If your green conscience can’t bear to toss out wrapping paper that’s been used only once (or twice), weave it into a snazzy pattern to cover a new gift. Or further emphasize the “reuse” part of “reduce, reuse, recycle” by weaving direct mail, bills, maps, receipts, or any other random scraps into gift wrap.

Project Steps

Cut the pattern.

Prepare the framework for the weave with a single sheet of paper large enough to wrap the gift. I like construction paper, but feel free to substitute with whatever is available. Over a sheet of cardboard (or a table that can handle scratches), gently carve a series of adjacent S-curve patterns over the whole sheet. Leave about a 1⁄2″ margin around the border of the paper.

Cut strips of paper.

Dig through the paper stash for swatches. Cut them into straight, 1⁄2″-wide strips. It’s important for the sides to stay parallel, so use a paper cutter if possible. Arrange the strips into an order for assembly. I like repeating patterns or changes in gradation.

Weave and wrap.

Weave the strips through the large sheet. If the strips are too short, or for more variation, strategically hide the breaks behind the large sheet. Work laterally, making sure to place each strip right up against the preceding one. Run a piece of tape across the strips on the back of the sheet to hold them in place. Trim any excess length off the strips, and then wrap the gift.