Five fun crafts with all that left-over wrapping paper

Americans throw away 25 percent more waste on average in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than any other time of year. Between all of that uneaten leftover turkey and discarded wrapping paper, the extra trash transpires 25 million tons of garbage.

Crazy, right? So what can we do to avoid being part of the statistic? Get crafty of course! Once you’re done gathering around the tree, wrangle up the paper and ribbon and encourage your family to channel their artsy side.

Here are a few thought starters for what to do with all that paper:

1. Make New Year’s Eve decor!


New Year’s Eve is just a few days away. For those of you planning a party, what better to use the wrapping paper than to make party banners! All you have to do is cut the paper into triangles, tape them or thread them through a string, and display at your pleasure. If you’re feeling really festive, you can even make your own party hats with the paper. Or, better yet, shred it into paper confetti and give everyone a bag to throw at midnight!

2. Jazz up your apartment.

Some wrapping paper is truly so beautiful, it’s like its own work of art. So why not use it to highlight some of your favorite statement pieces around your apartment? You can line the bottom of wooden food trays, desk drawers or the back of a bookshelf to really make your furniture pop. Have some extra photo frames laying around? Fill it with paper and stick it up on the wall. Instant, free artwork for your wall.

3. Lead an origami lesson.

What better way to keep the kids at your family Christmas entertained than teaching them how to make origami? Distract the children from sugar-induced mania (and score brownie points with your overstressed aunt) by gathering the little ones around to fold up wrapping paper into a new little friend. Learn how at DIYTag.

4. Cover your books.

Worried that you might destroy your college rental books? How about wrapping up that physics book in some festive holiday paper. Not only does it look cool, but it protects the books from the scary abyss that is your purse. Easy protection against leaky pens, crushed bananas and broken makeup palettes.

5. DIY decorative envelopes!

These darling envelopes unfold into a heart, and will be perfect for giving with special letters and cards all year. An adorable and useful way to repurpose wrapping paper!

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