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Easy Being Green: Frugal gift wrap still can be fancy

Recycling, recrafting and making your own gift wrap has been around for ages. When I was little, my mom and I would wrap gifts in the funny pages of the newspaper. We would carve potatoes and use them as stamps to create whimsical patterns on paper, and cardboard jewelry boxes were decoupaged with magazine cutouts to create fancy new boxes. We were being "green" and we didn't even know it.

Creating recycled gift wrap is taking trash and creating a treasure. It is not only great for the planet, it is also good for your wallet. With the prices of designer gift wrap, you could easily spend $10 just to wrap a small gift. For just a few pennies, you can get creative and craft your own gift bags, boxes and paper-flower bows.

For quick gift wrapping, you can transform plain gift bags and lunch sacks into stunning "designer" bags with the simple addition of paper flowers.

Who says a gift box can't be a tube? Drink-mix containers can be stripped of their labels and decorated with scrapbook paper and ribbons. They are the perfect size for a bottle of lotion.

If you have some small jewelry boxes on hand and they have department store logos, cover them with a scrap of decorative paper, ribbons, silk leaves and a paper flower.

You can use just about any kind of paper to create the paper-flower bows. Grocery bags can be cut, crinkled and layered to create a natural-looking bow. You can add a layer or two of colored plastic wrap for a shiny look. By adding a petal from a mismatched silk flower, you can create an organic look. To add a pop of color, use magazine tearouts and bits of scrapbook paper. The flower bows are super-easy to make, and they add so much flair and style to a package.

Now that you have the basics for creating your own paper-flower bows, all you need is a gift to wrap.

To create a small bow

1. Cut eight circle shapes from paper or plastic. Begin with a 3-inch circle and work your way down to a 1-inch circle.

2. Add an organic look to the edge of the circles by cutting waves, scallops or zigzags. Gently crinkle each circle in your hand.

3. Layer the circles from largest to smallest and secure in the center with an office or scrapbook brad. Attach to your package with hot glue or tape.

Easy Being Green: Frugal gift wrap still can be fancy 03/27/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2010 11:43am]
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