Friday, 4 January 2019

Present Wrapping: Using Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

Hey everyone! Here I am with my first post of 2019! I'm hoping that this new year brings with it lots of motivation and that it will be a better year for my blog, and for my day-to-day life in general :) Thankyou so much to all of my regular readers who stuck around and kept reading my posts, despite my very delayed and sporadic blogging schedule throughout last year. Your continued support means the world to me! And if you're a new reader, hello & welcome to my little corner of the internet :) 

I know I usually kick start the year with a reflection and/or goals post of some kind, however I've decided not to share one of those this year because I don't want to begin 2019 by making myself feel any pressure to succeed when I feel like I'm only just getting back on my feet again, as the saying goes. 2019 is going to be dedicated to looking after myself. And instead, I'm beginning the year by sharing a post with you guys all about some changes I made to my present wrapping routine over the Christmas period, changes that I'm going to try to keep up with throughout this new year :) Even though Christmas is over with for another 11 months, I still wanted to write all about this alternative to traditional wrapping paper, and how I made sure that the presents I wrapped for my loved ones still looked as pretty as usual (if they can look past my horrendous wrapping skills that is, haha!). Anyhow, I hope you all enjoy reading!

Supplies for wrapping Christmas presents: decoration, a christmas card, brown paper, festive paper string

Back in around October/November, I kept seeing ads all over Instagram, and across other social media too, about using brown paper for present wrapping at Christmas. It was encouraging this as a more environmentally-friendly option VS the rolls of wrapping paper most of us usually buy. I had been wanting to make little steps towards being more eco-friendly for a while and actually considered using brown paper before. After I became a Pinterest user, I was very tempted to switch to brown paper after seeing so many beautiful yet simplistic gift wraps on the website, made up mostly of plain paper or paper/cardstock. 

Did you know that most wrapping paper is not recyclable, because its made up of certain dyes/inks, plastic and foils? Well like most people I've asked, I didn't even think about all of the wrapping paper I use and throw away over the festive period. It's easy to get caught up in the fun of the season and not consider how you can minimalize how much non-recyclable waste is piling up in your dustpans. I decided this year to try to reduce this by wrapping all of the presents I bought for my loved one in brown paper!   

This is only one step in the right direction, as I still used some non-recyclable plastics but I tried to use them to the smallest degree possible. This includes sellotape and the shiny plastic bow/rosette/thingies you can see in my photo above. I challenged myself to use the tiniest amount of sellotape I could, literally applying just a few approx. 3cm snippets to each gift. To work around the fact that my gifts were not as secured in their wrapping as usual, I bought some paper string from Wilkinson's (which was on offer at 3 for 2!) and used this to tighten everything together :) As far as the plastic present decoration thingies, I'm currently on the lookout for some paper-based options for the next time I have to wrap presents! I am intending to use brown paper each time now, so if you receive a present from me at any point, expect it to be wrapped in this :D 

A Christmas Paper pad and supplies to make your own Christmas gift tags

Although you can buy gift tags that are made purely out of card or paper that is safe to go into the recycle bin, a lot of tags are decorated in glitter or in shiny card/foil, especially when it comes to Christmas. As such, I decided to just make my own! I've had some Christmassy paper pads in my craft collection for a while now, as I like to use them for festive photography backgrounds, but it was about time that I actually made something with them! 

The paperstock pad that I used was purchased from Poundland back in 2017 (A tip for my fellow stationery lovers: Poundland always has some fabulous craft items in store!). I also get a lot of my paper and cardstock pads from The Works, and I've bought them from The Range before but they are always a little more pricey from there. You could pick up a festive one and use it each year, or you could get a pad that's a lot more versatile and includes designs that can be used as well for birthdays, and any other celebration really. There's lots of different varieties out there :) All you need additionally is a holepunch to make a neat hole to thread string or ribbon though, so that you can attach your homemade tags to presents. 

I have to admit that I was very worried that my presents would look crap wrapped up in brown paper and with homemade tags, because I don't have much faith in my crafting abilities and I am so bad at putting things together neatly. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked my finished results, although my friends & family were the ones who made me feel much better about them :) They really liked how they looked, thankfully. It's about time that I showed you guys how they turned out! 

A pile of Christmas Presents all wrapped using brown paper and string

A pile of Christmas Presents all wrapped using brown paper and string

A close up photo of a christmas present wrapped using brown paper and string

Ta-da! What do you all think? When I sent a photo to my best friend she told me they looked like something off of Pinterest and so you can imagine how much that made my day! With the red and white striped paper string, they made think about the North Pole and Santa's Workshop, and also of candy canes, all of which are super nostalgic and made me smile whenever I looked at the little pile of wrapped gifts slowly growing in the corner of my bedroom. 

Also, I literally couldn't stop singing '...brown paper packages tied up with string. These are a few of my favourite things' from The Sound of Music, whenever I saw my presents, haha! (I know for a fact that I'm now not going to be able to get it out of my head again for a while after writing this XD oops. And to all of my lovely readers that will also be in the same boat now, you're welcome :p)! Seriously though, I loved how rustic and old-fashioned my brown paper Christmas presents looked. They kept making me think of people being delivered packages like these by the postman back in the day :) 

Something that is really awesome about using brown paper, other than the fact you are doing your little bit to help the environment, is that it's so cheap. I paid £1 for a roll of 6 metres from Wilkinson's, and I bought two in total and it was enough to wrap all my family and friends gifts. I still have a bit left over! The Works also stocks a 6m roll for the same price. It is a bit thinner than I would have liked, because it meant that I kept tearing it before I got the hang of how to wrap everything without using much sellotape. But eventually, it was fine and I would buy this paper from Wilkos again :) 

A pile of Christmas Presents all wrapped using brown paper and string

So, that's how I have now changed my present wrapping routine, and hopefully by next Christmas at the end of the year, after practicing with birthday presents and such along the way, I will have found other ways of securing the brown paper without sellotape, and have some paper-based decorations to jazz up my gifts too! If you know of anywhere that sells these rosette thingies but made from paper, or something similar that's also recyclable, please let me know :) I hope you all enjoyed reading my post, and that I have inspired you to start using brown paper, or maybe opt for a 100% paper variety of gift wrapping of some kind. If you used brown paper for Christmas this time round, I'd love to hear how you decorated your gifts in the comments. Have a lovely weekend guys! 

Thankyou for reading! 

What are some ways that you try to be more eco-friendly at Christmas Time?

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  1. I'm definitely going to give wrapping present in brown paper this year! :D

    I know LOADS of people who did it Christmas and I'd really love to do it myself now.

  2. Happy you were able to use alternative wrapping paper this year. These all look so pretty as well, almost too pretty to unwrap! This Christmas we tried to not overbuy when it came to food, the issue we have is we always seem to buy too much food for Christmas Eve and most is always wasted!

    Jess xx

  3. Aww, your brown paper gifts look very cute! I actually think they look better than wrapping paper, which can often look cheesy or too garish. Thanks for sharing and I'm definitely pinning this for future reference. I had no idea Did you know that most wrapping paper is not recyclable but it makes sense. I wonder if it's the same for shiny stickers? I've used stickers instead of sellotape to stick down the folds on gifts before.


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