We’ve all been there; it’s a few days before Christmas and all your presents are beautifully wrapped in matching paper, except one. You’ve reached the end of the roll and there isn’t quite enough to wrap Dad’s slippers or even your sister’s CD. Of course, you might have planned it perfectly (we are obviously not related) and while everything is wrapped up and nicely matched, the last bit of the roll is not worth saving for next time, but it seems a shame to throw it away.
Naturally, we use wrapping paper all year round, so we often have this problem of what can we do with these end bits of wrapping paper? There are plenty of ways we can save them from the recycling bin with a bit of imagination, some basic origami skills or even just a bit of sticky tape.
Parcel strings and bows – A pair of scissors and some tape can produce delicate matching decorations to finish off your presents.
Plate or tray decorations – You can use a square or rectangle of wrapping paper to line your party plates and trays. This offers a colourful, attractive and more modern alternative to standard doilies.
Line placemats – Christmas Dinner will look great if your table is festooned with matching placemats for everyone. Your eagle-eyed Grandad might even recognise the design from his bottle of Scotch from earlier. Of course, this is an idea that will also work for other family occasions or dinner parties.
Christmas tree decorations – A hole-punch and a bit of string, plus some nimble finger work can produce some great decorations to hang from your tree, and if you are clever, you can place these on the tree to co-ordinate with the presents underneath you have just wrapped in the same paper, and it will look like you had a plan all along!
Envelopes – You might not be able to produce too many from the end of your roll, but some nifty folding and gluing can produce attractive envelopes for birthday or Christmas cards to match the presents and make a set.
Bunting and decorations - That long length on the roll that is just too narrow to cover anything useful can be very easily cut and shaped to hang on the walls as celebratory bunting. Alternatively you can shape and design the paper to attach to a window or a ceiling beam to make a colourful hanging decoration.
Backing paper – The kids’ school books? Your journal or diary? Maybe your old cookery book that has taken a battering over the years? Line them in attractive paper, protect the covers and bring them back to life.
Drawer liners – To get the full impact, this could be your make-up drawer or a cutlery drawer; something where the whole of the bottom of the drawer is not entirely covered up by the contents. You could also line the runners-side of a chest of drawers, or your kitchen drawers, so that every time you open them a shot of colour and shapes briefly invades the room.
Confetti – You’ll need a shredder for this of course, but they are inexpensive or you could borrow one. Leftover wrapping paper can be cut up to make colourful confetti for a wedding or just as a table or tray decoration for a party.
Packing material – If you are not feeling very imaginative today, simply scrunch all your leftover paper up and use it to protect items from damage in the post. Particularly useful when posting birthday and Christmas presents, you can try and co-ordinate the colours a little, and again, with a shredder, the packing material can be a little more effective.