How to Upcycle Your Gift Wrapping Paper

One of the most quintessential holiday images is the sight of gifts wrapped and placed beneath the tree. Gift wrapping paper designs are often so exquisite that it feels like a shame to crumple up the gift wrapping and throw it away after the gifts have all been opened. Many people dutifully toss used gift wrap into the paper recycling bin, which is a wonderful gesture to do for the environment.

But gift wrapping paper can have many uses long after the holiday season has ended. Another option for used gift wrapping is to upcycle it instead of recycling it. With upcycling, your used gift wrapping paper doesn’t go immediately into the recycling system. It not only stays out of the system longer, but it can help replace and reduce the need to purchase other new items. Here are some interesting ways to upcycle your holiday gift wrapping paper.

Packing Material

Styrofoam peanuts, foam and bubble wrap are all popular materials to use when packing a box holding delicate items. But these are all extremely harmful to the environment, both in their manufacturing process and in landfills.

Make your own environment-friendly packing material by running your used gift wrapping paper through a shredder. The shreds will be colorful and clean, as well as providing plenty of protection for fragile items. If you don’t need that much packing material right after the holidays, just fold the gift wrapping and save it along with your other packing materials for shredding later, and mailing gifts to friends and relatives throughout the year.

Litter Box Liner

Stores sell litter box liners that cat owners use to keep the litter box relatively clean. Using a litter box liner is essentially a good idea, since washing the litter box can use up an inordinate amount of water; another precious resource.

Instead of using plastic litter liners, simply use multiple layers of used gift wrapping paper to line your cat’s litter box. The layers of paper will absorb wetness and odor, and you can replace as needed with more used gift wrapping paper.

Boot Form

Those gorgeous new boots you received as a gift might not be in as good form after you break them in. The tall part of the boot may droop, causing noticeable creases in the leather or man-made material.

You could go out and buy a boot form, but you can also stuff your boots with tightly molded, used gift wrapping paper. When you remove it from your boot leg, it will retain the form of the boot, allowing you to reuse it again and again. Just be sure to crumple the gift wrapping paper so the print side is inward, to avoid any color bleeding if the boot is damp from outdoor wear.

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