The reality of the packaging industry is that not all packaging will be used for it’s intended purpose, creating waste and clutter for business owners and individuals. Upcycling and recycling packaging products and materials is an easy way to waste less and get creative with your packaging. Most packaging materials have many versatile uses and applications, and there are resourceful ways to make something beautiful out any type of packaging.
Upcycling Wrapping Paper
Do you always end up with leftover wrapping paper after holidays and special events? Luckily, there are many ways to upcycle wrapping paper creatively in packaging. Wrapping paper is versatile and easy to use, although usually thinner than standard paper. Because wrapping paper may rip more easily, upcycling projects must be completed with extra care and attention to detail.
An easy way to use wrapping paper for packaging is to line the inside or outside of your standard paperboard gift and jewelry boxes with the wrapping paper. This can create more uniquely themed boxes for special occasions, without requiring you to buy the boxes specifically for that purpose. For a subtle look, lay the wrapping paper inside the bottom part of the box, or in the entire inside part of the box and/or lid. For an overall theme, wrap the box entirely with the gift wrap of your choosing, and wrap the lid separately so it can be opened and closed freely. For best results, use single or double sided tape, as glue may seep through the paper and distort the wrapping paper.
You can also easily transform gift wrap into paper shred or “ribbon” for decorating packaging. Thinner strips are great for filling boxes, baskets and gift bags for holidays and special occasions. Thicker strips can be curled and transformed into gift bows! This tutorial shows how to easily turn your gift wrap into a bow; and the best part is, there are so many more options for colors and prints than standard bows and ribbons.
Decorating Gift Boxes
There are many creative ways to spruce up your plain gift boxes. Ribbon is one of the most convenient ways to decorate gift boxes quickly and easily. Choosing a ribbon of your choice ensures that you can incorporate your signature brand colors and style into your packaging. Ribbon decorations are a great addition to any type of box, including pillow boxes, gift boxes, gable boxes, and jewelry boxes. You can also use ribbon to create a handle or handles for your gift boxes. Simply cut slits in the sides of your boxes, insert the ribbon, and tie large knots inside the box to keep the ribbon from slipping out. If using a two-piece box, make sure to attach the ribbon to the base part of the box so the lid can still be removed. Using this method, you can either create one top handle for the box or side handles using ribbon of your choice. Ideally you should choose a ribbon material that is at least 1″ thick and strong enough to hold the weight of the box, although using leftover ribbon is highly encouraged!
Creative Tissue Paper Wrapping
Use tissue paper to make unique and colorful bags for small and lightweight items. You’ll save money and they look amazing! Simply choose 2-4 sheets of tissue paper in one or more coordinating prints/colors and cut them into circles or squares. Then place your item(s) in the center, and gather the tissue paper at the top and tie with a ribbon! To make them even more unique, you can cut patterns into the edges of the tissue for a more decorative top. This is an easy to wrap small items quickly and inexpensively. Plus, tissue paper is available in a wide range of colors and prints specific to holidays and certain themes like baby showers, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and more.
You can also get creative with your holidays, like these cute pumpkin themed tissue paper bags. These gift bags are perfect for packaging candy around Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Clear candy bags can also be layered with colorful or printed tissue paper to create a unique gift packaging look.
Tissue paper can be fashioned into many different decorative accessories. Most commonly made are tissue paper flowers, bows, and pom-poms. This in-depth tutorial shows how to make tissue paper pom-poms to decorate your gift packaging. Use our high quality SatinWrap tissue paper for the best results. Our tissue paper provides vibrant color and is durable enough for crafting use.
This tutorial shows how to make gift bows out of any paper material of your choosing. You can use leftover wrapping paper, old magazines, newspaper, or paper bags cut into strips. This is a great idea for recycling your unused paper materials and creating eco-friendly packaging decorations. These bows are just as beautiful as the store-bought kind, but are much more unique!
Paper cups aren’t typically useful for much else than holding liquids, however this tutorial on how to make paper cups into gift boxes shows a great alternative way to use them. These cute gift boxes are easy to make and can be a great way to re-purpose unused paper cups. If your paper cups don’t have an appealing design on the outside, you could wrap them in printed paper or gift wrap first to customize them even more.
Wrapping your packages in plain kraft or newsprint paper doesn’t have to be boring. There are many ways to dress up your plain paper wrap including stamping, ribbon, and even hand drawn decorations like in the picture below. Stamping can be done with household items like pencil erasers and sponges, and drawing can be done with markers, sharpies, or colored pencils. The options for decorating paper are infinite, and for those with limited drawing abilities, stamping is a great alternative.