Household waste can increase by up to 25 per cent over the festive season and wrapping paper is an obvious culprit – literally tonnes of it will end up in landfill once the holidays are over. So why not make your own?
If you’ve got any spare brown paper bags lying around, use them. Otherwise, pick up some brown paper from a stationery shop. One of the easiest ways to decorate your paper is with a potato stamp or a rolling pin covered in bubble wrap, plastic mesh (use the bags you buy your fruit in), elastic bands or Plasticine moulded into any shape you like. Cover the pin with paint and roll it over your paper. For a more sophisticated look, buy a set of fancy stamps from stationery stores or specialist craft shops.
For something a little different, get the sewing machine out and stitch rows of coloured thread into your paper. Or print out black and white pictures of the intended recipients and attach for a truly personalised present. Embellish with sprigs of garnish and brightly coloured ribbon.
Colourful maps, fabric scraps, old sheets of music or full-page magazine photos can also double up as original, environmentally friendly gift wrap. Otherwise, just use the ready-made wrapping paper that we’ve provided on pages 8 and 9.