“Green” Christmas Gift Wrapping Party
With more people mindful of the waste they’re putting out into the world, and interested in recycling, this holiday season is a great time to offer an eco-wrapping party for your resident community.
This event will cover everything from recycled papers to fabric bags, and handcrafted bows to name tags. It’s a great way to get rid of old catalogs and things hanging around the office while helping residents pretty up their gifts for the upcoming holiday season.
Residents can be encouraged to bring gifts for wrapping (especially if the recipient is not attending the event) as well as create elements to take home and use later.
Here are a few different gift-wrapping station ideas:
Up-cycled and recycled papers
Encourage residents to start saving their newspapers and Sunday comics now – if they get the local weekend paper. They can also save old magazines and catalogs to assemble bigger sheets of wrapping paper for larger gifts.
Old maps and calendars also make for great wrapping papers and envelopes as well!
***TIP*** Be sure to share images from the event and all these eco-wrapping tips with your residents throughout the month to encourage best practices (and keep your dumpster loads down!)
Hand-made up-cycled ribbons
Image source: Smile For No Reason
Ribbons, bows, and other decorations can be crafted from old catalogs and magazines with some strip cutting and simple assembly techniques. Once residents get the hang of it, these fancy decorative gift accessories are a cinch to make.
Shredded paper stuffing and packing materials
Image source: Wrappily
Pull the shredder out of the office and make it available for adults to shred their old catalogs and magazines. This makes colorful bag stuffing and packing material.
Simply put old pages through the shredder and then use the fallout for a free up-cycled decorative basket- and bag-filler for your resident’s gifting needs.
Fabric wrapping and fabric bags
Fabric wrapping is one of my eco-favorite wrapping materials and is perfect for interfamily giving. The fabric can be reused for wrapping year after year. It’s also great for odd shaped or otherwise hard-to-wrap items.
To demonstrate fabric wrapping:
- Purchase an inexpensive bolt of fabric in holiday themed prints (or solid colors for year-round gifting). You can also pick up used sheets from your local thrift store.
- Cut the fabric into pieces that are large enough to wrap your average gift items (roughly one yard square) or measure and cut fabric pieces to size for the gifts that resident’s bring in to wrap.
Image source: Home and Garden Digest
***TIP*** Unless you are planning to hem fabric edges, use special zig zag scissors (known as pinking shears) to help prevent edge fraying - otherwise the edges will tend to unravel with time.
Alternatively, if you have access to a sewing machine, bags can be crafted for placing gifts in year after year. Just have residents put their gifts inside and then tie with colorful ribbon, yarn, rope, or twine.
Other “green” wrapping materials
Local fabric and nylon shopping bags make a perfect reusable gift wrap. Enlist the help of local businesses for bag donations (and free advertising) or encourage residents to purchase such pre-made bags for wrapping gifts.
Image source: Pinterest
Children and adults alike can craft playful handmade gift tags out of recycled paper, newsprint, magazines, old maps, and brown grocery bags. Even old paint swatches make excellent tags! Make gift tag templates available and craft a few samples ahead of time to show the variety of options.
***TIP*** If you’ve not done so lately, this is also a great time to reintroduce your recycling containers and make sure that all residents are aware of the containers’ locations on site. This will help them properly dispose of their gift-giving wastage after the holidays!