07 January 2009

Welcome to Works-For-Me-Wednesday: Wrapping Paper Edition!

For more WFMW posts, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Every year on the morning of December 25th, my heart sinks a little. I love seeing pretty presents stacked under a tree. I love taking the time to make them crisp and clean looking with modern papers (always found on clearance after the holidays) and hopefully not too squished bows. Wrapped presents make my (semi) OCD very happy indeed.

Then tragedy strikes, because eager present loving people that they are, my family is not the nicest or gentlest group when it comes to unwrapping gifts. They don't slip the tape off at the seams. They don't slide a package out at the ends. Nope. Every one of them tears the living goodness out of my precisely selected gift wrap.

And my crunchy-green-hippie-frugal self dies just a little.

Not only do I hate to see beautiful boxes torn asunder, I really cringe every time I think of the money spent on wrapping paper in the first place ... only to have a giant pile of it labeled "trash" at the end of the day. I could, like many a frugal present wrapper, attempt to convince my family to calm it down a bit so that I had a chance at saving and reusing the paper next year. I could, indeed, but this presents a number of challenges.

1. My family is still a bunch of very eager present loving people. They are not easily convinced of anything, most especially that one should not tear wrapping paper to bits.

2. My (quasi) OCD does not like trying to puzzle piece old wrapping paper onto new gifts which are invariably different sizes than the paper was cut for leading to pithy looking edges or an inevitable waste of paper from cutting things down to size.

3. I already have a stash of cardboard tubes, glass jars, styrofoam trays, and empty butter bowls to rival a recycling plant. They come in handy for an infinite number of projects and do-dads. Adding wrapping paper to that stash would possibly push my (lame/limited/failing) ability to keep what I already have organized over the edge. I wouldn't be here to blog for you as I'd be buried under a pile of pretty bow paper and cardboard boxes in my basement.

... but what is a crunchy-green-hippie-frugal girl to do?

This year, I have found the solution. Staring at the pile of crumpled paper, then staring at the woefully inadequate packaging in my holiday decor storage tub, I had an epiphany.

Wrapping paper is like tissue paper with a couple more layers. Aha! Instead of trying to salvage the years old, fraying, likely no longer useful as cushioning tissue paper in the ornament boxes (buying new tissue paper is of course out of the question, haha), we wrapped up the ornaments in the used gift wrap. I put the white side in as to not get any color transfer just in case, and it worked sublimly. I think I like it better than tissue paper honestly, and short of surrounding them all in bubble wrap (which is an expensive plastic nightmare), it's a pretty rockin' solution. Wooohooo!

Dillemma: Resolved.

I get to wrap pretty presents. My family gets to tear them apart like rabid wolves. I don't have to cry about killing trees for fun AND my tree ornaments don't get broken justling into each other on their yearly trip up from the dark reaches of the basement. Everyone wins! Yay!

What works for you this Wednesday?




  1. I would never have thought of that - what a good idea!

  2. Great idea! I'll have to remember this one for next year.

  3. Thanks for the tip, I'll have to try that!

  4. Good idea! Way to solve 2 problems at once. :)

  5. Great idea! I'm always looking for more tissue paper when I put up my ornaments! This is much easier! :)

  6. This is a great tip. Thanks so much!

  7. I'm thinking you should just recycle all the Sunday papers you get for the coupons and use them as wrapping paper, as kind of a remember what happened throughout the year ... and then you can recycle the papers after Christmas.