I'm a little closer to finishing a project I plan to share with you soon and in preparation I was playing around with some fresh flowers and look what I came up with:
A rose petal throne for Buddha. Peachy!
I've written on facebook of how I want to start a pledge process for a "No New Wrapping Paper In 2011" holiday season. I plan to create another page on this blog and post regularly with thrifted or handmade alternatives to store bought new gift wrap.
I love pretty paper more than most people, but the amount of wasted wrapping paper tossed into dumpsters on December 26th depresses me.
I don't use many gift boxes, but every now and then I have a gift that calls for a box or is too easily identified without one (books and DVDs in this household). It's early in the year, but I can't resist sharing one of my favorite types of gift boxes:
Vintage puzzle boxes.
I'm not suggesting you race out and spend a fortune on old puzzles, but keep your eyes open when thrifting. Puzzles seem to be the last item people get excited about so it isn't unusual to find cool puzzles for under a $1.00. Though, finding vintage puzzles in clean boxes with all of the pieces can be a challenge, but in this case we don't care about having all of the pieces.
If a rare puzzle is missing pieces I have no qualms about using the box. If you do find a puzzle in good condition with all of the pieces, you may want to price it on ebay or etsy before using it...just to be safe. Some do sell for hundreds of dollars.
You can use the puzzle pieces in other creative projects (or as gift tags). If you know for sure that the puzzle is totally complete, but you are falling all over yourself because you really want to use the box, take a picture of it, print it on recycled paper and put the pieces in an old, but clean zip-lock or tin and donate it to a senior or community center.
Here are some examples of boxes that would make especially nice gift boxes (in my humble opinion). I use puzzle boxes to store art supplies and paper scraps and love it when someone gives me a gift in one.
Unless the box has a unique design element I usually wrap it with recycled paper. I can't tell you how many times my friends have gotten almost as big a kick* from the gift box as they did from the gift.
I love the squirrel graphics:
When I see circular puzzles (usually 60's Springboc) I flip out! Be sure to price check these first...they can be valuable.
Interesting graphics on this one:
Don't forget old board game boxes:
You can always find puzzles or games with themes your friends will be interested in. I tend to choose vintage puzzles because I like the graphics and because I do use the pieces (they're thicker and make better jewelry than newer ones). However, don't limit yourself. I was at a garage sale few years ago and the host was selling newer puzzles for ten cents each!
If you have suggestions for ways to reuse other boxes please share. I want to collect as many ideas as possible so we can get others excited about not buying new too!
* I realize that using the word "kick" to describe my friend's reactions to neat boxes dates them terribly. :)