Monday, December 15, 2008

Creativity Tips: Unwrap Your Ideas

Chris -- aka, the son I would have had if I'd had a son -- wants to start a new trend. Throw a gift in a box and don't wrap it. Save the paper. Save the environment. Yada, yada, yada.

OK, that's harsh. I recycled before recycling was cool. But gifts need to be wrapped. And I'm not going to budge on this one.

That said, Chris does have the right idea. So, let's go with it: What are some creative, environmentally friendly wrapping ideas for the holiday season? Go beyond my basics -- wrapping with the comics, using grocery bags, etc. Give us some festive new concepts, and make Santa -- and Chris -- happy men.

(And after you come up with your own ideas, look here. No peeking.)


Mike Brown said...

Switch boxes around - put something in a box intended for another item. That way, it's still a surprise and opening the box (not the wrapping paper) becomes the big event.

Neil said...

Once, when I was younger, I gave my grandpa a 25-pound bag of birdseed for Christmas (that I got at the feed store ... which had a wooden floor).

Since there was no way to wrap it, I simply painted the bag with old-fashioned potato stamps I had made -- a red star and a green Christmas tree. Since the "wrapping" was ON the gift and wasn't discarded, he got to enjoy the design for months!

Angela Pritchett said...

I have to travel with some gifts this holiday and, even though they will be in the checked bag, I'm afraid to wrap them. So I bought a canvas tote as the gift bag for my step-father's presents, that he will be able to use for trips to the grocery story. How's that for a double whammy of environmental goodness?!

Neil, I wish I could have seen the giant design you made from potato stamps!

Jan said...

Fun stuff! I want more!!

(Greedy? Sure. But it's for a good cause.)

Anonymous said...

I like Mike's idea a lot, and it reminds me of something my dad did when I was young to "throw me off" on my guesses!

Alternatively, you could change the way you shop for others.

Favor things that don't come in boxes at all (like the things you make) and eliminate at least one layer of "wrapping".(ideally the layer made for a product's transpacific sea voyage)

Better yet, purchase (or provide) a service as a gift.

Leslie said...

This is not my idea (I "stole" it from someone else) but I like it. Go to your local coffee shop or coffee roasterie and ask for the burlap bags the coffee beans are packaged in. Then, cut the bags apart and make your own bags sized to fit your gifts. You can sew them or just cut to size and use as you would gift wrap. Tie with twine and you're done!

And Mike, we wrapped some of our kids' gifts years ago in boxes we had on our shelves...cereal, goldfish crackers, etc. When Andrew opened his gift, wrapped in the goldfish cracker box, he was so happy. He thought he'd received a box of his favorite snack!

Anonymous said...

Or you can use an old sweater to create a bag to put it in or cut it to fit your present.

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty cool idea too.

Jan said...

All such great ideas! And I just followed one -- wrapped a gift in a bag I got at a race. The whole family signed up for the race, so we had four of these nice little backpack dealies. Don't need four. So, gift in backpack, pull the strings. Voila!

Anonymous said...

Alright, I just found another!