Saturday, November 22, 2008

Environmentally-friendly gift wrap

I like beautifully wrapped packages as much as the next person, but it seems to me that wrapping-paper is an outmoded tradition in this age of protecting the environment and conserving resources.

I spent one evening this week turning 2 yards of holiday fabric into a dozen re-usable fabric gift bags to use this Christmas.  Total cost for fabric and ribbon, about $6.00, or about 50 cents a bag.  I figure if I make a bunch of bags this year, I'll be set for years.  

The eartheasy site has good instructions for making fabric gift bags.  I chose opaque fabric and didn't bother with the lining.  You can buy fabric gift bags on the web, but they're a little pricey.  

If you have old fabric or even old sheets around the house, you can even make fabric gift bags without purchasing new fabric.  

Not only are these wrapping paper alternatives good for the environment, they're faster and easier than using wrapping paper. Perfect for when kids need to wrap presents. You just pop the item in the bag and tie the ribbon. No scissors, no tape.

Other ideas for gift wrapping without waste:  
  • re-use old cookie and candy tins
  • give a gift wrapped in a re-usable cloth shopping bag (Ikea has some great ones) 
  • save and re-use the gift-bags and boxes you receive
Anyone else out there have ideas for gift wrap alternatives?


Anonymous said...

I wandered over from BlogHer. And I have to say those are some great bags! I'm feeling inspired. :-)

Sandi said...

I found your post while searching for fabric gift bags. Great work! I always save the gift bags that other people use to give me and mine gifts - then reuse them. I think we should tag our gift bags with our name and the date used, and see how really far they go and how long they last!

Lady M said...

Beautiful bags! I sewed up a few dozen over the last weeks to give to other members of the extended family to use as well. At January prices, the fabric was less than paper would have been!

Dawn said...

Hi Sandi,

I think that's a cool idea. Kind of like the Where's George website for tracking the journey of a dollar. I'll think about how to do that...

Sam's mom said...

Hi Dawn,
I had a similar brainstorm to ditch the paper, but when it came time for me to make bags, I didn't have the energy. That's the story of my life.

So, I just wrapped the gifts in fabric! I had some old red & green felt from a post-Christmas Goodwill purchase, and went to JoAnne's fabrics and sprung for some Christmas fabric (1/2 off). I just wrapped them like you would with paper (sometimes with tape!), and tied them up with ribbon to keep the fabric from falling off. It works.

And, I also cheated and got some lime green fabric bags at Ikea one day. I've been keeping my eye out for cheap bags and/or fabric in Christmasy colors....