13 Ecology Ablazingly

Recycling old newspapers into usable objects is a “green living” project that I have tasked myself with over the past few years. As an art teacher, I used old newspaper to do numerous art projects with my students. Recycling old newspaper not only helps the environment but saves money at home. That is very important when economic times are hard.

Holidays and birthdays require the use of gift wrap to wrap that ideal gift for that special person. What better way to wrap the gift but in the colored comic section of the newspaper. The lively colors and interesting patterns of ink create a wrapping paper that is unique. The black and white pages also work especially with the addition of stamped designs.

Make a simple stamp from a potato. Cut the potato in half. Draw the design on the cut part of one half of the potato. Carve away the unwanted portion of the potato so the design stands up from the surface approximately one quarter inch.

Create the design with potato stamp using acrylic or tempera paint. Squeeze or pour a quarter size drop of the desired paint on a piece of newspaper. Shake the paper slightly so the drop of paint spreads across the surface creating a spot approximately two inches wide. Dip the stamp portion of the potato in the paint. Stamp the design on the black and white newspaper to create the desired pattern.

Another recycled gift wrap project is made from paper grocery or gift bags. There are several stores around that use brown paper bags to hold their merchandise. Use the same stamping process to place designs on the outside of the bag to create that perfect gift wrap. Glue left over pieces of ribbon or lace around the top edge of the bag to add character.

The best gift wrap is one that is re-usable such as a bath or kitchen towel. Wrapping a gift in a towel eliminates any type of waste and creates a soft, textured gift wrap. Safety pin a bath scrungie in the center of the package as a bow.

Think “green” when deciding how to wrap gifts for that special someone. Help save the planet one package at a time.

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