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Topic: Green Gifts?

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Subject: Green Gifts?
Date Posted: 12/8/2012 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 157
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I'm a recycler by nature so it's not surprisng that I make gifts from old sweaters, buttons, aliminum cans etc.  I take time with these and make them look fantastic (if I do say so myself) lol.  Anyone else make green gifts for at least part of their gift list?  If so, what do you make?

Date Posted: 12/9/2012 3:19 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2009
Posts: 204
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ive started too , i saved alot of glass jars, cardboard, brown paper, old wrapping paper, and some large sections of clear plastic (when i come across it) to use for wrapping.

And this gifts year will definetly include some t-shirt yarn crafts :))

 

 

Date Posted: 12/10/2012 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 157
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I am making a lot of food items this year as we are dead broke. My felted sweater crafts, jewelry,  and  various repurposed crafts and my husbands woodworking are going to help my daughter trim her shopping list.  We bought a few things for some on the list who wouldn't appreciate homemade...there are still some hold outs lol!

Date Posted: 12/10/2012 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 157
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I am defintely making candy cane playdough in a jar  for my grandson!

Date Posted: 12/22/2012 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2009
Posts: 1
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I make Christmas ornaments out of old rusty barb wire, and love to use brown paper bags to wrap gifts and just things I have around the house to decorate the box, most of the time its just sisal baler twine and makers or what ever I can come up with.  I also make wreaths from barb wire for all occasions, and use what ever I can find to add color, like eucalytus and twine, and rusty metal cutouts, and dried weeds and crops.  I am also downsizing my possesions and giving alot of stuff to thift stores, charities, and who ever helps me get it packed up and out the door!  I don' buy things new, I check the thrift stores first.   

Date Posted: 12/31/2012 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I don't make a lot, but a lot of the gifts I give are second hand.   It's always been that way with my family--we applaud the ability to scrounge neat things.  I haunt rummage sales all summer looking for interesting items they'd like.

(Also means most of my shopping is done before December, which helps with the money part.)

Also, as video games go more and more online, downloads are pretty green, at least compared to the old game boxes that were large, full of useless paper/plastic, and had to be driven around.

 

Date Posted: 1/1/2013 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2009
Posts: 621
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A few of the gifts I gave came from second-hand stores (a still shrink-wrapped card game, a My Little Pony backpack for the youngest niece), but overall, it's hard for me to do green gifts.  I tend to focus on using gift bags, which can be reused for more wrapping, and to otherwise minimize the wrapping waste in the landfill.

Date Posted: 1/6/2013 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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Do you find the gift bags get reused?

My experience is no one wants them.  They all give them back to me, including any others bought that year--since no one will ask me for them ahead of time or store them themselves.  It just feels...pointless if I'm the only one reusing them and I have so many more than I possibly need at this point.

I did buy wrapping paper at rummage sales this summer.  Dirt cheap and usually partial rolls that would likely be thrown out otherwise.  I used it to wrap my toddler's gifts so he could rip them open.   I think ripping the paper (and then jumping in the pile) was most of the fun for him!  He wanted to rip open any gift in paper no matter whose!

I've also used fancy tins (not just for cookies), and I picked up some nice fancy gift boxes last summer.   I have some with sequins and shapes, and others just colored as if they are already wrapped. Those are harder to find used, but I like how they look better than bags--so I encouraged my husband to put my gifts in them this year. :)  I didn't want them going home with someone else!

Next year I have some plain white boxes I'm going to pack gifts for grandparent's in and let the toddler color the outside. :)  

I also have used the Sunday Funnies to wrap gifts, but usually for birthday's.  Just not sparkly enough for me for Christmas. 

Date Posted: 3/21/2013 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,627
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Found a lot of Christmas gifts on etsy this past year and was surprised to see sooooo many reuse crafts on the site-- what a great idea! I learned from another PBS thread how to make scarves from old tshirts. Middle daughter now loves the junkique stores I like to visit in Tampa and will ask as gifts for me to get her a surprise from one of them.
Date Posted: 4/13/2013 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 1,253
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I bought my mom a mother's day present at Goodwill yesterday. I got her a vintage pyrex mixing bowl in great condition. I also buy products on Etsy made from reused materials, both for myself and others. I also got some Swiffer Wet Jet reusable pads and duster covers. I also reuse gift bags and usually just using wrapping paper for kids. I save the pink tissue paper from Victoria's Secret when I shop there and reuse those as well. 

Date Posted: 4/20/2013 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2009
Posts: 621
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Gift bags seem to get reused in our family, or if not, then donated to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or the church rummage sale.  For the past few years, though, I've focused on buying theme-neutral gift bags are much as possible.  I'll gladly reuse a Christmas gift bag for Christmas, for example, but when I needed one for a baby gift and only had Christmas ones, I bought one in a solid color or with a basic print on it.  I don't buy ones with specific occassions on them.

Date Posted: 4/26/2013 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2010
Posts: 9
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Neutral/universal theme bags are the best! However I do have a few Christmas gift bags that I put aside waiting for Christmas to come along. I have a friend who is very green so he doesn't mind at all when I hand him his birthday present in a festive Christmas bag in the middle of August. ;) We've had several gift bags going back and forth between us for years now. For everyone else, I'm not sure if they reuse the gift bags, but I know my in-laws do. 

Date Posted: 4/26/2013 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2010
Posts: 9
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As for green gifts, I like to make consumable items, like foodstuffs (syrup, cookies) that can then be stored in reused containers that I've decorated. That way it usually gets consumed and doesn't take up space in the person's house. The upcycling scarf from a t-shirt idea sounds fabulous though! Would like to have some fashionista friends for whom I can make t-shirt scarves. 

Also, with certain people it's easier to shop for them through thrift stores. My mom collects Chinese "antique" looking things, so I have found some pretty great Ming-look-alike vases and Chinese-themed gifts at the resale shop on my university campus.