A creative way to recycle wrapping paper

By Kelly Wilkinson
Thursday, December 17, 2009

There is something about draping decorations from the ceiling that means it's time to celebrate. Strings of lights, banners, birthday signs -- and now, these festive paper garlands. Not only are they a snap to make, but they're a great project for using the awkward ends of wrapping paper and recycling gift wrap.

I have a thing for paper, so I tend to hang on to wrapping paper I receive, along with other specimens such as maps, creased tissue paper and old sewing patterns. I love their texture as well as the stories and memories they evoke.

Luckily for me, this is a project that looks more interesting if you draw from a variety of papers. And it's a project with a lot of give. Your circles don't have to be exactly the same size, and your sewing can be far from perfect. Using a sewing machine makes this project lightning fast, but if you don't have a machine, you can use glue for the same effect.

(A glue stick works particularly well, as liquid glue can make paper ripple.)

And once the holidays are over, you can re-create this project using papers with different patterns and colors to change the mood of the garlands. They can be used to decorate kids' rooms or for birthday parties or holidays.

Or you may be like me. I hung a string of these for our holiday party last year. Instead of taking them down, I've added more strands throughout the year, lending a corner of our dining room a festive atmosphere even after everyone goes home.

You'll need

- Various kinds of paper

- Scissors and a glass, or a circular craft punch

- Thread

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