My favorite magazine of all time is Green Craft (I’m sure no surprise to most of you). It is chock full of inspiration on crafting and making art using items that are destined for the recycling bin or worse yet, the trash. It only comes out twice a year, but I tell you, I sit there for a good 2 hours slowly devouring each page, morsel by morsel, until my creative brain is on the brink of a meltdown. And while all the ideas and creative inspiration continues for a good week or so, I get saddened at the prospect of having to wait another 6 months for another edition.
In the back of my mind, I’ve been secretly dying to submit my work. The publishers of this magazine, Stampington & Co., have 30 other publications, all on art and crafting, and their entire magazines are based on others work, so I knew that one day I would be ready to submit items for consideration.
About a month ago, I saw a call for submissions using old calendars; they wanted to see what green crafters could put together with the pages of a calendar and how they could upcycle the pages into new uses. Since I make a lot of gift wrap accessories using recycled/reused paper I knew that this is exactly how I would use the images. I also determined that a specific challenge like this would be the kick in the pants I needed to get over my intimidation about submitting.
Submissions are due this Friday so I’ve been working like a busy bee this morning to get this completed and in the mail today. As such, there are scissors, glue and especially paper scattered around my studio as if a craft grenade had just detonated.
Working on this project and specifically using the calendars to make gift wrap and wrap accessories inspired me to put together a post on eco-friendly gift wrap. One need not pay for and use new gift wrap for your items; look around you and find beauty in the simple things.
Newspapers (just black/white stock quotes are a good one) adorned with stamps or hearts cut out of construction paper or magazine make a great wrap, as do grocery paper bags, handkerchiefs, linens, etc. Gift tags can be made with leftover pieces of paper or cardboard/paperboard, the inside of security envelopes, magazines/junk mail, etc. Ribbons can be used with kitchen twine, bakers twine, raffia, even pieces of thick magazine paper neatly taped together…the possibilities are endless.
Here’s how I used calendars to make my gift wrap and accessories:
Vintage button attached to bow made out of calendar strips and distressed with ink
Gift tag image from calendar page and attached to reused kraft brown paper that was originally misprinted – I just glued the misprinted side to the calendar piece to give it some thickness and so it would be blank on the other side for a message; raffia was taken from a flower display I scored at the thrift store (flowers went on to make hair pins, raffia was saved for wrapping gifts).
A circle was punched out of the calendar, then a tree shape punched out of the circle; laid over another calendar image which was cut askew. Tree shape that was punched was saved for the tag below. The wire attached to the gift tag was actually from an old champagne top which I took apart and twisted back together again.
Tree shape glue onto this skewed circle cut out of a calendar page. This was then glued to recycled kraft paper and vintage button sewn in middle. Reused raffia finished off the tag.
The circle in the middle of this gift tag was punched out of calendar page; another punch was made in circle and vintage sheet music attached behind heart opening and crumpled and added to back of tag and distressed with ink. Thrifted hemp twine and a vintage button completes the look.
This is an envelope that I folded out of a calendar page and with those inter-office envelopes in mind, I attached a vintage button and wrapped some jute to close the envelope; makes it a little more interesting that double-sided tape (though would never survive in the mail; more for gifting in person!)
Now those were the items I quickly put together for my submission, but here are some pics of items I’ve used for displaying items in my shop:
These items were either wrapped in fabric or used fabric as a major component; simple ribbon/twine and a gift tag are all you need.
The top two pictures are using tissue paper (try to use reused tissue paper or eco-friendly/100% post-consumer recycled fiber tissue paper as I did – disclaimer, I sell it in my supplies shop hence the reason I used new). The bottom two pictures show paper that was taken out of magazines; sometimes you can find entire sheets with little writing but beautiful colors that work great for wrapping small gifts.
And sometimes you don’t need to wrap the package at all; just a simple bow or ribbon with gift tag keeps it simple and neat.
What things have you tried? Any ideas to share with the group? Please comment and for those who see this as a foreign concept, I challenge you to rethink your wrapping and come up with eco-friendly ways to do so!