By Lydia Krupinski

bow tutorialWe’ve all been there…the clock strikes the eleventh hour and you’re running late to the next birthday, house-warming, holiday party. You’ve found the perfect gift, but you just realized that you’ve run out of wrapping materials…what do you do?

First, find some paper grocery bags, or newspaper, and use it to wrap the item. I tend to keep recycled tissue paper at hand, which works well too.

Next, cut a cute tag out of any leftover paper and give it a quick doodle. It’s always fun to have some kind of imagery on the tag to make it more personal. On mine I stamped some clouds and the words “To” and “From.”

Then, grab some raffia, and if you have none on hand you can use twine or yarn. Raffia is great because it’s biodegradable, so I highly encourage people to keep some stashed in a cupboard.

And if you happen to have a spare ten minutes, this handy dandy tutorial below will show you how to make a stylish eco-friendly bow in a snap. It’s what I am offering this upcoming holiday season for Pierogi Picnic orders. Follow the instructions and you’ll be well armed for the gift giving season!

paper strips1)Begin by cutting book or ‘zine pages into  1 1/2 ” strips.

paper staple2) Fold one strip of paper in half and staple the two sides into a single bow. I recommend using a staple-less stapler.  I bought the one above at            Ruby’s Roundup in Wicker Park.

sewing the bow3) Using a needle and thread, attach three of the bows together and top them off with a fun big button.

full package4) Now just string some raffia around the gift and pull one end through the bow.

If you’re looking for more ideas on eco-friendly packaging, take a peek at this fun list from Gaiam Life. Or check out Green Heart for sustainable tissues, paper, and more!