Here are two Christmas presents I received tonight from a company I work for, each containing at least 4 pieces of Scotch (plastic) tape. One thing my friends and family know about me is that I can’t wait to open presents, and tonight was no exception. So I justified my impatience by resolving to figure out a way to re-wrap the same presents using no tape or glue at all.
For a few weeks now, I’ve been searching the web for instructions, hoping to find a way to wrap gifts without any tape OR ribbon. I even went to Borders after work tonight to look for a book on gift-wrapping, to no avail. The couple of books I found required double-sided tape. So I decided I’d just have to figure it out myself. I got part of the way there. The method I discovered does require some ribbon to hold it in place, but nothing sticky.
Why, you may ask, am I making a big deal out of something as petty as a little bit of tape? Well, I guess it’s not a huge deal when you look at the mountains of plastic in this world. But why use something if you don’t have to? And not putting tape or glue on the paper leaves it in better shape to be reused by the recipient.
Normally, I’m a terrible, lazy gift-wrapper, preferring reused gift bags and a bit of reused tissue paper. And I guess if I were going to wrap a box, I wouldn’t use new wrapping paper, but maybe a grocery bag or the comics pages from the newspaper, with twine or yarn instead of plasticy ribbon. But these are the materials I was given to work with, so here goes:
- Wrap the paper around the box and pull the two long edges together so that they meet in the middle.
- Fold both edges of paper over and flatten them down.
- This is what the seam looks like.
- On the side of the box, fold each flap of paper one at a time, clockwise.
- Tuck the bottom flap underneath the right flap and press it flat.
- Turn the box on its side and fold the flaps on the other side of the box in the same manner. Use the pressure of the box against the floor to keep the first side in place while working on the second side.
- If you were really careful, the paper might stay put without ribbon. But who wants to be that careful? Tie your ribbon or string or yarn very tightly around the box to hold the paper in place.
So you want to know what was in the boxes? A very nice Riedel wine decanter and two merlot glasses. Totally plastic-free! (I don’t know if there was plastic in the boxes before they were wrapped or not. A lot of people know I am not into plastic these days, so the gift-giver may have taken it out. Or maybe there wasn’t any in there to begin with. I’m just glad I only ended up with a tiny bit of tape!)
There are all kinds of other creative ways of wrapping gifts. Clever fabric bags, handkerchiefs, Japanese furoshiki, etc. What are your favorites? I’ll certainly be using the bare minimum of wrapping simply because I don’t enjoy doing it. But others love to wrap gifts. Please share!