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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Upcycled Life: Wrap up Christmas with less waste

By Katie Patterson Larson For The Spokesman-Review

Millions of pounds of single-use gift wrap are thrown out each year. Start the tradition of upcycled wrapping instead. Reusing what is on hand makes each gift beautiful and unique.

Comics: The Sunday comics were always the favorite at birthdays when I was growing up. Add a fancy paper bow for an extra-special presentation.

Gift wrapped in a gift: Wrap a small gift in a scarf or T-shirt, which also is part of the gift. Secure with a reusable ribbon.

Brown paper bag: My personal favorite is always a brown paper grocery bag. The simple paper wrap can be embellished with a sprig of seasonal foliage and a ribbon, or decorate directly on the paper with markers or rubber stamps.

DIY gift bags: I learned how to make gift bags with calendar pages from a volunteer at Art Salvage – where you can grab a tutorial for these do-it-yourself bags. Complete the upcycled presentation with old sewing pattern tissue.

Tags: Make matching gift tags from scraps of paper.

Katie Patterson Larson is the director and founder of Art Salvage, a creative reuse center in Spokane. Art Salvage keeps usable materials out of the waste stream and makes them accessible and affordable to everyone. For more information, visit

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