Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Free Gift Wrapper: How to Spend Nothing on Gift Wrapping

Well, almost nothing. Wrapping gifts would depend on your ingenuity and creativity. All you need are materials that you already have on hand. If ever, the material that you'll only need to buy would be sticky transparent tape (more commonly known here in the Philippines as "Scotch Tape") and some glue (which I doubt you don't have already.

After buying your gift, you still need to wrap it and it can be so frustrating to think about how much you'll spend for gift wrappers and ribbons, all the while thinking about how much of the environment is being destroyed by our merry making. Wrapping paper isn't that recyclable since some of it contain non recyclable materials like glitter, and tape.

Now we have to think of ways to reduce our trash without dampening that Christmas Spirit. Sure recycling wrapping paper is good but it looks frayed when reused, plus it's more fun to tear out the wrapping paper when opening gifts!

So what do you need to do to be able to wrap those gifts without spending anything (or almost)? Just look around you. and be imaginative.

Sources of Free Gift Wrapping Materials:
  1. Home
  2. School
  3. Office

Free Gift Wrappers that can be Found at Home

  1. Old wrapping paper
  2. Papers, especially those reject prints and double sided print outs
  3. Old books (gasp) that are to be recyled, especially cookbooks that have pictures
  4. Old magazines and newspapers
  5. Old greeting cards
  6. Fabrics from old clothes, curtains, blankets, etc
  7. Craft leftovers
  8. Old and/or broken decorations
  9. Old small toys, pendants and other knicnacks that can be used as danglers and tags
  10. Boxes that came in with new stuff
  11. Bubble wrap

Free Gift Wrappers that can be Found in School

  1. Old test papers. Teachers usually just require this quarter's tests and seatworks. To be safe, you can use last year's test papers
  2. School memos and bulletins. All you have to do with those is to return the reply slip. Instead of throwing the paper away, use it to wrap gifts
  3. Fabric from old school uniforms that cant be handed down. repaired, or is too small to fit.
  4. Old art supplies that are being kept for future (but no apparent) use. Like art and construction paper which we keep on buying a new pack when the color we want to use was already used up in a previous project

Free Gift Wrappers that can be Found in the Office

  1. Papers that are no longer needed and can't be reused (i.e. papers that are printed on both sides)
  2. Boxes that will just be thrown out. Comapanies keep the bigger boxes for storage, but some boxes that are too small or too weak are thrown out. (Think pen boxes, permanent and whiteboard marker boxes, etc)
  3. Used up rolls of tape that can be used as a dangler (you still need to decorate it)
  4. Shredded paper in the paper shredder bin
  5. Old CDs that contain obsolete software or old files that won't be needed any more (or the data in the CD can also be found in a different CD with more updated data, etc)
Just make sure that the items that you take aren't going to be used anymore and doesn't contain any trade secrets nor confidential data.

Now that you know you can spend nothing on wrapping, skip the yuletide wrapping paper and tags and opt for a more earth-friendly wrapper.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DIY Gift Ribbon Using Paper

When I saw this tutorial on how to make your own gift ribbon using paper on how about orange, I was dying to try it out immediately, which I did. Twice to be exact, but I wasn't able to take pictures as I did it. I made another ribbon this morning and I think I'm really getting the hang of it. I took pictures this time and the ribbon was really adorable!

  • DIY earth friendly ribbon

I used regular office paper with one side printed on. Below is my take on how about orange's paper gift bow.

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • Ruler
  • Orange Scissors
  • Artline Glue Stick
  • Orange Mechanical Pencil

Step 1: Cut 9 Paper strips

  • Three (3) strips measuring the full 11 inches, 3/4 inches thick *
  • Three (3) strips measuring 10 inches, 3/4 inches thick *
  • Two (2) strips measuring 9 inches, 3/4 inches thick *
  • One (1) strip measuring 3 1/2 inches., 3/4 inches thick *
*This is assuming you're using a short bond paper (8 1/2 x 11 inches)

  • Paper strips for paper ribbon

Step 2: Twist and loop one end of the strip

Bring the end of the strip to the center to form one end of the ribbon. Hold it in place with your hand
  • Forming a paper riblet

Step 3: Twist and loop the other end of the strip

Bring the end of the strip to the center to form the other end of the ribbon. Hold it with your other (free) hand
  • Forming a paper riblet

Step 4: Adjust the ends of the strip to make the loops thinner.

The thinner it is, the better. Having wide or big ribbon loops will make it difficult to assemble the ribbon, not to mention that the ribbon will look cluttered with very wide loops.

  • Forming a paper riblet

Step 5: Mark the places where the loops or ends of the strip meet.

Make sure you also mark the corners where the loops are. This is to ensure that you will be able to put back the loops later.

  • Forming a paper riblet

Step 6: Glue the ends of the strip together

Apply the glue inside the marked areas in step 5 and stick the ends together. The lines you placed in Step 5 will help you form the shape of your strip without a hitch! Repeat this step with all the strips of paper except for the smallest (3 1/2 inch) strip. Form a ring with this strip instead. Group the riblets (the form the strips take after gluing together the ends) together according to length.

  • Forming a paper riblet
  • Finished riblet
  • twisted and looped riblets

Step 7: Form the base of the ribbon

Using the 3 longest riblets, form the base by creating a cross or plus-sign (+) with 2 riblets then place the last riblet at an angle that forms an X with the riblet on top. Make sure that you put glue at the center of each riblet or stack of riblets
  • Paper ribbon base

Step 8: Form the second layer of the ribbon

Using the 3 mid-length riblets, form the 2nd layer by placing the riblets in areas where the loops don't overlap with the other riblet loops. Again, make sure that you put glue at the center of the ribbon we're forming
  • Paper ribbon 2nd layer

Step 9: Form the 3rd layer of the ribbon

Using the 2 small riblets, form the 3rd layer by placing the riblets in areas where the loops don't overlap with the other riblet loops. At this point it's hard to find an angle to put in the 3rd layer riblets, but you'll manage. Again, make sure that you put glue at the center of the ribbon we're forming.
  • Paper ribbon 3rd Layer

Step 10: Finish the ribbon

Put the loop at the middle of the ribbon to finish it. My loops looks small because I flattened my riblets a lot during stacking, which left a big gap at the middle. I can opt to add more smaller sized riblets or just place a bigger paper ring inside

So what are you waiting for? Go forth and make these neat-o and pretty ribbons for your gift wrapping and decorating needs. This is exactly what I needed to wrap my revelation day present for the Kris Kringle that my friends and I started way back in November.

Eco Friendly Wrapping Paper, Gift Tags, Ribbons and Other Gift Toppers

Christmas is just 4 days away, by now we should all be done shopping and start wrapping those presents we bought.

There is no doubt that Christmas is one of the most (if not the most) expensive holiday, not to mention, wasteful. Can you imagine how much wrapping paper, ribbons and boxes are thrown out each year? According to wrapping paper not always recyclable. Quoting from their website:
  • wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter, plastics etc which cannot be recycled;
  • some wrapping paper is very thin and contains few good quality fibres for recycling; and
  • a lot of wrapping paper has sticky tape attached to it which makes it very difficult to recycle.
Which is why we ought to use wrapping paper that can be easily recycled or even better, re-used! Below is a list of gift wrapping ideas/gift wrapper and gift topper alternatives

Gift Wrapping Ideas
  1. Use recycled wrapping paper
  2. Use boxes (Opt for boxes that our sturdy and pretty enough to be reused)
  3. Use fabrics (Such as towels, scarves, doilies, etc)
  4. Use gift baskets
  5. Use magazine pages, newspaper pages (comics and colored pages are best), maps, this year's calendar (especially the art/designed part of the calendar)
Gift Topper Ideas
  1. Use small old toys as danglers
  2. Make your own gift tags
  3. Create a classy paper-ribbon (just like what howaboutorange did!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Great and Eco-Friendly Christmas Deals and Bargains at Handyman

Christmas is just a few days away and I'm sure a lot of us aren't done with our Christmas shopping yet.With the 13th month pay and company bonuses that we have, we'll probably replace some of our old stuff and get some new and shiny ones.

Yesterday, while out Christmas shopping with SDEHBF (super-duper extra hot boyfriend), we went to Handyman to check out their pet supplies, we didn't find what we were looking for, but I did find something that made me smile. It's Handyman's Trade-In Promo. Trade in your old and/or broken stuff, and then you'll get a discount for your new purchase! I'm guessing that the the old stuff will be up for recycling! What a great idea!

  • Handyman power tool trade-in
  • Handyman power tool trade-in

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Changes and What to Expect in Earth-Friendly Green Living

I haven't been able to post for quite some time now. I've been busy with a lot of personal matters that I haven't had time to blog. I've been keeping up with green news and thinking about a lot of green crafts but to be honest, my creative juices and writing mojo seem to be in all-time low lately. Every time I attempt to blog about something, or to even start crafting, my energy drops and I slump back in bed.

I guess it's because I've been sick lately and have spent the time recuperating and taking a break from a lot of things that I've been doing. I just kept work, church-work, family time and kitty (boyfriend) time as my load and took a break from everything else. I haven't fully recovered yet but I can't bare leaving my blog empty for a month.

During the time that I wasn't blogging, I kept on thinking about ways to rev up my blog. I thought about making a banner at the beginning of every post. The banner would depend on what kind of article the post is about. While thinking about the banners that I'll make, an idea struck me, why don't I follow a schedule of what to post everyday? It's like giving a theme as to what the topic the post would be. That way, I wouldn't have a hard time thinking about what to post! Yeah! It really does sound like a great idea. It gives my blog structure and predictability.

So I started tapping away on my keyboard. Thinking about what the topics would be and what I would call them. I'm pretty happy with what I've come up with but I'd like to know what you think about it

  •  Monday Green Day
    • Green News
    • Green Innovations
    • Green Events
    • I placed this on a Monday to keep us inspired in this hard-to-start-working day
  • Kitchen Beauty Tuesday
    • Beauty products straight from your kitchen
    • I decided to put it on Tuesdays to prepare for Friday night-outs
  • Green Living Wednesday
    • Topics and tips on how to live a greener life
      • Green Office/Green Employee
      • Green School/ Green Student/Green Faculty/ Green Parent
      • Green Home
    • I placed this on a Wednesday as a pick-me-upper for the droning week
  • 1-2-3 Thursdays
    • DIYs and simple crafts that you can do in 5-30 minutes.
    • Some green ideas that you can do to pass the time
    • I decided to put this on Thursdays to keep us sane until the weekend comes
  • Green Friday Shopping
    • Product reviews. Which products you should and shouldn't buy
    • This is on a Friday because usually, we go out on Fridays, either to hang out with friends and family or to shop, these product reviews will help us make decisions when buying
  • Craft Weekend
    • DIYs and crafts that need time and (sometimes) a lot of materials
    • I placed this on weekends because this is when we have time to go crazy with out crafts and share the fun with family and friends
I do hope this got you excited. These changes really are exciting my mojo. I've started working on the banners, and hopefully be able to finish before the weekend starts (Hello late nights! O.O ).

Please bear with me as this changes will be a little slow on progressing. I might not be able to post everyday as I used to, especially after this weekend, since kitty and I plan to add a new member to our (fragmented - cause we're not living together) family. We'll pick her up over the weekend, so be prepared to read a lot of cat care tips here as well.

So, that's all the time I have for tonight. I need to get back on those banners.