Have you just finished wrapping your holiday gifts and looked around to realize just how much leftover stuff you have? Well, some of it you can undoubtedly save until next year and use again, but what about the pieces that are too small or too few to really be helpful during Christmas seasons to come? We usually use those for crafting and we find that things like scraps of wrapping paper and spare Christmas cards make for some of the most fun upcycling projects we do all year long!
Just in case you love the idea of turning your old cards and gift wrap into festive crafts just as much as we do, if not more, here are 15 of the very best designs, ideas, and tutorials that we’ve come across so far.
1. Christmas card trinket boxes
We have so many ornaments and little Christmas trinkets that we hardly know what to do with them. We adore putting them out on every single surface, but we also really love finding Christmassy alternatives to things we usually have set out and use a lot, like the bowl we put our change and receipts in on the hallway table. Last year, we used this tutorial from Design Everyday to make a trinket box out of spare Christmas cards and we used that to keep on the table throughout December instead!
2. Wrapping paper as wallpaper
Of course, your Christmas wallpaper probably doesn’t have pink flamingoes all over it, but we’re completely in love with the idea of using wrapping paper as wallpaper. Do you have one that you bought a spare tube of because you loved its slightly more obscure shapes, patterns, or colours so much, even though it doesn’t actually scream Christmas” to you? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how The Homes I Have Made paper their wall with gift wrap in a few surprisingly simple steps!
3. DIY wrapping paper gift bags
Not every gift we give is shaped or made in such a way that it can be easily wrapped in paper like a box or a book might be. That’s why we loved this idea for making gift bags out of the paper! This way, all our gifts can be coordinated and matching even if we can’t find pre0made bags made in the same pattern. See how it’s done on The Happier Homemaker.
4. Decorative wrapping paper clip boards
Maybe you’re the kind of person who loves the holidays so much that you’d like to preserve a small element of that Christmas cheer all year round? Well, if you’ve ever used clipboards for home notes, sports, or things at work, then we have a feeling you’re going to love the way The Happy Housie did a bit of decoupage to create a lovely wrapping paper clad clipboard that’s cool no matter what pattern you use.
5. Framed wrapping paper art
Maybe you actually just really like the colours or shine of the wrapping paper you used for the holidays this year and, even if it’s in abstract, you can’t help thinking it would look really neat recycled as a piece of art? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Oh Joy! created simple collage art and framed it to make it a whole decorative piece.
6. Easy, tiny wrapping paper envelopes
Maybe the gifts you have that aren’t quite right for wrapping in paper are actually also a little too small for the kinds of DIY bags we showed you above and you’re worried something delicate like jewelry will get lost in all that space or be thrown out with the tissue? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Poppytalk used a small paper enveloped that has been unstuck at the glued seams as a template for making lovely wrapping paper envelopes instead!
7. Wrapping paper book covers
Were you ever made to create paper sleeves for your textbooks in highschool to keep the covers a little more protected until you handed them in at the end of the year. Well, that’s kind of what Eighteen25 teaches you how to do here, only this time you’re using colourful wrapping paper! We used this technique to wrap our favourite holiday cookbooks so we can more easily recognize which ones have the Christmas recipes in them in a really festive way.
8. Geometric wrapping paper patchwork art
Maybe we caught your attention when we started talking about the idea of making abstract things where the colours of your wrapping paper really stand out but you can’t necessarily tell that the paper was once covered in reindeer or holly, even though you think the collage idea was a little too scattered for your taste? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how We Are Scout made this geometric paper art that has a lovely quilted effect!
9. Wrapping paper decoupaged frame
Would you rather decoupage the frame itself rather than the space inside? Well, nothing’s stopping you from doing just that in order to create all kinds of seasonal frames that you can set your favourite Christmassy photos of your family and friends in! Take a look at Onelmon to see how it’s done in a really easy way.
10. Wrapping paper lined drawers
Maybe you’d like to give yourself a little Christmas surprise here and there all year long without adding any holiday decor to your house that might look out of place to guests? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how iHeart Organizing used wrapping paper to line their drawers! Whether it’s your sock drawer or the spoons in the kitchen, you’ll get a bit of holiday cheer each time you open that drawer without interrupting your year-round decor scheme.
11. Miniature wrapping paper origami stars
Maybe you’re actually looking for some kind of upcycling project that your kids can get in on as a way to keep them busy while they’re off school for the holidays, even once Christmas is over? In that case, we think these adorable little origami stars might be precisely what you’re looking for! We love the way wrapping paper works just like regular paper for most crafts. See how these are made in more detail on Crafting a Green World.
12. Upcycled wrapping paper advent calendar
Perhaps the scraps of Christmas wrap you’ve been left with are very small indeed so you’re looking for a craft that will only use very small sections of the pattern or design? Then we have a feeling you’ll get along just fine indeed with this fantastic homemade advent calendar by Crafty Nest! Each square on each day is a motif from a different scrap of gift wrap.
13. Recycled Christmas card ornaments
Recycled material and upcycled Christmas ornaments just might be our very favourite kind to make. We’re sure you can imagine, then, just how excited we were when we found this fantastic tutorial from Lil Blue Boo that teaches you how to make just that while also reusing a section cut from an spare Christmas card! This display is lovely no matter what design your card features.