In this age of consumerism, nothing speaks more to a “green” lifestyle than recycling paper, fabric and other goods that can be used to wrap packages and gifts. Any chance I get and whenever possible, I save various and sundry items that I may not have a use for at the moment but invariably become a source of inspiration when I need to wrap a gift.

I have two favorite materials that I always save and use for wrapping: those would be wallpaper and burlap fabric. Both make a natural, organic statement and are suitable for any occasion.

Wallpaper Wrapping:
Biodegradable jute twine
Boxwood clippings
Silver Christmas balls (1 å_ inch) already wired available at any holiday supply store
Tape

When wrapping with wallpaper, remember that it is quite stiff. This feature allows it to fold and hold a crease better than most ordinary gift wrap. Wrap the gift using minimal tape and hiding the tape whenever possible. This gives a cleaner and more professional look.

Before cutting the twine, wrap it around the box to determine how much you will need. Now, double that length. I like to double the twine because it looks more substantial. Start at the top of the box with both strands and wrap it under the box, twist it and bring it up and around to the top. Tie it in a knot. Tie the ends of the two strands together is a small knot, cutting off any excess. Slide small boxwood clippings under the twine with the ends pointing to all four corners of your package. Now, slide the wires of the silver Christmas balls under the twine but on top of the boxwood clippings and twist, pulling them tightly together. Tie a loose, simple bow in the center.

Burlap Wrapping: (for the more advanced wrapper)

Natural burlap fabric available at fabric stores or garden center burlap
French wire ribbon
Green Christmas balls (1 inch) already wired
Pinecones (small)
Garden wire to attach pinecones
Tape

Wrapping with burlap fabric requires a substantial amount of tape to secure it to the box. I remove the tape that is visible later once the ribbon is tied and the burlap is secured by the ribbon.

Cut a piece of burlap large enough for the box. Wrap the box as you would with paper and secure it with the tape. You can cheat with rubber bands if you need help. You will want the ribbon to be large enough to secure the fabric. For this box, I used two inch ribbon. Starting at the top, wrap the ribbon around the sides, twist underneath and bring it up around the other two sides. Tie in a knot and then a bow. Cut three additional lengths of ribbon long enough to tie into nice bows. Slide one length under the original bow and tie another bow. Continue with the other two pieces of ribbon making a beautiful fluffy bow. Make a cluster of the small Christmas balls by twisting the wires together at the ends. Secure the balls in the middle of the bow by wrapping the wire underneath the bow. Wrap a small piece of wire around each cone towards the broad end and twist. Now secure the pinecones in the same manner as the balls. Nestle the balls and pinecones in the center of the bow. Trim the ends of the ribbon and remove all visible tape. Voila, your done.

And there you have it.