Step away from the garbage can… (Things to do with used wrapping/tissue paper)

With Hannukah/Hanukkah/Channukah/(I’m a Gentile) this week, Christmas this weekend, and a host of other gift-giving opportunities around this time of year, you will undoubtedly accrue a lot of used wrapping paper and tissue paper.


Don’t throw it all away!

Aside from recycling it (yes, of course you can recycle wrapping paper!), there are numerous CRAFTY options you should explore (after the tree has come down, the menorah has been packed away, and/or your family has gone back home, of course).

Here are just a few ideas…

1.  Recycle it!  Yeah, I kinda just said that, but really!  According to, nearly all wrapping paper can be recycled, except any paper containing metallic gold/silver or glitter.  Just remove the tape and recycle as you would other slick papers, like sales fliers (and of course, if you’re not completely sure, check with your local recycling center, as some of these rules and exceptions vary from place to place).

2.  Christmas Ornaments:  Think ahead for next year, especially with the more “seasonal” papers, and make some holiday decor items you may have wished you had this year.  These ornaments (below) that I mentioned here would be a perfect upcycling option for wrapping paper (original source:  Country Living).

Pinned Image

3.  Tile Coasters:  Yeah, I’ve mentioned these once or twice (or 37 times), but they would work perfectly with wrapping paper, too!

Here’s the tutorial.

tile coasters diy

4.  Use leftover paper for packing materials.  Maybe you need to mail some (late) presents?  Or perhaps you need something to pack some of your more fragile ornaments?  Both wrapping paper and tissue would be perfect for this.  And Mother Earth (my home girl!) would appreciate the reusing gesture as well.

5.  Make greeting cards (for next year).  You know, with all of your free time!  :)

6.  Scrap paper.  Cut into index-card-sized pieces and use as you would any notepad or post-it.  I love to make grocery lists this way.  Or any kind of lists.  I really love lists.  List makin’ holla!!!  (No?)

7.  Scrapbooking.  I’m not really a scrapbooker myself, but if I was, I would definitely reuse wrapping paper as a background for one of my pages.  And then maybe stick a Soccer shaped magnet onto the back of my minivan.  (No judgement, I’m just tellin’ it like it is.)  :)

8.  Reuse wrapping paper as… wrapping paper!  Here’s a great link where they have actually applied this idea with some nice results from

9.  Make paper flowers.  This could work with wrapping paper, but it would be especially ideal with tissue paper.  For my wedding, my mother and I made two topiaries using this same method (expect a full tutorial in January when I start my budget wedding series!).

orange flower topiary

10.  “Stained Glass” with tissue paper.  This craft can be done in a variety of ways and would be especially ideal for a kid-tastic project!  Here’s one inspirational image from Filth Wizardry.

Don’t worry, the title refers to what this Brit blogger calls her kids; it’s not like Dragon*Con meets PornCon (is there such a thing?)

And another inspirational image from Oliveloaf Design:


11.  Tissue Paper Votives:  I am a BIG fan of these, and they are soooo easy to make.  Just wrap tissue paper around a glass container (a hurricane, a tea light holder, a tumbler, etc.);  Ikea, dollar stores and thrift stores are overrun with these things!  You can apply with a decoupage liquid or just tape to the outside.  Whatever you do, be mindful of that whole “paper is flammable” thing (you’re smart people, you can figure it out). :)  Here are some images o’ inspiration (click on the images to link back to their source websites):

Source: Martha Stewart

Source: Frugal Family Fun Blog

Source: Oriental Trading Company (this is actually sold as a kit, but we all know better than that)

12.  Paper Dolls!

13.  Snowflakes!

14.  Book covers!

Oh my!

Sorry…  I just had to get in touch with my twelve-year-old self for a minute because #’s 12-14 are the first things I would have thought of… quickly followed by a Wizard of Oz reference. (Major tween dork alert.)

So… don’t be a lazy pants!  Remember: paper can lay flat — stick it under your bed, in between two pieces of cardbaord, or try to re-wrap it around a wrapping paper tube for the next time.  Recycle, Upcycle, Reuse!  Then report back to me on what you did with it. :)

Have a lovely weekend, and a happy holiday season!!!  See you in the New Year!

With perhaps a few sporadic posts in between now and then… but just a few :)

My dear, sweet Margeaux, deep in thought. Perhaps she was contemplating how to reduce her carbon footprint? Or was she mulling over the meaning of the holiday season? Or maybe just thinking about chicken...?


One thought on “Step away from the garbage can… (Things to do with used wrapping/tissue paper)

  1. Pingback: Valentine’s DIY Printable (No Photoshop required!) | The Ginger Penny Pincher

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