NOTE: This is a “reprint” of my blog post to Kodak’s previous “A Thousand Words” blog.
This past Christmas, I decided to give a little “greener” by making gift bags instead of using gift wrapping paper. “Reusable” gift wrapping is even better than recycled or recyclable gift wrapping paper! I went to the fabric store in search of some holiday fabric, but in the end, I opted for festive fabric that can be used for any occasion. I pulled out the sewing machine and got to work. Although I created drawstring style bags, I preferred the look of tying the bows lower and creating a “neck” on the bags (see pictures below). I used close-up pictures of the recipients to create simple yet personalized gift tags. I also decorated a few of the gift bags with flower hair clips – a gift + wrapping embellishment all in one!
If you’re looking for other ideas for using photos for personalized “green” gift wrapping, here are a couple of suggestions: photo gift bags and photo storage boxes. For a photo gift bag, you can create a bag like the gift bags pictured above, but use a solid cotton fabric as the material (white or cream-colored would work best). You can then use your inkjet printer to print a photo onto iron-on transfer paper. You can typically find such paper at your local office supply or craft supply store. Follow the instructions that came with the iron-on paper to transfer the photo onto your fabric bag. Presto, you have a personalized reusable gift bag! If you don’t sew, you can purchase a blank canvas bag at a local craft supply store and use that instead.
Photo storage gift boxes are easy to create and can later be reused as personalized storage boxes by the recipient. You can purchase a cardboard box at your local craft supply store. Most craft stores carry inexpensive, solid colored boxes, about the size of a shoe box, for storing photographs. They also often carry larger sized cardboard boxes, if a shoe box size is too small for the gift you want to wrap. Print your favorite photo(s) of the recipient and glue the photo(s) to the top of the box. I like to print wallet-sized photos and whimsically place them on the top of the box. See the example photo below.
So you see, eco-friendly gift-wrapping can be fun, practical and personalized!