With Christmas right around the corner, most of us will soon have rooms full of used wrapping paper and closets full of unused rolls. It seems such a shame to throw out the used stuff or to let the unused sit for another year. Throwing away the paper is a huge waste and one that my family just can’t justify since we’ve put a bunch of ways to go zero waste into practice here at our home. If you’re stumped on how to use the wrapping paper, these uses for leftover wrapping paper are perfect for starting a new upcycled project!
As I said earlier, my family is all about finding new ways to use old items so we can reduce waste. Over the years we’ve learned new ways to use empty milk jugs, new ways to use old towels, new uses for old sheets, new ways to use coffee mugs, uses for old bottles, ways to use newspaper and many more. It may seem silly, but it isn’t just about becoming a zero waste home. You would also be surprised at the amount of money upcycling can save you.
39 Uses for Leftover Gift Wrapping Paper
Finding ways to use leftover gift wrap may seem harder than it is. After all, when you have wrapped a gift and it has been ripped open, it can be hard to look at a wrinkled piece of paper to see anything new. These ideas are perfect for both used and unused paper, but I will say that some will work best with unused. No matter which you choose to do though, it is better to upcycle the paper and be zero waste about it than to simply toss it.
These uses for leftover wrapping can be used with both Christmas wrapping paper or regular gift paper. As with the used/unused thing from above, some of these ways to use leftover gift wrapping paper will work best with Christmas themes while others will work with any. Ultimately, it is your project and your choice.
How do you use leftover wrapping paper for crafts?
Make Christmas Ornaments
Homemade Christmas ornaments look amazing on a Christmas tree and are a great way to use leftover wrapping paper. Cut or fold the paper into the shape you want and back it with cardboard or card stock. Add a piece of twine to use as a hanger and decorate away!
Make Homemade Christmas Cards
Grab some card stock and glue wrapping paper to one side. Fold in half and write a meaningful Christmas or holiday message inside with a pretty gel pen. Making homemade Christmas cards is super easy and a great zero waste project!
Make Paper Dolls
Paper dolls were a huge “toy” back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and one of the cutest ways to use leftover wrapping paper is to use it to make paper dolls! How fun would it be to show your little ones how you or their grandparents played?
Use as shipping paper
Do you have your own Shopify store or Ebay store? If so, you probably ship a lot of items. Use leftover wrapping paper to wrap your shipped items in or add some padding to your boxes.
Make Paper Bows
Another great way to use leftover gift wrap is to make leftover wrapping paper bows with it. Youtube is full of tutorials for those wanting to learn how to make them easily.
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Make a Christmas garland
Another one of my favorite crafts with wrapping paper scraps is to make a Christmas garland or bunting. Simply cut your wrapping paper into triangles and back with card stock. Attach jute rope or twine to the back and hang across your mantle.
Make homemade envelopes
Making homemade envelopes is a great way to use up your leftover gift wrap. There are a lot of different envelope styles you can make too! Joybilee Farm has a nice round up of different styles and free homemade envelope patterns.
Make Christmas Stars
Straighten out and reuse next year
The simplest way to use leftover wrapping paper is to straighten it out if possible and reuse it. It’s such a simple idea that a lot of folks overlook it.
Make Christmas decoupage
If you have a decorative box, use your wrapping paper scraps to add a layer or decoupage or to change the decor on it. You only need wrapping paper and Mod Podge.
Cut or rip up for kids art projects
Cut or rip up wrapping paper scraps and hand your kids a bottle of Elmer’s School glue. Let them make paper projects using the scraps. It would be super fun to see what different scenes they could come up with using nothing but wrapping paper!
Crafts to Make with Leftover Gift Wrapping Paper
Make paper confetti
Celebrating something soon? Use gift wrap scraps to make confetti! This would be perfect if you’re trying to plan a wedding on a budget, having a birthday party or for New Years Eve!
Use it to wrap Christmas decorations
One of the ways to use newspaper is to wrap your fragile glass items in them and guess what? Wrapping paper works the same as newspaper! When you unpack your tree, wrap your fragile decorations in your leftover wrapping paper to help protect them.
Make homemade streamers
It might seem silly, but there are quite a few decorating ideas with wrapping paper that you wouldn’t normally think about. Making homemade streamers out of strips of leftover wrapping paper is one of them. Cut your wrapping paper into long strips, twist and hang like you would tissue paper streamers!
Refurbish an old bookshelf or night table
If you have an old bookshelf, filing cabinet or night stand sitting around you can use leftover gift wrapping paper to refurbish it. Use craft glue to line shelves or drawers and add a coat of chalkboard paint to the outside to give it a new look!
Use it as contact paper
Create wrapping paper wall decor
When you think of upcycled home decor, you don’t automatically think of wrapping paper wall art, but take some pieces of wrapping paper and add them to differently sized photo frames and you have beautiful decor that can easily be changed with the season!
Make a paper Christmas tree
Another great paper craft you could do with wrapping paper is to make a paper Christmas tree. Roll individual pieces of wrapping paper and tape the sides. Then attach your wrapping paper to a tomato cage in a way that looks like a Christmas tree. Its a super simple homemade Christmas decoration!
Make a paper snowman
Do you have leftover plastic pumpkins from Halloween? Cover them with the white side of wrapping paper and use the colored sides to decorate. Attach 3 pumpkins to each other and you’ve got cute wrapping paper snowmen!
Make Book Covers
Remember being in school and having to cover your textbooks? Don’t buy those expensive book covers to do it with. Use leftover wrapping paper to cover it. You can change it with the seasons or use a design that isn’t holiday specific.
Make gift tags
I haven’t bought gift tags in years because I simply use wrapping paper scraps. Cut them into squares, fold in half, write your message in and use tape to attach it.
Make wrapping paper flowers
You’ve heard of tissue paper flowers, but why not make wrapping paper flowers? Craftberry Bush has a great tutorial on how to use leftover wrapping paper to make your flowers with.
Make wrapping paper pom poms
Don’t stop at flowers though. Use your leftover wrapping paper to learn how to make wrapping paper pom poms that you can use to decorate with too.
Use as scrapbook paper
Scrapbook paper can be pricey but leftover wrapping paper is free! Use it to decorate your scrapbooks instead of paying for the more expensive stuff!
Make homemade placemats
If you love to change your placemats out with the season, using wrapping paper to make homemade placemats is a really frugal way to do so! Simply glue your wrapping paper to a piece of cardboard cut to a placemat size. Let it dry fully then use a laminating machine to laminate them so they’re durable and easily cleaned.
Make homemade drink coasters
Not only can you use wrapping paper to make placemats, but you can also make homemade coasters. The process is the same with the exception of the size you cut.
Use as Easter “grass”
Why spend money on Easter “grass” for your kids Easter baskets? Instead, run some leftover wrapping paper through a paper shredder and use that! Your kids won’t notice the difference and you’ll save a bit of cash.
Make homemade bookmarks
Like with homemade placemats, you can also make homemade bookmarks as a wrapping paper craft. Again, cut to size and add to cardboard. Laminate and you’re good to go!
Make homemade gift bags
You have wrapping paper. Why would you spend money on a gift bag? Instead, learn how to make homemade gift bags with wrapping paper and you’ll save yourself some cash!
Make Paper Mache
Remember crafting with paper mache when you were a kid? Use your leftover wrapping paper to make a no-cook paper mache recipe and turn your kids loose!
One of my favorite crafts with wrapping paper to do with kids is to make a simple snowflake! Cut your leftover papers in squares, fold and let your littles use safety scissors to cut our their own designs.
Use as a Christmas door covering
We’ve all seen those plastic door covers for Halloween or Christmas. Use leftover wrapping paper instead of buying one. Your front door will look just as cute and you won’t be spending money you don’t need to be spending.
Make an upcycled wreath
Grab a wire wreath form and roll your leftover wrapping paper scraps into cone shapes or fold them into Christmas stars. Attach them to your wreath form to make a cute upcycled wreath.
Make paper Christmas tree chains
Every kid loves making paper Christmas chains to go the Christmas tree and leftover wrapping paper is great for making them!
Have you ever heard of papercrete? It’s like concrete but made out of paper! It’s super strong and can be made into bricks that can be used for building, fireplaces and more!
Make homemade magnets
Grab some craft magnets and some laminated wrapping paper and make homemade refrigerator magnets with your leftover wrapping paper.
Make animal bedding
If you have small caged animals like guinea pigs or a rabbit, shred your leftover wrapping paper and use it as animal bedding. Just be sure you shred and roll it so the pieces are too big for your animals to handle.
Line cat litter boxes
One of the ways to keep your litter box clean is to line it with newspaper. Fortunately, leftover wrapping paper works just as well. Cut it to fit the litter box then line it with several layers of wrapping paper. Add your litter on top. This will help keep the box itself a bit cleaner making changing the litter easier.