Five Kid-Friendly Ways to Recycle the Christmas Gift Wrap

ChristmasWhen the hoopla of Christmas morning has faded and the ugly specter of Boredom rears her ugly head once again, learn how to reuse leftover wrapping paper to keep little hands and minds occupied.

Satisfy Your Littlest Artist

When you turn those near-empty rolls of colorful wrapping paper over, you’re left with an expanse of bright, white loveliness full of infinite possibilities. Roll them out on the dining room table, face down, weight the corners with cans from the pantry and pull out all the new markers, crayons, finger paints and even glitter that your littlest artist found waiting under the tree on Christmas morning. Nothing makes a better canvas-slash-dropcloth than an old roll of seasonal wrapping paper turned backwards.

Introduce Her to Paper Dolls

Did you invest a small fortune in Christmas gift wrap featuring your child’s favorite characters? Use safety scissors to trim out those silhouettes of Dora and Boots, the Disney Princesses and Barbie, glue them to cardboard, and voila! Instant paper dolls. If you’re feeling really creative, trace around your dolls to make clothing templates and craft extra dresses, hats and purses from the gift wrap scraps that are probably still lingering underneath the tree.

Make Cute Room Decor

Invest in a few craft supplies like decoupage medium and spray varnish and use torn scraps of leftover wrapping paper to decorate tissue boxes, picture frames and coffee cans. Set them around your little one’s room to help organize all the tiny Bizu, Lego Friends, pens and markers that she’s managed to accumulate throughout her short existence. Or, pack them away as gifts for Grandma, aunts and uncles next Christmas.

Learn the Fine Art of Collage

Help your child pick out her favorite scenes on the used Christmas paper, cut them out and glue them to poster board to make Christmas wall art for her room or placemats for the table. Cover her finished project with clear Contact paper if you’re using it on the table or pop it in an 18-inch by 24-inch poster frame for her room.

Dive Into Papier Mache

Don’t forget the easy, kid-friendly art of papier mache when you’re figuring out how to reuse wrapping paper scraps. Torn paper scraps are the stuff papier mache valentines and Easter eggs are made of. Mix up a non toxic mixture of equal parts water and flour with a teaspoon of salt to inhibit mold growth and use the leftover paper scraps to make new, exciting projects. Turn your strips so the white side faces up to make your creations easier to paint.

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