Just Frances

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Making do; Part 2

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: shopping, ocd, moving, friends, foster kid, family, budget

Back in November I talked about the practice of ‘making do’ in my efforts to host a Thanksgiving dinner for friends. I was really pleased that all of that making do worked out, especially since I’ve found myself needing to make do again. But this time, making do had nothing to do with food. Instead, I found myself having to make do with what I had to wrapping parcels.

For years, I collected used gift bags and tissue paper, bows and ribbons, and even wrapping paper and boxes. I had it all neatly organised so that I could easily wrap up gifts for family and friends. I had such a selection of stuff that I almost always found the right size bag, box, or used bit of paper for everything. But when I moved, I passed on my collection to my baby sister, Royann. And that means there isn’t an awe-inspiring collection of wrapping supplies tucked away in the hall closet. (I hope she appreciates the time it took me to amass such a collection, and I hope she’s using the supplies whilst continuing to replenish them with her own reclaimed materials!)

Then yesterday I found myself looking at purchasing wrapping paper, shipping boxes, and bubble wrap for sending parcels home for Christmas. And I have to admit that as I stood there looking at the available stock in the shops made me sad as I recalled (once again) all of the stuff (i.e.: clutter) I had to leave behind when I ventured out for this new future of mine.

So I went home empty-handed. No, really. I went home with nothing because the idea of having to buy those things broke my heart. When I got home, however, I started to look at what I had. I had printer paper and coloured pencils, so I would make wrapping paper. (I didn’t.) I had a few boxes from things I bought when I moved into my flat—but they were all either too big or too small. And I had some wrapping paper from a lovely housewarming gift that Rebecca gave me.

Ah! And I had scissors and a bag filled with plastic bags (from before I got my re-usable ones). And with that, I got to work.

It seems that the gifts I bought for my nieces and nephews were small enough to be placed in envelopes with their Christmas cards and there was just enough of that wrapping paper from Rebecca for the gifts I got for my folks and my lovely [former] foster daughter. Then, I found a used (but usable) padded envelope that was large enough for my foster daughter’s gift to fit in. But I was having trouble finding a box for the stuff for my nieces, nephews, and parents (it was all being shipped to the folks’ place to save on costs).

But wait! Who needs a box to be the ‘right’ size when you have scissors? It seemed to me that there was a box that could be the perfect size—if I cut it down a bit. And padding? Well, since the nieces and nephews’ gifts aren’t breakable, they got to help provide protection for the folks’ gifts, along with some crumpled plastic bags (which I know the folks will recycle on my behalf).

And that’s it. I had to buy some packing tape, but that’s something I can’t really re-use anyhow.

Of course, now I need to figure out how I will wrap the rest of my gifts. But since they didn’t need to go to the post office for international shipping, I can give myself a few days to scrounge around. And there is still that printer paper and coloured pencils if all else fails!

Comments

Great way to use your resources!!!  And thanks a bunch for leaving me your supply of wrapping stuff ... it made a great addition to my supply that I have saved up over the years. :)

by Royann at 11:04pm (GMT) on December 13th, 2011

Oh, the clutter of the wrapping supplies and bags and boxes! I was sad when I went through mine during my move to find that some of the best bags had gotten crumpled and torn and had to be thrown away :(
I have been writing (in my head…I should get it typed out) a blog post about my “bag lady” ways and all the bags of various types I have…... I wonder just how many bags I have…....

by That Cook Girl at 1:11am (GMT) on December 14th, 2011

You might check out stores that sell wall paper…remnants make good wrapping paper.  And, do they have Sunday Comics like we do?  Check with friends who get a paper.  As for the plastic bags, of course we’ll recycle them.  There’s always a use for such items.

by Mom at 5:57am (GMT) on December 14th, 2011

I’m glad it could be of use! I’m sure I’ll manage to find a few bits and bobs to use here over time!

by Just Frances at 4:07pm (GMT) on December 14th, 2011

Of course, the biggest problem with having a collection of nice bags and bows is that you struggle to re-use them sometimes because the moment you use it to wrap someone’s gift, you no longer have that awesome bag!!

by Just Frances at 4:09pm (GMT) on December 14th, 2011

Actually, some of the stuff I gave Royann included wallpaper!!

I’m not certain that they do the whole Sunday Comics thing here, but I’m not worried. I don’t mind wrapping things in newspaper if needed. And I did wrap a friend’s birthday gift in a piece of paper that I decorated with my swirls. I don’t think that he appreciated my hard work, but that’s OK!

Maybe I need to check out the charity shops for an old road atlas. Maps would make great wrapping paper!!

by Just Frances at 4:12pm (GMT) on December 14th, 2011

Oh!  I forgot all about maps!  They would make wonderful wrapping paper!

by Mom at 11:20pm (GMT) on December 14th, 2011

Well I can’t wait until you receive your parcel now, you’ll see it’s right in the spirit of this blog & I do hope you enjoy saving the reclaimed wrappings :)

by Ramona at 12:05pm (GMT) on December 16th, 2011

I am super-duper excited for the parcel’s arrival! Mostly because I’m so touched that you’ve thought of me, but now also because I want to see what sort of wrapping materials I get to add to my collection!! xx

by Just Frances at 5:51pm (GMT) on December 16th, 2011

I know that feeling very well!

by Royann at 3:46am (GMT) on December 22nd, 2011

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