How to recycle wrapping paper - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

How to recycle wrapping paper

© Digital Vision / Photodisc / Thinkstock © Digital Vision / Photodisc / Thinkstock

By Sara Elliot

After the holidays, trash pickup at your house is probably groaning under the weight of discarded wrapping paper, Christmas cards, cardboard packaging, tinsel and ribbon.

Everyone likes to receive a brightly wrapped present for the holidays, but after the decorative paper comes off, what can you do to repurpose the sparkly stuff?

Whether you tear off the wrap with frantic fingers or reverse engineer it with measured precision, we have some fun and useful ways to repurpose wrapping paper.

Use it as filler

Paper is paper, and if you have a shredder, you can make quick, easy and free package cushioning in a couple of minutes. Store shredded paper for your next shipping emergency, and if you haven't used it by spring, mulch your flowerbeds with it.

Use it as faux grass for Easter baskets

Don't you hate paying a fortune for that plastic grass at Easter? You know it only costs cents to make -- and even worse, you'll just pitch it in a month or two. Instead of wasting dollars and contributing more nasty plastic to the environment, shred your Christmas wrap and use it as Easter basket grass. After you layer on the candy, no one will ever notice. If you're sneaky, you can opt for predominantly green Christmas wrap, and your Easter grass will really look authentic. What could be better?

Save it for next year

If your kids don't demolish the Christmas wrap getting at their toys, why not use it again next year? You can actually iron wrapping paper to remove the wrinkles. Just keep the iron on a low setting, and use a fine mist of water to create a tiny bit of moisture to help the process along. This may seem silly, but with the price of everything heading into the stratosphere, one day you may be willing your wrapping paper collection to your kids.

Use it in your photo frames

If you've been meaning to frame family photos, now's the time. Give your holiday photos some sparkle by using leftover wrapping paper to cover standard white photo frame mats. You'll add color and dimension to your photos, and give them added holiday cheer, too.

Make bookmarks

Making holiday wrap into quick and easy bookmarks is a fun and simple kid's project. It's a perfect distraction for a snow day and will bring back happy Christmas memories -- even if Christmas was just a few weeks ago.

Create a festive tablescape

If you have a particularly fancy wrapping paper style and a glass pane topped table, you can easily create a themed tablescape. Carefully lift the glass pane off the top of the table, and set it aside. Cut the remaining wrapping paper to fit the size of the tabletop, and tape in place. Carefully replace the glass pane onto the table. Your beautiful wrapping paper can now be enjoyed as decorative table décor, protected from spills and tears beneath the glass.

Make new holiday décor

If you want to cherish a cute or ornate design on your wrapping paper, simply cut a four by six, five by seven or eight by 10 inch piece, and place it inside a plain frame. Hang the cutting on the wall as a unique and custom holiday décor piece.

Cardboard Wrapping Core

If your kids have been playing Jedi warriors with the leftover cores from your holiday wrapping paper, we have a few better uses for them.

Untangle cords

When your leftover extension cords or the cords to your devices keep getting knotted and tangled, slipping them into cardboard cores is one way to keep them organized. If the area behind your flat screen looks like a spaghetti factory exploded, it may be time for some organization.

Extend your reach

When your vacuum wand doesn't quite reach to top of your valance, one fast fix is to use a cardboard core as an extender. A Christmas wrap core usually works great, and when it isn't being used, it takes up almost zero room in the closet.

Boost your boots

You pay a fortune for your footwear, so why not give it the royal treatment? Boots are big this year, but keeping them upright and unwrinkled can be a chore, especially if they're vying for space with your super slick shoe collection. One easy way to keep your boots at attention is to stick a cardboard core inside as a support.

Use it for storage

If you sew, knit or craft, having a long, cylindrical cubby in which to store supplies can be pretty convenient. Consider using cardboard wrapping paper cores to store fabric scraps, scrapbooking papers and knitting needles. In the closet, they can also help you corral your belts and scarves.

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