5 ways to reuse wrapping paper

My Grandma Vera is the most annoying present opener. While everyone else is ripping off the shiny paper, balling it up and lobbing it into the middle of the room, Vera goes all Charlie Bucket on us. She peels off each piece of tape without making a tear and smooths out the wrapping paper like it’s Willy Wonka’s golden ticket…

But maybe Vera is the most sensible person in the room. Every birthday or Christmas we throw away pounds on paper goods that spend a minute in our hands before we chuck them in the bin.

So, we’ve come up with these fun ways to recycle wrapping paper and cards. Next time you’re celebrating a birthday or Christmas, remember to be more like Vera. You’ll make wrapping paper the gift that keeps on giving… (we can’t promise you a chocolate factory, though – sorry.)

1) DIY stickers: cut up old cards for your kids to make pictures with.

What you’ll need: old cards, scissors, glue and paper

What to do:

1. Ask your kids to cut out all the pictures they like on cards and wrapping paper.
2. Then give them a sheet of paper and a stick of glue so they can create scenes with them.
3. Store the pictures and glue stick in a box for a cheap, portable game to travel with.

2) Easy snip bunting: perfect for parties or for adding a bit of colour to kids’ rooms!

What you’ll need: wrapping paper, tape and string

What to do:

1. Show your kids how to fold wrapping paper and cut triangles along the crease (so they end up with diamonds with a fold down the middle).
2. Now they hook these over ribbon and secure with tape.

 3) Colourful creatures: your child can create fun multi-coloured animals.

What you’ll need: wrapping paper, paint, a cardboard tube and googly eyes

What to do:

Try a butterfly:

1. They paint the tube green and add wrapping paper wings, plus googly eyes!

 Or a bunny:

1. They cover the tube in the paper, snip bunny ears, add googly eyes and a cotton wool tail.

4) Movers and shakers: create dancing streamers with wrapping paper.

What you’ll need: a loo roll, wrapping paper and tape

What to do:

1. Ask your child to cover a cardboard tube in wrapping paper.
2. Then they cut lots of strands of wrapping paper and tape them inside the tube so they flow out of one end.
3. Now they hold the tube and swish, swoosh and run along with it, making the streamer dance.

 5) Personalised cards: use the best bits of old cards to make something special.

What you’ll need: old cards, a piece of coloured card, glue

What to do:

1. Fold the coloured card in half.
2. Now give it to your child to decorate with pictures snipped from old cards. They can add shapes from wrapping paper, too.
3. Then they can write a message inside.