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13 ways to reuse Christmas wrappings

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With Christmas past, and Santa’s sleigh parked at the North Pole, folks are picking up spent wrappings and trappings of the holiday for the year. What can you do with all of those leftover Christmas gift wrap, ribbons, and bows? How might you recycle your favorite used wrappings too, even if they’ve been torn and crumpled?

Don’t toss those pretty and pricey papers and trims.

Here are 13 ways to reuse Christmas wrappings.

Sure, some communities accept neatly folded used wrapping papers and empty cardboard rolls for recycling. But repurposing these materials and the trims that go with them can be thrifty and creative. Consider these options, which may spark additional ideas as well.

1. Iron used ribbons, tissue, and wrapping paper for reuse.

This is actually possible, and a surprising number of people do it. Just be careful. Iron only on the backs of the papers, rather than the shiny (and perhaps waxy) patterned side. Try to keep the hot iron away from tape, if you iron used papers. And shut off the steam feature on the iron, as this may mar the papers.

2. Line cupboard shelves and drawers with wrapping paper.

Fancy wrapping paper makes a super shelf liner. Pick the sturdiest gift wraps, if possible, as these hold up better.

3. Make a decorative wreath from Christmas bows.

Glue, pin, or staple tons of rosette bows onto a foam or straw wreath form for a pretty gift. Choose pinks and reds for a Valentine’s Day surprise, whites and creams for a bridal present, purples and yellows for a Mardi Gras adornment, or pastels for an Easter decoration.

4. Never toss gift bags, when you can pass them along.

Gift bags have become a sort of present add-on, as they are easily reused. Fold them neatly for storage, if you don’t use them immediately. The same goes for fancy printed gift boxes and tins.

5. Protect posters in empty wrapping paper tubes.

These cardboard cylinders are ideal for storing rolled-up posters for shipping, future hanging or gifting.

6. Reassign Christmas wraps for other holidays.

Many gift wrap patterns lend themselves nicely to use for other celebrations Silver bells are super for weddings or bridal showers. Red prints and stripes are sweet for Valentine’s Day. Solids, plaids, stars, and other basics can be great for birthdays. If it doesn’t say, “Merry Christmas,” “Season’s Greetings,” or another December-related message, it’s fair game for another occasion.

7. Repurpose used wrapping papers for packaging fragile ornaments.

Tattered scraps of wraps are still useful. These little bits are ideal for cushioning dainty tree ornaments and other festive breakables in packaging during the off-seasons.

8. Save Christmas bows, ribbons, and package ties for other holidays.

Like wrapping paper, these trims are easily reassigned to various celebratory days throughout the year.

9. Shred used wrapping papers for multi-colored packing material.

Feed smaller pieces of gift wrap into the shredder to make lovely and festive filler to stick inside gift bags, baskets, or mailed packages. The colorful shreds are super for lining Easter baskets as well.

10. Slit empty wrapping paper tubes to shield unfinished rolls.

Carefully cut a slit along the entire length of an empty paper roll. Open it, and place it around the outside of a half-used wrapping paper roll for safer storage. This preserves the edges of the unused paper.

11. Store leftover Christmas wrappings for next year.

Pack remaining gift wrap papers and trims in an airtight and waterproof container, where it will keep till next Christmas.

12. Use wrapping paper remnants for craft projects

Smaller scraps of gift wrap papers is ideal for making paper chains, beads, ornaments, gift tags, fancy envelopes, hand fans (see video), and other paper crafts.

13. Wrap tin cans with holiday paper scraps.

Save empty lemonade, cocoa, and iced tea powder cans. Cover these with gift wrap remnants to make pretty desk accessories, canisters, baked goods gift containers, or other fancies.

Repurposing and recycling are both practical and fashionable these days. Why not reuse those pretty Christmas wrappings, instead of merely discarding them?

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