Yes, I DID Wrap All of My Christmas Presents in Newspaper and Brown Paper Bags

Holiday Crafts

handmade holiday graphicChristmas presents wrapped in brown paper bags and newspaperStore-bought wrapping paper offends me for a lot of reasons–the wasted money, the wasted resources, all the energy misspent on planning out and carrying through unnecessary purchases.

And yet brown paper bags and sheets of newspaper, the go-to gift wrap for the thrifty and eco-minded, aren’t so much…well…cute. And what will my relatives think of me, when I hand them a gift that was clearly wrapped with paper taken straight from my recycling bin?

To solve the cuteness dilemma, I spent a lot of effort decorating my first several packages with various upcycled materials and stash components. And then…

…I did something different.

toilet paper roll snowflake on a brown paper bag gift

My first efforts were spent disguising the brown paper and newspaper with various decorative elements, also stash or upcycled. For my cousin Zack’s present (zombie-themed targets for the rifle range, in case you were curious), I painted his name and a background directly onto the brown paper. This turned out great, and didn’t take a ton of time. I spent more time putting together the three-dimensional snowflake from toilet paper rolls. It turned out great, too, and was fun to make, but it took WAY too much time to create, and getting it sturdily hot glued to the gift without letting giant amounts of hot glue show was a pain in the butt.

junk mail snowflake and brown paper bag presentI also painted my Uncle Art’s name on his present (more zombie-themed targets!)–this may be my new favorite gift wrapping trick. To decorate his package, however, I cut out a junk mail snowflake, which took mere minutes, but actually gluing it to the package was fiddly and time-consuming, and I was really disappointed with how it ended up looking. Another fail!

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


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