Wednesday, February 8, 2023


10 clever ways to reuse holiday gift wrap 

I love holiday wrapping paper. There is such a wide variety of available papers. They come in eye-popping colors and feature everything from whimsical to realistic to geometric designs. Many of today’s wrapping papers are a real work of art! That’s why I hate to see the paper crumpled and thrown into the trash. Some gift wrap can be recycled, but if the paper features glitter or velvet-like flocking on it, or it’s metallic, you’ll need to keep it out of the recycle bin.

Here are a few ideas on how to recycle or reuse used holiday gift wrap:

  • Plan to use it later

Save the paper and use it to wrap a future gift. Trim off torn or ragged edges. Iron if necessary to remove wrinkles and creases. Use the lowest setting on your iron and always test a corner of the paper to see if it will respond without “bleeding” onto your iron or ironing board cover. Once you’re satisfied that the paper is once again “gift wrap worthy,” you can roll it back onto its original cardboard tube for storage until next year. (Hint: Several differently designed papers can be rewrapped onto one single cardboard tube. Secure the paper roll with a rubber band or two. Then stash the gift paper in your under-bed storage area or in the back of your RV’s closet.)

  • Cushion holiday ornaments

Use crumpled gift wrap as a cushion between fragile ornaments in storage. Or wrap delicate decorative items inside the used paper to protect them from breakage.

  • Make confetti

Use your paper shredder and make confetti from your used holiday wrapping paper. Bag the confetti in plastic zipper bags until you use it to liven up the look of your New Year’s table. Or plan to use the paper confetti to conceal a future gift packaged inside a bag.

  • Decorate a bookshelf

Larger pieces of used gift wrap can be applied to the inside back “wall” of bookshelves to add color and interest. Iron out the wrinkles from the paper first. Then use Mod Podge or another glue to adhere the paper to the wood. For a temporary look, glue the gift wrap to a piece of cardboard cut to fit the inside back wall of your bookshelf. Then simply place the decorated cardboard behind the books until you want a different look. The cardboard panel can easily be removed, repapered, and replaced. These cardboard panels are easily stored flat in your RV.

  • Make drawer liners

Used gift wrap can serve as drawer liners, too. Cut the paper to fit the bottom of your RV’s drawers. Mod Podge in place. Or use the cardboard insert idea suggested for bookshelves.

  • Fashion napkin rings

Cut a cardboard tube into one-inch “rings.” Then glue used wrapping paper to the rings to make napkin rings.

  • Make placemats

Use a mixture of one cup glue (like Elmer’s) and 1/3 cup water to apply pieces of holiday gift wrap to a piece of poster paper. Laminate when dry and you’ll have a perfect placemat. Store placemats flat under your RV’s utensil tray.

  • Try origami

Cut varied sizes of squares from used gift wrap. Iron if necessary. Check out the library’s origami books and learn a new art form. (Try this with grandkids, too!)

  • Add to scrapbooking

If you’re into scrapbooks you can upcycle used gift wrap to decorate pages with strips, cut-out shapes, and more.

  • Frame it

Grab some Dollar Store picture frames. Use gift wrap paper as the backdrop or matting for holiday pictures. Simply trace around the outside frame of the picture glass onto the wrapping paper. Use double-sided tape to affix a photo to the gift wrap paper. Then reassemble the picture frame.

Can you add to this list? Tell us about your ideas in the comments below.



2.8 11 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John S
1 month ago

Excellent kindling for your campfire…ask me about uses for empty toothpaste containers 🙂

Carl W
1 month ago
Reply to  John S

My thoughts exactly about empty toothpaste containers. But why stop there? How about all the uses for used floss pics? And I’m sure that belly button lint could be put to at least 5 or 6 productive uses.

Bob p
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl W


Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.