Hello! Apologies for the radio silence the last week… Sailor Husband just returned home from six weeks of training, so I’ve been a bit preoccupied spending time with my favorite guy. We’ve baked cookies, finished unpacking his uniforms, went to see Christmas lights at a local botanical garden, and generally been catching up on what we’ve missed over the past weeks apart.

But I wanted to do a little Christmas-themed post before it got any later into the season (I keep forgetting Christmas is this weekend!). I’m usually so excited about Christmas and traditionally have a slew of themed posts. But this year between the move and SH being away, I just didn’t really get into the mood as much, sadly. (If only Christmas were still a month away!)

12.21.11 | wrapped

Let’s talk about what I did get into this year: wrapping! I usually like to come up with some sort of theme and keep things fairly coordinated for packages. Which is fairly obsessive, I know, but I figure this is the one time of year I can indulge my love of matching things. This year I had a huge stack of packing paper from the movers, and desperately wanted to use it as wrapping, rather than just send it off to the recycling center. I loved the unbleached color and knew it would be perfect!

For the tags and trimming, I was originally planning on cutting out gingerbread men and stars from some leftover paper shopping bags. Until I discovered that the holiday Trader Joe’s bags had printed tags for you to cut out. So much easier than my idea! Yet another way I’ve been able to reuse something rather than waste… I also raided my stash of leftover yarn bits and pieces for the string. Which means everything is tied up nicely!

It’s not my most inventive Christmas wrapping, but considering I’ve been a bit preoccupied the past few days, I still think it’ll look fantastic under the tree!

What are some of your favorite “recycled wrapping” ideas?

December 21, 2011 · 29 lovely thoughts
posted in holidays · tags:

liza jane December 21, 2011 at 11:07

I’ve used leftover kid paintings (from work- I’m an art teacher)- the ones kids leave behind or “mess-ups.” They make very pretty packages!


Achaia December 21, 2011 at 11:38

Love your Christmas wrapping, Casey! I love using cigar boxes as my box with strips of fabric or selvedges tied around it for the bow.
Merry Christmas!
xx Achaia


Vicki December 21, 2011 at 11:38

My man usually does the wrapping, and he has developed a great tradition: he uses newspaper, but he carefully chooses and centers the gifts on an appropriate part of each newpaper sheet. He has given gifts wrapped with the most hilarious headlines to friends, or chosen a picture that hints at the contents for kids, or circles a series of words that spells out a sentence. Everybody appreciates it.


Courteney December 21, 2011 at 11:48

Oh I all know very well the way it makes you turn into a hermit when your military man comes home. Six weeks is a long time! I’m glad he’s back home for the holidays! I totally used Trader Joe’s gift tags too! One year I used paper grocery sacks and decorated them myself. Kind of low tech but it did the job!


Tina C. December 21, 2011 at 12:14

I use newspaper and decorate the top construction paper cutouts that are holiday appropriate. Each one is different, so everyone gets something special.


Claudine December 21, 2011 at 12:19

They look beautiful! I especially love the string for ribbons. My kids are still fairly young, so they would never see the beauty in those packages. I will keep this idea in mind for when they are older.


Ashley December 21, 2011 at 12:44

I love to use newspaper for wrapping birthday gifts. The comic pages are always beautifully colorful, but I used the obituaries for my husband’s birthday in October!


Nan December 21, 2011 at 12:49

Great idea pretty lady and I wish you and SH a very Merry Christmas.


Shelley December 21, 2011 at 12:52

how do you make such simple materials look so amazing?! I’m always tempted to use brown package paper for wrapping, but as it costs just as much as wrapping paper, it doesn’t really make sense – it would if I had a stash of package paper which needed using but i don’t. But I have taken all my about-to-expire fruit and made chutneys for gifts this year, thats a bit thrifty i suppose.
Have a Merry Christmas Casey! x


Sherry December 21, 2011 at 12:53

I save any useable wrapping paper from the previous year – I can’t bring myself to throw it out! But I mostly use my patternmaking paper which is white, tied with some ribbon from my stash. It works for gifts all year round too!


Sweet Harvest Moon December 21, 2011 at 13:25


I love brown paper for Christmas


Mugsy December 21, 2011 at 13:54

Looks fantastic!! SO glad to hear that you’re almost settled and life is now treating you two very well. Sorry I’ve been silent so long – as you well know, life gets in the way while one is busy making other plans *lol*

You and SH take care, have fun, and I wish you two the best Christmas EVER! Enjoy all the lovely snow!! ; )


Kimberly December 21, 2011 at 14:11

Yeah! This is so cute. One of my favorite wrapping “looks” is the simplicity of brown paper packages tied up with string. I have been using recycled brown packing paper, bits of ribbon leftover from gifts that we have received, and baker’s twine. So simple and pretty! And on another note, how wonderful to have your Mister home for the holidays – enjoy!


Livy Darling December 21, 2011 at 14:20

What a great idea! This year in order to save money I’m using news paper and parcel paper.
Hope mine will look half as pretty as yours!


Sarah December 21, 2011 at 14:30

Oh, I can imagine it is sooo nice to have your man back, six weeks is just too long!
Your absolutely right for spending some quality time with him!

I love your wrapping paper!
Unfortunately, we don’t have those things here (all we get in the stores is plastic, so I just usually bring my own bags).
We’ve used newspaper as wrapping paper as well. My mother once told me when she was a young girl in (and after) WW2 that was what they used, for wrapping gifts, so I always loved that idea!
(And, to Vicki, I LOVE that idea! What a fun way to make a gift even more personal! I can imagine everybody appreciates it!)
My mother studies Chinese, and she gets this Chinese newspaper once a week/month. I don’t understand any of it, but it makes for great wrapping paper! And the ads are too cute and so colorful!
I also really like simple red and white striped wrapping paper, it makes a gift look like a candy cane, but that’s bought, not made..

Oh, and the great thing about Christmas is, it comes around every year! So you’ll have all the more fun decorating and getting in the whole Christmas mood next year ;-) !
We were in the middle of remodeling last year (without heat or warm water) and we couldn’t do much for Christmas. So this year I went in to total Christmas overdrive :p!
Have a wonderful Christmas! Hope you enjoy the time with your loved ones!

Sarah (the Dutch one)

P.S. Sorry for the long comment…


Andrea Lynne Rose December 21, 2011 at 15:34
Michelle@ If Toys Could Talk December 21, 2011 at 15:41

I love how your packages turned out, Casey. This year, I let my kids (ages 2 and 4) decorate white paper bags with Christmas stamps. Then we wrapped up the dough ornaments they made for their grandparents and tied them up with some red yarn I had laying around my craft room. They turned out pretty cute! One of these years I want to enlist their help in making wrapping paper. :)


Lena Merrin December 21, 2011 at 15:43

I love this wrapping idea. I am so using it! Thank you


Rebecca December 21, 2011 at 17:07

Oh I love this idea! And today is wrapping day for me… so I may have to borrow it :) Thanks!


Rhia December 21, 2011 at 17:13

Your packages look very cute. Gift wrappings make huge pile of rubbish every christmas so it is wise to recycle. (And I don’t like modern christmas papers anyway… they are too… well, modern ;)
I love to coordinate my wrapping aswell and I love brown packing paper. Years ago I used to work at place that got loads of little sheets of brown packing paper from material deliveries. I collected rather large pile of them since I thought it was just pure waste to throw them away, they were just rubbish for the company. I still got quite a lot left even though I use them every christmas for wrapping. Then only problem is that they are rather small, so I have to tape several of them together to wrap large gifts. Sometimes I draw or paint on the paper but most of the time I just add pretty ribbons and handmade gift tags and/or little trinkets like tiny bells etc. Sometimes I replace the tag by just writing the recievers name on the paper.
I think those newspaper-wrappings are brilliant ideas. Especially I love those ones Vicky and Sarah were telling about.


Janene at ooobop! December 21, 2011 at 19:01

The recipients of these will be delighted. Beautiful wrapping, and so thoughtful with all that you have had going on. I love it!


Gina December 21, 2011 at 19:43

These are sweet. Over the years I would paint on brown paper that I got on rolls. The packages always looked so pretty. Watercolors are pretty too. The only draw back is waiting time for the paint to dry. I am also a fan of string on presents. Merry Christmas Casey!


Lesley December 21, 2011 at 20:21

I love using old wallpaper, comic strips, and crossword puzzles! So then if they dont like the present, at least they can be invested in something else.
Merry Christmas!


Alli December 22, 2011 at 06:28

So glad to hear that you have your darling SH back! Glad to hear that you are having a wonderful time together.
I love your present wrapping. I love brown paper with ribbons. I like very simple wrapping….nothing over the top.
I remember one year I got my eldest son ( he’s now 6) to decorate butchers paper using potatoes( that had Xmas designs cut into them) and paint, and then we used that as the wrapping paper for all of the presents we gave, tied with a red ribbon. Each one was unique, and everyone loved them. :)


Isis December 22, 2011 at 07:16

Very classy!


Joen December 22, 2011 at 10:06

Beautiful wrapping! I must admit that when gift baskets come into our office I ask for the ribbon and do-dads that decorate them and reuse them for my wrapping!


Jojo December 30, 2011 at 05:41

It’s such a beautiful wrapping idea, although I really like the variety of wrapping papers under the tree.


Emily January 3, 2012 at 14:01

thats funny, I used trader joe’s bags for tags too, but I didn’t have any of the normal size bags, so I didn’t know they had tags on them. I just cut up the ones they put wine bottles in, which had a different printed design on them!


Redhead Lynn January 8, 2012 at 06:09

How cute! I agree with Jojo that I do like having a variety of wrapping paper, but then again, I’ve never made my own except the time that I was broke and wrapped my son’s birthday presents in decorated newspaper. (Complete with stickers, cut-out coloring page characters, and marker swirlies). Your wrapping is lovely.


Care to comment? Thank you ever so much for taking time to share your comment! Although I try to answer questions, I am not always able to respond to each comment individually. But please know that I appreciate from the bottom of my heart every comment I receive!

Previous post:

Next post: