February 2, 2010

Sustainable wrapping for baby gifts

Last week, I asked my readers for suggestions on how to wrap up a gift for a baby shower, and you responded with some great ideas! I loved all of them, and ended up using this basket, because I already had it from a holiday gift from a friend, it was easy, and I thought it would be useful.

I was going to cover the top with tissue paper, but my husband really liked the open basket look, so I presented it like this. Of course, it didn't look as impressive as the big, fancily wrapped gifts and gift bags, but I was happy that it was something they would use and it wouldn't go straight to the trash.

As always, my readers came through with their creativity and resourcefulness, and I thought I'd list some of the suggestions because I think a lot of people will be able to use them. Instead of wrapping with material that will end up in a landfill, wrap with something that can be used for the baby. Here are just a few of the terrific ideas from my brilliant readers (and by the way, none of these ideas were used by my fellow shower attendees. The look of the day was lots and lots of paper that got wadded up and tossed in the trash. I think a few gift bags were probably saved)...

1. A receiving blanket. Hem the edges of a one-yard square of fabric and use it to wrap another gift. Seersucker or muslin is lightweight and perfect for keeping the sun off baby without overheating her for warmer climates, while flannel is perfect for cooler locales.

2. Use fabric to make a pouch for storing diapers or wipes, or a reusable cloth bag that could double as a book bag or diaper bag.

3. A playsilk. They're pretty, soft, great for peek-a-boo, and can be a fun toy when baby is a little bigger.

4. A wicker basket, which is convenient for storing baby items like diapers, lotions, burp cloths, etc. If you already have a basket, like I did, this is a super-easy, convenient option as well.

5. Roll the jacket up and tie with a ribbon.

6. A hat box or other decorative box which can become a toybox or a place for parents to hide toys.

7. A sand bucket or other container from the thrift store which baby can play with when he gets older.

8. Try craigslist or freecycle for a reusable bag or wrapping paper.

9. Wrap in the Sunday funny papers, which can be colorful and fun and depending on the comic, appropriate for the occasion.

10. Wrap sustainably. For example, use brown paper bags turned inside out to hide the print. They can also be painted or decorated. And make a bow using leftover paper.

11. And finally, swap with a friend. Fresh baked cookies or CSA fruit could gain you access to their stash of wrapping paper.

Thank you all so much for your brilliant suggestions, and please forgive me for not naming and/or linking to you. That type of post takes a lot more time, and I just didn't have it today.

Any more gift wrapping ideas, especially for a baby shower, please share your thoughts in the Comments section.


Alea said...

Beautiful presentation!

I was thinking about how times have changed while reading your post. At the baby showers for my oldest kids, the paper was saved to use as drawer liner for baby's dresser. It was supposed to be good luck, but it probably had more to do with the fact that back then we reused old dressers rather than buying a completely new bedroom suite for baby.

Cate said...

Those are all lovely ideas! I had a baby shower fairly recently (obviously), and while the gift bags and tissue paper looked really pretty and impressive, I enjoyed the practical wrapping jobs so much better--probably in part because it's like receiving an extra gift. :-)

Anonymous said...

That looks great, and the basket will be really useful I'm sure. Many of those ideas could be easily adapted for other gift giving occasions as well.

I still have the gift bags from the presents we were given when my son was born but don't know what to do with them, I don't want to throw them out.

hiptobeme said...

Love the presentation, it reminds me of a boutique look. Very chic. I am sure once the hoopla is over, the parents will appreciate the practicality. I know for myself, the impractical gifts were the first to go. I still have a well made baby quilt that my son loves. It was simply two pieces of flannel sewn together, but it's by far the longest lasting as my son is five now and still uses it.

Non Consumer Girl said...

The muslin wraps are a very pretty and useful wrap idea.

They are used daily with a baby and they just get softer and softer.

Macdougal said...

Amber necklaces are also a top pick for baby gifts...check out this article Baby Blog

Anonymous said...

I love the basket! :) Im sure they'll get plenty of use from it! Great suggestions!

Vanessa said...

Great idea. I'm sure they'll use the basket for the baby's toiletries or something. A good basket never goes to waste. Vanessa

Melonie said...

I love it! I think it looks lovely. :-) A friend of mine did something similar for my daughter's shower back in 2001 and we still have the basket! Over the years it has held diapers, toiletries, books, and now holds her porcelain tea set - at almost 9 years old. The sweater is gorgeous and the book looks wonderful.

I bet your friend will get a lot of use out of the entire gift - "wrapping" and all. It is clearly heartfelt and well thought out. I have gift envy now. ;-)

Forest Parks said...

I personally think your gift basket looks much better than any silly fancy wrapping paper.

If you have to wrap then I love the rustic look of brown paper and brown wooden string. It works, is cheap and can be thrown in the compost.


Leasmom said...

Great ideal, thanks!!!