Paper Clutter or Creative Gift Wrap?

posted by Andrea | 08/25/2010

School is here…which means every flat surface in your home is about to be inundated with loads of homework assignments, art projects, home notes, tests, report cards, etc. etc. Add these to your already heaping piles of newspapers, junk mail, and magazines and you’ve got issues!

As much as you might want to go paperless, it’s inevitable that some paper will creep into your home. And with the holiday season lurking right around the corner {believe me, it will be here before you know it}, I started thinking about simple ideas to turn your paper clutter into creative, free, and eco-friendly Holiday gift wrap.

Here are a few ideas I came up with. They look so creative, but I’m confident that a craft novice could pull them off too!

Wrapping Paper (from newspaper and kid’s artwork):

Purchasing new wrapping paper for every occasion can be SO expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Get creative and use these customized {and FREE} wrapping paper ideas.

  • Children’s Art Projects or Drawings — great for gifts to a grandparent
  • Hand-Written Letters — nice for Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, etc.
  • Calendar Pages — it’s fun if you use the month of the birthday or holiday
  • Newspaper — use the wedding section for wedding gifts or the comic section for a child’s birthday

Country Living has more creative ideas for recycled gift wrap.

More Wrapping Paper (from restaurant packaging):

A friend gave me this idea…and even though I don’t go to Starbucks, I managed to get a hold of a few bags to try this out. Simply use paper bags from your favorite coffee house or restaurant to wrap smaller packages. This is especially fun if you pair the present with a gift card to that restaurant!

Flowers/Bows (from scrap paper):

I stumbled upon this super creative recycled gift wrapping idea over at maya*made. You can use everything from newspaper and magazine pages to old sewing patters and of course, kid’s school papers!

View the simple step-by-step tutorial.

Gift Bags (from old envelopes):

I know I have TONS of extra envelopes sitting around my house. Usually, I just toss them because I don’t like extra stuff! However, Christine over at Eye Pop Art made these cute gift bags from her envelope clutter.

View her step-by-step tutorial here.

Gift Tags (from scrap paper):

What is a gift without a gift tag?

Give your kids a stack of scrap paper, newspaper, old art, or even old school papers along with a handful of water color paints and markers. Then let them go crazy! Once the paint dries, cut fun shapes, punch a hole, and add a string. Use them as adorable gift tags or even whimsical holiday tree decor.

Joanna Monroe featured this creative idea over at her blog.

What are your favorite ways to recycle paper clutter?


Filed under: OrganizingPaper

Leave a comment


  1. Unique Wrapping Paper Ideas - Kids Kubby


    […] Source: Simple Organized Living […]

  2. Annie


    I often use the licenced “green reusable shopping bags”, such as Mr Men or Thomas the Tank Engine for gift giving and at Christmas I use the seasonal red or green bags. The bags can then be used for swimming bags or overnight bags to grandmas house or even for shopping.


  3. Jackie


    I would ALWAYS wrap presents in newspaper…used to be my favorite 🙂 But I’m definitely loving your extra creativity with it! Found this post on this list of Beautiful Gift Wrapping Ideas!


  4. Jenna


    Hey Andrea, I was just browsing the internet and stumbled on your blog. I am so impressed by the knowledge and information you have … and so many creative ideas! I’ve officially marked this site and can’t wait to come back for more.


  5. Keri


    See, I knew there was a reason why I visited your website! Thank you for the article. Look forward to more. See ya!


  6. lindy


    You gotta love those “bows”! cute. easy. fun….


  7. Cindy


    What creative ideas! I always try to plan ahead for the holiday season. I will be coming back to your website for more helpful information!! I can’t wait to try out some of your gift wrapping ideas. Maybe I should start saving my newspaper now!


  8. mandi@itscome2this


    Those are great!! I use the kid’s artwork for cards or gift tags alot – especially for the grandparents:)