Woven Trash Gift Wrap
If your green conscience can’t bear to toss out wrapping paper
that’s been used only once (or twice), weave it into a snazzy pattern
to cover a new gift. Or further emphasize the “reuse” part of “reduce,
reuse, recycle” by weaving direct mail, bills, maps, receipts, or any
other random scraps into gift wrap.
You will need: Construction paper, pieces of scrap paper, tape,
scissors, hobby knife, paper cutter or other cutting tool
1. Cut the pattern.
Prepare the framework for the weave
with a single sheet of paper large
enough to wrap the gift. I like construc-
tion paper, but feel free to substitute
with whatever is available. Over a sheet
of cardboard (or a table that can handle
scratches), gently carve a series of
adjacent S-curve patterns over the
whole sheet. Leave about a ½" margin
around the border of the paper.
2. Cut strips of paper.
Dig through the paper stash for
swatches. Cut them into straight,
½"-wide strips. It’s important for the
sides to stay parallel, so use a paper
cutter if possible. Arrange the strips
into an order for assembly. I like
repeating patterns or changes in
3. Weave and wrap.
Weave the strips through the large
sheet. If the strips are too short, or for
more variation, strategically hide the
breaks behind the large sheet. Work
laterally, making sure to place each
strip right up against the preceding one.
Run a piece of tape across the strips
on the back of the sheet to hold them
in place. Trim any excess length off the
strips, then wrap the gift.
Zack Stern ( zackstern.com) is a San Francisco-based writer and video producer. He’s contributed articles to MAKE,
in addition to many computer and technology magazines.