Sunday, 30 December 2012

Gift wrapping: reduce, re-use, recycle ~

The mystery and gaiety of attractively wrapped presents is part of what makes gift giving special and fun.  But when I was ready to wrap my little stock of Christmas presents this year I found that I had almost completely run out of wrapping paper.  I usually keep some to hand, buying nice (reasonably priced) ones when I see them, but the sort I liked seemed no longer to be stocked.  Since I had very little cash I decided that I would have to make do with what I had:

I had a few small scraps, mostly of tissue paper, which I decided would do for the little ones.  The tissue paper had already been used at least once, but was nice enough to look special.  I avoided using cellotape so that it could be used yet again if desired:

The larger gifts were cloth supermarket bags that I had made myself from the good parts of old sheets, and I decided that these could provide their own wrapping, all nicely tied up with my favourite gold curling ribbon.  I gave all these away before I got around to photographing them, so have re-wrapped my own so that you can see the effect:

I hooked back a couple of strands of used ribbon to do it with.  You can see I'm very partial to the gold ribbon!  These gift-wrap ribbons can be quite well flattened and straightened out for re-use.  The ones pictured below have quite a few kinks in them:

A pair of scissors is all I use to straighten it out, but I'm sure you could use a vegetable knife just as well.  This photograph is not all that good: I'm right-handed, and lacking a tripod had to click the shutter while also holding the scissors!

Those of us who are right handed would use the left hand to firmly grasp the left hand tail of the ribbon while drawing the angled side of the scissor blade to our right, passing it along the back of the ribbon.  It makes a satisfying sound.  This is how you make the ribbon curl as well.  A firm hand will create tight corkscrew curls:

I prefer mine looser, as in the image further up the page.  To loosen the curl, pass the scissor blade lightly along the other side of the ribbon. 

Florists bouquets often come with beautiful ribbons, so if I'm choosing flowers myself I'm always fussy about which ribbon the florist uses.  Nice ones can be used again and again.  One of my sisters wrapped her gift to me in used florists cellophane and ribbon.  My guess is that it came from another member of the family before that, so it has well and truly been doing the rounds and we have all enjoyed it very much:

Little draw-string bags also make excellent gift bags and can later be re-used for storing handkerchiefs, delicate scarves and so on:

There are other alternatives of course: these are just some of them!

Having said all that, the best present I've had for a very long time came wrapped in newspaper!  It contained a pair of shears for cutting the edges of the lawn.  I was absolutely delighted as I had been wanting a pair for years.  You don't often come across this sort: these had been purchased second-hand at a market.  They are wonderfully sharp and just zip along - just thinking about them makes me smile:

That thong works just perfectly:

Well, so much for Christmas!  I wish everyone the very best for the coming year.

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