DIYShopping, Style and Beauty

How to Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

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One of the things I refuse to spend money on is wrapping paper. The entire concept of buying something just to have someone rip it to shreds and toss it in the trash bugs me out' Maybe it’s just that it emphasizes the futility of life, how no matter how hard we try we’re inevitably all used and disposed of. Perhaps it speaks to the ying and yang of life, the gift and the wrapping, the dark and the light '. Or maybe it’s just stupid and wasteful to spend $10 a roll to adhere to some sense of polite tradition. Screw that. If you’re crafty enough you can find something in your house to use right now. Which is better than shelling out to Target or Walgreens or Papyrus (who, according to their website “believes that life is a celebration.” Seriously?).

Anything can be wrapping paper - like manga comics and old textbooks. Why not?

A friend once gifted me with a giant manga book, which was awesome, except there is not a single word of English in the 600+ colored pages. Since there was little chance I was going to learn to decipher it any time soon, I promptly began to use it for wrapping paper – but I’ve also used pages from text books, art magazines, plain brown wrapping paper decorated with stamps and stickers, posters, glossy pages torn from the AVN industry mag or other porno-type material, children’s storybooks, coloring books, flyers for punk shows, foreign language magazines, and layers of fishnet pantyhose and scarves. A little packing tape is usually all you need (although I’ve found that yarn/string/ribbon and safety pins work better for ideas involving cloth). If the item needing to be wrapped is large, I usually opt for plain brown wrapping paper and stencils or stamps because it’s a hassle to tape together a lot of small pages.

Tape together smaller pages to form one large sheet.

Otherwise, I use my trusty roll of packing tape (yes, the same one I used to hold my iPhone together) to tape together the pages until they’re big enough to wrap around the gift, and then: I wrap it.

Wrap it. So easy it hurts.

Seriously, how easy is that? I like to add a little bit of ribbon or bow just to class it up. When I use scarves or pantyhose or other fabrics I usually gather it each end so the gift is in the middle, like the middle of a snake after its eaten, then use string or pins to tie it off at each end (this will probably take at least three tries and a couple of good cuss words). I usually just use puffy paint to write who the gift is to directly on the paper, but if you’re an overachiever and need a card then go ahead and just cut and fold a square of paper and write inside it. Now your gift stands out, you still have $10 and you’re getting compliments all over the place, you clever kid you.

Add some ribbon, some puffpaint, whatever floats yer boat, and you’re done!

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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.