t a craft project, really. You spend most your time scrunching up an old brown bag, or any paper you choose to cover your parcels.

If you find yourself inspired to add your own designs, a splash of paint or cut outs could work. But I kept mine simple, which works well for me.

I got this idea from Natural Home Living’s Transformation Tuesday Blog: Trash Turned Gift Wrap.

Before reading the blog I was set to cloak presents in fabric remnants or left over tissue paper, but I love the idea of homemade paper so much I knew I had to give this a try.

Trash Turned Gift Wrap lists a bunch of decorative wrap ideas from creative bloggers like Make & Do Girl, who turned an old shirt into a reusabale gift bag.

Here’s the thing: Store bought wrapping paper can be super pretty and make packages colorful, but did you know that according to the Clean Air Council, 4 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays just because we use so much wrapping paper and shopping bags?

And according to, if every family wrapped only three of their presents in re-used materials, there would be enough saved paper to cover 45,000 football fields. If you can’t find time to make your own wrap, check out and, both sites sell reusable, reversible and recyclable Holiday gifts sacks.

Either way, instead of bundling all your presents with store-bought paper, you can easily package up some gifts with newspaper, old maps or pieces of fabric.

Or even an old brown bag will do.







From → life, Rave

  1. Lucinda permalink

    Thank you for providing us both examples and the ‘how to’. for wrapping. And paper bags are easier to grab than formal wrapping paper. Happy New Year!

  2. sue permalink

    Hi Margaret

    With such a beautifully wrapped gift, I’d leave it wrapped (in the pantry)! I use Trader Joe’s bags for mailing packages too. Its not really surprising that, though we went our separate ways, we do the same kind of things ie– growing plants & veggies, cooking, shopping organic local, re-use recycle etc etc.
    I saw John Balzonka (sp?) the guy that worked with you at La Salle Partners at a Christmas party. He asked about you, and I told him about your blog. He remembered how you wanted to pursue writing, and he said hello!
    I have beautiful mesclun thriving in my kitchen garden! Tasty! I’ll send you a picture.
    Are you familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation? Sally Fallon’s cookbook Nourishing Traditions? I’m making a fermented apple/sauerkraut dish for New Years Day–I’ll send you recipe if you like. I tried it at the Harvest Market Fermentation Festival a few weeks ago.
    I’d love to have you over any time!

    • Margaret permalink

      Hi Sue! If you come home and notice the mesculun greens gone…I mighta snuck in! Will check out Nourishing Traditions. I’d love the recipe you mention. Fermentation is happening here too: In one corner of my kitchen Chris is making sauerkraut…and Thomas is making kombucha. Hope to see you soon!

  3. What a great wrapping idea…I will definitely be trying this…

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