5 Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper Ideas

5 Ways to Make Recyclable Gift Wrap

This holiday season, you may be wondering: is wrapping paper recyclable? Before you wishcycle it, you should know that no, most gift wrap is NOT recyclable. But if you do want recyclable gift wrap, or to wrap gifts in something that’s reusable or reused, look at these five ideas.

Brown paper bags

Reuse parcel paper or paper shopping bags by wrapping your gifts in them. Add a sprig of greenery and scraps of ribbon if you’re craving something decorative. Here’s a closer look at how you can wrap packages with recycled paper.

Old maps

Reuse old maps by turning them into gift wrap. Yours will be the most unique one under the tree, guaranteed. I added scraps of yarn and sprigs of greenery for an extra touch. And just like brown paper bags, this gift wrap is recyclable and compostable.

Fabric bags

Reusable cloth bags are a gift unto themselves. I know some people sew their own to use as gift bags. I didn’t have the time or patience to fight with a sewing machine so bought a few at a craft fair. This is the most popular zero-waste way to wrap presents this season!

Newsprint and old books

Ok so you know how I found a source for free antique books, right? Well I got a few that were totally falling apart beyond repair. I thought the pictures might be good for collages, and it turned out that for small gifts the pages could be used for gift wrap! I absolutely love the look of these. If you don’t have any books beyond repair, try the pages of a newspaper or magazine for a similar look. Again, this gift wrap is recyclable.

Old wallpaper scraps

This one is at the end of the list because who even has old wallpaper scraps? But I did find some at the local ReUse center, so I guess I do. All the ribbon in the picture below came from the there too. Design studios donate all their old fabric and trims to keep it out of the landfill, and people like me can use it!

What are you doing this holiday season to live more sustainably? Check out ways to decorate with books to see my New Year’s Resolution!

Invitations and Stationery Trends for 2018

Thanks to Basic Invite for sponsoring this post and sharing these fab photos of wedding invitation ideas so we can ooh and ahh over them together. Here are some fun trends in invitation stationery that we’ll be seeing for 2018!

Invitation Stationery Trends 2018

Gold Foil Invitations

A shiny favorite, foil on stationery is a big hit. Also available from Basic Invite are rose gold foil and foil place cards.

Clear Invitations

Working a little bit in the wedding industry, I’ve seen a shift recently away from the rustic wood signage toward clear acrylic. These clear invitations tie into that trend. They’re new, modern and fresh. If you still desire that wood look, the acrylic looks beautiful when displayed against it, as in the picture below. Or keep scrolling to see how you can get invitations on paper that looks like wood!

The Simplicity of Calligraphy

Minimalist calligraphy is simple, traditional and beautiful. Script font paired with a capitalized non-serif gives it a modern touch. See more inspiration from Basic Invite’s calligraphy wedding invitations.

Wood Grain Stationery

Taking a cue from nature, this trend is a sleek update to all the rustic wood that we’ve been seeing for years now at weddings! The white print pops on this wood grain inspired printed invitation from Basic Invite. This style would be a perfect fit for an outdoor or rustic wedding like this one.

One thing that stood out to me about this company is that you can order a sample of what your paper goods will look like before you place your order! That way you get to hold it in your hands before orders hundreds of them. Other things offered include guest books, free address collection service, and 40 colors of envelopes.

What is your favorite paper and stationery trend?

In Praise of Old Books

Appreciating the many uses for old books

I didn’t choose the old book life, the old book life chose me. It all started when I found a monthly community book fair that liquidates its leftover merchandise–for free. I love a good Little Free Library, and this was like a Big Free Library. So I checked it out. There were childrens books, novels, non-fiction, business books, art books, travel guides, even media like VHS tapes (which in case you were wondering, weren’t exactly flying off the shelves).

I gravitated to the shelves of old, vintage and antique books. I started collecting them not for the content (I haven’t even read one yet) but for their visual value. The leather covers, torn and stained. The imprinted letters of the titles and the rough, uneven cut of the discolored pages. Each book is one of a kind, not something that can be ordered on Amazon. Each copy of one of these books could be the last ever in existence, you never know.

So I have a generous collection now–some might say too generous. So here’s how I’m putting them to good use.

Decorate with antique books

These books can be used as a display item, on a mantle or coffee table. They’re more than just books–they’re a little piece of the past. Plus it makes you seem highly cultured to have some distinguished volumes on the shelf to balance out those copies of Bergdorf Blondes and The 4-Hour Body or even How to Build a Car. Not that those are real titles I just saw on the shelf or anything. Hm. Moving on, here are some displayed on the mantle above the fireplace. Right now, the heavy volumes are actually playing a nice role holding up Christmas stockings.

Antique books for event centerpieces

I coordinated a wedding this fall at the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, and the couple used old books to create centerpieces! It went nicely with their Beauty and the Beast theme, with a little Chip teacup perched on top of the books!

Find old, vintage and antique books

In addition to used book sales, I’ve also seen older books pop up in Little Free Libraries from time to time. You just have to be in the right place at the right time. Most of these old books come from people’s personal collections, so hit up estate sales as well.

And of course, my all time favorite online shop for handmade and vintage goods, Etsy! (affiliatel link)

New Year’s Resolutions

Appreciating the decorative value of decades-old books has helped me with my goal of living more Eco-conciously this year. By rescuing these old books from going into the landfill, I also gained something that can’t be bought at the store. So if you’re looking for a sustainability-focused New Year’s Resolution, try this: This year, I will strive to use something already in existence instead of buying new. Even if it’s just once, it’s a fun thing to try.

Other New Year’s Resolutions to check out

I’ve linked up with some other websites to share more ideas for eco-centric New Year’s Resolutions.

Green Sustainable Resolutions

Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

DIY New Years Resolutions

Zero Waste Home

16 Ways to Save Money Every Month 

12 Sustainable Goals for the New Year

Gnome for the Holidays

Gnome holiday decorGnome Holiday Decor

Hey Elf on the Shelf, you’ve been replaced. It’s all about gnomes now.

As I asked on twitter, how did gnomes suddenly become a Christmas thing? Do the elves know about this? Are they cool with it?

Not that I’m complaining. I love gnomes. I love gnomes so much that they were the topic of my first magazine (more on that backstory here). In Kindergarten when the teacher asked us to name a word starting with G, I said “gnome,” because it was my favorite word, but she wouldn’t accept it because it didn’t have a G sound and she didn’t want to confuse a classroom of kids who couldn’t read yet. I obviously never fully recovered from this incident, though it was great early preparation for having my work rejected and edited.

If you’re ready to embrace all things gnome, silent G included, here are my favorite ways to decorate with gnomes this season.

Gnome holiday sweaters

Gnomes are now an option for tacky Christmas sweaters–bonus points if it has a clever pun. 10/10 would wear this in public. I’ve bought not one but two gnome-themed holiday sweaters this year because gnomes are my spirit animal. Spirit animals plural? I really should get this grammar thing down. I’m a professional.

 

Gnome tree ornaments

These natural-material gnome ornaments would look so cute on any tree. This year I participated in my first ornament exchange with other alumnae from my sorority around the U.S. I didn’t include any gnome ornaments, but now I’m thinking maybe I should have.

Gnomes in the home

Need a holiday pillow? There’s a gnome item for that, too.

A gnome door

Repurpose fairy garden items from the spring to make a gnome door in your house to add to the magic.

Do gnomes belong in the festivities this year or is it strictly for elves? You decide!

Chi Chi London Dresses for Fall

Update: Get 30% off at Asos through 11/28 with code EPIC30!

I’m writing this post about one of my favorite formal dress brands, Chi Chi London. This post isn’t sponsored–I just seriously love this brand and get a lot of questions about it-but I have used some affiliate links within the post.

I like that you can’t find these styles in any store in the U.S. When you wear one of these dresses you’re sure to stand out. The styles I own are a bit springlike, but the fall line of dresses has red, black and navy dresses that would look great for Thanksgiving, a holiday party or even New Year’s.

For an ultra feminine, modest and classic style, this is my go-to brand.

Here are the three dresses I’ve worn, my thoughts about each one, and where you can get them. Keep reading for my tips on how to get the best deals on Chi Chi London too!

Chi Chi London Amber dress

I was inspired to get this after seeing it on another blogger. The pleats in the waist give most of the brand’s dresses a poufed, 1950s style look and this one is no exception. This dress is very structured. Even though it is gorgeous in person, I didn’t end up wearing it because the structured silhouette kind of dwarfed me. There are petite sizes, however, which I might try in the future. Currently, the floral Amber dress is on sale in limited sizes at ChiChiClothing.com  and at Dorothy Perkins in regular and and petite.

Chi Chi London lace dresses

I love lace so it was an easy choice for me to invest in the lace collection. I wore this to a wedding. The Daisie dress pictured here is also available on sale in limited sizes at ChiChiClothing.com.

The blue Rhiannon dress is one of the brand’s most classic and iconic styles. For more pictures, see how I wore it here.  A similar style is on sale at Asos.

You can also see photos of these dress on my Instagram.

Things to know before ordering from Chi Chi London

Based on the name, it’s not a big surprise that the brand is based in the UK. If you’re in the U.S. there are a few options. You can order directly from the brand’s site, which has the lowest prices especially when items are on sale.  But if it doesn’t fit you’ll have to pay return shipping to Great Britain and last time I checked, it would cost over $33 to return a Chi Chi London dress from the US. And that was the cheapest option through USPS. FedEx and UPS were even more. That seriously eats into the amount you might save. In my case, I ended up selling the dress I wanted to return on Poshmark, which worked out well and I got more money back than I would have returning it.

Alternatively, you can order through Asos or through Modcloth. These sites offer free shipping and returns. So even though you’ll pay more for the dress itself, you might save in the long run. Modcloth tends to charge more for the brand, so you can often save by ordering through Asos which is my recommendation for finding the best deal on Chi Chi London.

Chi Chi London Daisie dress

Another thing to know is that the sizing is all UK sizes, so order carefully!

Let me know if you have any questions about anything related to this brand. I’m always happy to talk about finding the perfect dress!

 

 

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