5 nifty ways to reuse wrapping paper at home

Christmas is an incredibly wasteful time of year, but small changes can make a big difference when it comes to having an eco-friendly festive season — including reusing wrapping paper.

With 277,000 miles of wrapping paper said to be thrown away at Christmas in the UK alone, doing what we can to help cut down on this can have a big impact on the amount that ends up in landfill.

Buying recyclable paper made from sustainable sources is a good place to start. (To determine which types of paper you can recycle, try out the simple ‘scrunch test’ by scrunching it tight into a ball. If the paper stays scrunched, it can be recycled, but if it bounces back open, it can’t). Even better, there are ways to repurpose wrapping paper and avoid throwing it out all together.


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In the lead up to the big day, the retailer Next has shared a few clever suggestions for reusing wrapping paper this year. Here are five to try…

1. Protect fragile ornaments

Whether you’re packing away the Christmas decorations into boxes for next year, or storing special ornaments that you’d prefer not to have on display, wrapping paper is perfect for adding a layer of protection to fragile objects.

The team at Next explain: ‘Be sure to save any torn or shredded wrapping paper and use for more fragile ornaments and decorations. Gift wrap can also be used to line any storage boxes used for transferring Christmas decorations to and from the attic each year.’


Instead of buying gift cards and tags, use wrapping paper to create your own versions and that can be attached to presents with string or ribbon.

‘One idea is to cut out rectangles big enough to write a message in for those receiving a gift. Punch two holes and feed through some ribbon or string to attach with a gift,’ explain Next.

3. Wrap school books

Protect school books from wear and tear with a layer of colourful paper. You could either choose something bright, or opt for kraft paper and decorate with stamps and stickers left over from Christmas. ‘Not only does it make a plain school book look a little more exciting, but it can prevent deterioration of school books over time.’


4. Create DIY ornaments and party decorations

If you’re keen to get crafty, take shreds of your favourite wrapping paper and use it to fill clear Christmas baubles. Or you could try making bunting for a party. Take some empty cereal boxes, cut a large triangle and repeat until you have enough to form a string of bunting.

With your leftover wrapping paper, cut out slightly larger triangles that fit around the cardboard, and secure with tape. With any leftover ribbon or string you might have from this year’s Christmas presents, use this to stick down your bunting triangles before you hang them up around your home.

5. Save it for next Christmas

Save smaller pieces and cut-offs for stocking fillers next year. If you’re careful when it comes to unwrapping presents, you can try and save the sheet of paper to reuse another time.

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