Being environmentally friendly is trendy now, which is fantastic. Fashion brands are investing in recycled fabrics, as a planet we’re reusing and recycling more and using more green energy rather than Fossil Fuels. Even the supermarkets are catching on now, I’ve seen numerous shops stocking recyclable wrapping paper and natural raffia ribbon this Christmas.
Like most households in Britain, my husband and I feel like we do our bit – we recycle, we buy loose fruit and veg when we can, rather than ones packed in plastic, we eat seasonally and buy British as much as possible. But when it comes to gift wrapping, my carbon footprint is terrible. I love the glittery wrapping paper, I love to make hampers surrounded by copious amounts of cellophane, and I love the plastic coated shiny curling ribbon. Nothing else curls as beautifully, and it’s So. Damn. Shiny!
But this year, I’ve decided to overhaul my Christmas wrapping, and try to go a bit greener. You will still see my beloved shiny curling ribbon in some of my pictures, I’m trying to wean myself off it. Please don’t shout at me, once my hoard is used up, I wont be buying anymore. Promise! (She says with a sad sigh)
So over the next few weeks I’ll show you what I’m doing to make my gift wrapping a bit greener, and hopefully encourage you to join me. If you have any ideas or tips, I’d love to hear them!
First of all, I’m going to tell you about something I’ve actually been doing for years, but more out of not wanting to spend money on gift tags, rather than it being environmentally friendly. But who cares why you start a journey, as long as you get to the same point in the end, eh?
After the Christmas period, and after our birthdays, when my husband and I are taking down any cards we’ve been given, I sort through them. I keep any special ones, and cut up the rest up to use as gift tags.
This works especially well for the cards that can’t be recycled – any with a plastic film, glitter or shiny, metallic sections. They look really good, and don’t cost you a penny. I keep them in a tub and when I’m wrapping a present, I have a rummage and find one with a picture, message or colour that will go with the wrapping paper I’ve used, and no one ever suspects that they’re chopped up greetings cards.
Here’s how I do it:
- Check where the writing is on the inside of the card. If the person who has sent the card to you has written on the left side when you open the card up, you probably wont be able to make many tags with it. But if they’ve only written on the right, then you’ll be able to use the whole of the front of the card.
- Have a good look at your card and think about how you are going to cut around any pictures or phrases, either because you think they’ll make a cute tag, or because you don’t want them (you might not be able to reuse ‘happy 21st birthday sister-in-law’).
- Start at the creased edge and cut your card into squares or rectangles. The reason I start at the crease is so if there is no writing at the edge, I can keep the crease in the tags taken from that side to create a tag you open up, like a mini greetings card. Then I can dispose of the back section, which usually has the writing on and no nice picture, and concentrate on the front.
- Then I use a holepunch to punch a hole through the top corner of each tag.
- I write my message on the back, thread string or ribbon through the hole, and attach it to the gift.
- Et viola, you have cute, homemade (sort of) completely free, gift tags.
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