Crafty Reuse for Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper Now that you know what to do with your packing peanuts and greeting cards, what about that wrapping paper? Did you throw it out? No, of course not! But what do you do with it now that the gifts are unwrapped and the holidays are over?

Well hopefully you are a careful unwrapper, like myself. I exude extreme restraint when I denude any gifts. Not only do I want to know what’s inside, but I also want the paper, too. Even if you aren’t as a restrained unwrapper, you can still salvage the paper and reuse it in many many crafty ways.

If your paper is a bit crinkly or has seems from its previously held shape, you can easily flatten the paper out using your iron. Set it on low and place a towel between the paper and the iron. Check it often because you don’t want to burn the house down!

Once you have your flattened paper you can now use it in so many different ways:

  • You can store the paper away and use it for gift wrapping for the next go round. You can use it to cover your books and protect the covers. If it is too holiday themed on the one side, just flip it over and show the usually blank underside. You can then write on it and identify what the book is.
  • You can use the paper to make CD covers. Via Curbly, the DIY Maven, has a great tutorial on how to do this.
  • Cut up the paper into squares and practice some origami.
  • You can also use the paper for gift tags. Some of the paper might be too thin or flimsy, so glue a couple of pieces together then cut the tags out.
  • Also, you can use the scraps for sewing projects too! If you haven’t sewn on paper, then now is the time to try it. It is fun and the needle makes a fun noise while doing so. Check out this great post on how to sew on paper for some amazing ideas.
  • If your paper is beyond repair by iron, why not use for stuffing or paper mache projects?
  • Any other crafty reuse that you use your left over wrapping paper for? Tell us in the comments!

    [Image by Erica_Marshall]

Written by Kelly Rand

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting.

Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.


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  1. If you have a paper shredder you can use it to turn wrapping paper into shredded paper filler for gift bags. Some city paper recycling programs may take wrapping paper if it isn’t the metallic kind. If your nonmetallic wrapping paer is really too worn our for reuse – rip it up and put in your compost bin!

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