Published 9 December 2014 ● Last Updated on 6 December 2016

It’s that time of the year again. ‘Love is in the air’…

  • Singapore is all dressed up, bright and ornate.
  • Christmas carols are ringing in your ears.
  • Kids are behaving unusually well cos Santa is watching!
  • The temperature has dipped to a pleasant cool level and one barely even needs the fan, ah well most people still do, but then you get the point, right!
  • The young and the old, the rich and the not-so-rich, the men, women and little tykes are all ready with their respective Christmas gifts’ lists and the shopping has started.

The next fun task is to wrap up these gifts in exquisite sheets of paper with ribbons and ornate gift tags so that the outside looks as special as what is on the inside. Alternatively, if you want to reduce waste and recycle, you can choose to make your own gift wrapping paper and gift bags at home, using old newspaper. For me, personally, this has been the next best alternative to the weekly visits to the recycle bin in my condo.

Recycle old paper
Recycle old newspaper: Christmas gift wrappers and bags.

 What you need:

Newspaper*, design blocks for printing, paint, a square piece of sponge (an old dishwashing sponge will be great), ribbons and laces from your sewing kit, paper puncher (in case you want to use ribbons to dress up the bags).

Wrapping paper:

  • Separate out the black and white sheets of the newspaper for the wrapping paper, sans any adverts or colorful feature write-ups.
  • Pick a paint of your choice, pour out some in a bowl and mix well with a few drops of water.
  • Spread the color water mix on the sponge evenly.
  • Select the block you want to print on the paper, dab on the sponge and start stamping on the newspaper.
  • Use multiple colors, patterns, layouts… get creative, go crazy.
  • Once the colors are dry, feel free to use as a normal wrapping paper.

Gift bag:

  • For steps on how to make the gift bag please refer to Helena Schaeder Söderberg’s blog
  • Few handy tips here since we are using newspaper instead of paper from an old dictionary like Helena. A 15″ by 11.5″ newspaper (half of a full page of the Straits Times or a full page of the Asian Wall Street journal) makes a bag which is 7.5″ tall and 6.5″ high.
  • As far as decorating these bags go, again, get creative, go crazy!

Feel good at the end, you have created something and reduced wastage. Your bit towards reducing your carbon footprint!

* You can use brown paper or plain coloured paper too. These are easy to find at Daiso – the 2$ store in Singapore.


  • Hi, just wanted to mention, I loved this post. It was practical.
    Keep on posting!

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