DIY: LOW WASTE GIFT WRAP
The UK is a nation of gift givers. And when we give we like to wrap everything beautifully, whether it be with paper, bags, bows - sometimes all three. However, once the present's been opened, the packaging has to go somewhere and each year we are said to collectively throw away 227,000 miles of wrapping paper, most of which ends up in landfill.
This week I tuned in to watch British chef and environmentalist Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new programme 'War on Plastic', co-presented by journalist Anita Rani. They encouraged neighbours on a street in Bristol to put their heads together to try and reduce their waste. It got me thinking about some of the things I could do as an individual that could help lower my environmental impact.
I recently bought a gift to send to a friend so this seemed like a good opportunity to try my hand at some low waste gift wrapping. Here are a couple of my favourites - budget-friendly, good fun to make and easy to do with limited supplies.
PAINT YOUR OWN WRAPPING PAPER
If you've ever fancied yourself as an artist or if you just like making a bit of a mess (i.e, me!) this is a fun and easy way to get creative and make you're gift all the more unique.
All you need is some brown wrapping paper - the sort you find at the post office - poster paints and some dried out fern or leaves from the garden or park.
This is a fun little DIY to do by yourself or with your friends and family. It works particularly well with children too. You don't need to spend a fortune on brushes either - an old beauty blender will do the trick if it's all you have to hand.
Simply dab your sponge or brush in your chosen colour and press lightly over your leaf. Once you've covered it up lift the leaf away et voila - a masterpiece in progress! Repeat as desired until you achieve the pattern and colour palette you're after then set aside to dry.
If you don't have any dried greenery to hand why not embrace your inner Damien Hirst and sponge dots across the paper in your chosen colours. It mightn't win you the Turner prize but the end result is sure to impress nonetheless.
Once the paper is dry simply wrap your gift and if you fancy an extra flourish you can add some string for a rustic finishing touch. If you don't have time to paint your own wrapping paper, all's not lost. You can make something lovely out of an old newspaper or magazine.
Have a look for a couple of brightly coloured pages and gently remove the staples so you have one big sheet of paper. Wrap your present as you normally would. Then take a single sheet of paper, half the size of the one you wrapped your gift with and roll it up from the bottom right hand corner, rolling toward the bottom left hand corner. This should make a cone shape.
Fold the cone in the middle at 90 degrees. You should have one open cone shape and one closed roll of paper. Fold the closed paper under the open cone and stick the underside to your present. Trim away the excess paper.
Next, stick the underside of your cone to the top of the paper you just attached to your present, leaving a gap between your present and the cone. I then rolled up some excess paper rolls and placed them inside the cone. These serve as holders for your flowers. Then all you need to do is place some flowers inside the cone - wee Daisies or Sweet William are perfect - and you're all set!
This gift wrap is recyclable, with the exception of sellotape although if you have paper tape to hand that can be recycled. If you prefer to try out a zero waste alternative you could always pick up a vintage scarf at a charity shop and wrap your gift in that instead.
I hope you enjoyed this week's post. Be sure to tag me on Instagram @laura.weekendwonderlust if you give it a go. I'd love to see your creations. As you can see from mine, they don't need to be perfect but should be good fun to make!
Have a great week and I'll see you next Sunday.