Wrapping Paper Redux - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Wrapping Paper Redux

Ask anyone who knows me; I am a nut about wrapping paper.  I love it.  I really love it!  Long ago when I was just a little girl, my spendthrift grandma taught me how to slit the cello-tape open with my fingernail and thus began years and years of obsessive-compulsive present opening.   My friends and family tease me and beg me to hurry up, believing that presents should be ripped into with great gusto, but they just don’t understand.   It’s like a weird challenge to me to try to open a present without leaving any trace that I’ve been there.

Even weirder maybe is the fact that I don’t really want to reuse that paper.  You see, I’m such a nut about wrapping paper that I look forward every year to buying new cute coordinating papers.  So what the heck am I saving all that paper for?  Truth be told, a lot of times I don’t actually save it.  My carefully folded squares get thrown away with everybody else’s ripped and crumpled scraps.  But a good up-cycler will not throw away an unused or even a once used resource, so here are some ways you can reuse your wrapping paper trash.

Family Tradition

This one comes by way of my sister who is quite familiar with my wrapping paper addiction.  She suggested that I start a family tradition of my own by saving the best papers from that year and making them part of a growing paper chain for the tree.  Just cut a strip of each of the papers you love.  Write the year and maybe a memory or two on the back of the strip.  For a cleaner look, fold wider strips in half so the inside and outside are the same pattern.  Then using plain old packing tape, “laminate” the strip on both sides so it won’t rip or fade as much with time.  Use the same tape to form your rings.  Start small and keep it up.  Eventually it will represent years of sweet gifts and sweeter memories.

wrapping paper wall hangingPaper Bowls

My last tutorial was about these simple coiled paper bowls.  This is the way I’m reusing my trash this year with lots of red and white papers to make a sort of peppermint bowl.

Christmas Wall Hanging

I made this paper mat using lots of John’s old medical school notes and the basic pattern for a candy wrapper chain like the kind you used to make when you were bored in English class.  I used the project to experiment with different paper dyes, but it could easily be adapted to make a nice Christmas wall hanging, placemat, or table runner.  Follow this instuctable if you’re not familiar with the old candy wrapper chain.  I made a single chain in each color and then taped them together on the back with lots of packing tape.   I wanted that Missoni chevron effect, but you could also pepper different Christmas papers together.

Good luck with the clean up and happy New Year!

About the author

Kathryn Powers

Kathryn Powers is a native of the Oklahoma Panhandle. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from the University of Oklahoma and Georgetown University respectively and like many English majors, is not currently utilizing any part of her education. After a brief stint as a high school English teacher, Powers married and followed her husband to Beersheva, Israel where he is studying medicine and she is struggling to buy the groceries, do the laundry and pay the bills all without a working knowledge of Hebrew. Powers is a long time crafter, sewer and general project starter. She, her mom and her two sisters have been known to sweep into each other’s lives, start ten projects, finish two and then quickly disappear leaving only a trail of yarn, glue and ribbon. Powers is an avid and indiscriminate TV watcher, sometimes baker, and dog-less dog lover. She thanks her husband for his everlasting patience with her craft mess. Contact the author.

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