We use advertising and affiliate links from Amazon and other retailers as a means of generating revenue on this website. We do not recommend services or products we do not personally resonate with.
Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Upcycled Packing Paper Wreath: Transforming Trash into Treasure

How to Make a Stunning Packing Paper Wreath for any Occasion

As we become more conscientious of the impact we have on the environment, upcycling has become a buzzword for those who want to do their part in reducing waste.  But what exactly is upcycling?  Well, it is the process of taking something that is no longer needed or wanted and giving it a new purpose.  

Upcycle Packing Paper

Something that often gets overlooked in the quest for eco-friendliness is packing materials.  In particular, packing paper is typically used once and then thrown away.  

What if I told you that you can upcycle packing paper and give it a new lease on life?  Yeppers!  We are upcycling our packing paper, and we are making a wreath today.  What?  Are you telling me that I can use that packing paper for something else Cara?  Absolutely!  

First, I would like to mention you can use packing paper for so many things other than the wreath I will be showing you today.  What exactly can I use brown packing paper for Cara?

Just a Few Uses for Brown Packing Paper 
  1. You can use that wonder brown packing paper as gift wrap!  You can decorate it any old way you want.  Draw on it, use stamps, stencils, paint, go wild.  
  2. You can reuse it for none other than packing paper!  I know, genius huh?  Why buy brown packing paper to pack away old dishes, or breakables, or Christmas ornaments, reuse your packing paper since newspapers have nearly become obsolete.  I know, I never thought it would happen either!  
  3. Let the kids go wild and use it for their art.  No sense buying paper for them to doodle on, when you can reuse what came in your latest package.  
  4. Use it for ribbon, wait what?  Yes, you can cut it into strips and then twist as I have below, and then tie bows with it.  That is how this project came to be in the first place.      
  5. You can even braid it!  See below for more details.  
  6. And now, you will know exactly how to reuse it creating a wreath too!

Can you tell I have been getting jiggy with it lately, and with packing paper too?  I will spare you my dance moves since they are laughable at best, but I am serious about packing paper.  I keep coming up with new uses for it, and crafting with it.  I am just too excited to share all the ideas with you, but let's begin with this lovely wreath.  

My mother came over for a visit the other day, and I had packing paper from a package laying on the dining room table.  I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to use it, but I wanted to do something with it.  She mentioned, wouldn't it be nice to make ribbon out of it for Christmas, kind of like raffia?  The wheels began turning, and off to the races I went. 

Trash to Treasure

Supplies you will need:
  1. Styrofoam wreath form, you can find them at Dollar Tree
  2. Packing paper, FREE, grab it out of a recent package
  3. Hot Glue Gun
  4. Glue Sticks
  5. Flower pick of your choosing, you can find them at Walmart and Dollar Tree
  6. Ribbon, use what you already have

As you can see, I have your standard packing paper that came with an Amazon purchase this week.  I began cutting the paper into about 1 1/2 inch wide strips.  In the beginning, I began with shorter strips of paper, and then I started making longer strips.  I had some that were too short, and others too long, I will show you below what worked best for me.

I took the strips and began crumpling them and twisting them.  Be careful, remember we are working with paper here.  This is mostly more crumbling of paper than it is twisting.  As you can see, this is what my strips looked like as I begin to work with them.

Upcycled Packing Paper Wreath

Lots of strips!  They packed my package well with paper this week, and I could not see filling up my garage bin with it.  I am not sure how it is in your area, but a few years ago, our trash collecting became a bit different for us folks in my small town.  Each home was supplied with a large garbage can on wheels.  You can fill it to the brim, but anything that does not fit inside you will be charged in addition to your monthly waste charge.

It caused a bit of a stink around here.  There were folks driving down alleys and disposing of their trash into other people's garbage cans to prevent being charged any additional monies.  Yes, I caught a lady doing exactly that in our alley.  Thankfully, that never happened to us, we do not put it out until the morning of pick up, but I digress. 

Since I did not want to waste precious space in our trash bin with packing paper, and I am trying my darndest to lessen my carbon footprint, I knew I could come up with something to create with our packing paper, and so I did.  

DIY Packing Paper Wreath

For me, I found the sweet spot to be at about 30 inches when measuring out my strips.  Wow, I need some lotion on those hands, looking kind of wrinkly.  Oh well, it happens.  

How to upcycle packing paper

I used my handy dandy glue gun and got straight to work applying glue to my styrofoam wreath form and pushing the packing paper strips into the wreath.  Then I wrapped the strips around the wreath form and continued to glue, and wrap my way all the way around the wreath.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Kind of monotonous, but I diligently kept working my way around that wreath form and covering it, being sure no white parts were showing.

Reuse packing paper

Yeah, completed!  You may be thinking okay, it has a decent texture, but what exactly am I going to do with this thing?  Yeah, that was my same question, we must think alike.  You know me, the no plan, plan.  It's how I roll I guess.

Make a wreath with packing materials

I went downstairs to the basement and began going through my faux flowers.  I found one I had picked up last spring I thought would work well with this wreath.  I began cutting the stems and working them into the wreath.  

I placed them down inside the paper, and then pushed each stem into the styrofoam until each one was secure.

DIY wreath from paper

I decided to take three of my already made strips, and braided them together,  I hot glued each end so my braids would stay in place.

DIY wreath out of paper

Then I glued the braids to the back of my wreath to create it's own hanger.  Since my wreath form was on the smaller side, I decided that a hanger would give the illusion of a larger piece hanging on our door.  

And here is what we ended up with.  I kind of love it actually.  I even surprised myself with how well it turned out.  I only used about half of the flower pick and I added a simple bow with pink ribbon I already had.  Another free project!  Okay, I get it.  Not free, free, but it was free to me.  That never ending tote has all sorts of wreath forms in it.  

Packing paper wreath

Overall, I am pretty pleased with how this project turned out.  Just another way of showing you do not need to spend a lot of money decorating your home.  Just use your own creativity to create the home you love.  

DIY packing paper wreath

Isn't it amazing what you can create from packing materials?  Do you think you will give this one a try?  I sure hope so.

Reduce items going to landfill

Paper Wreath

So there you have it, folks.  Upcycling packing paper may not seem like a big deal, but every little bit helps.  Plus, it is a fun and creative way to reduce waste and make something new out of something old.  Don't be afraid to get crafty and try out some of these ideas, your wallet and the environment will thank you.



Don't Forget, Pin Now!

Make a wreath from paper

Would you like to comment?

  1. What a great way to upcycle the packing paper. This came out so cute and looks darling on your door. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Wendy. I was pleased with how it turned out and excited now I have a use for all of that packing paper.

  2. I guess great minds think alike because I have a post planned using packing paper too! It's not a wreath, but something completely different! A wreath never crossed my mind, but I love it! It turned out so cute! Pinning now!

    1. I am looking forward to seeing your packing paper project Donna! Can't wait. I have really been getting into using things around the house lately. Thank you for your kind words, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

  3. This wreath idea made from packing paper is so cool! The paper gives it a unique woodsy touch! Really neat outcome!

    1. Thank you so much Donna and thank you for featuring it this week! I was so happy with the outcome and being able to use the packing paper instead of throwing it away. I never thought about wood, but you are right, it does throw off that vibe. Thank you!

  4. What a great idea--so pretty! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

    1. Thank you so much Cecilia, I really enjoyed making this wreath and keeping the packing paper from the dreaded garbage bin!

  5. Hi Cara! I would like to put a link to this post in my packing paper upcycle basket post, if it's ok with you! Let me know! Thanks, Donna

    1. Thank you Donna, I would be honored for you to share my packing paper wreath link. Thank you so much. I can't wait to see your basket.

  6. Cara, this is brilliant! I'm going to start saving all the brown paper! I’m excited to tell you that this post will be featured in Tuesday Turn About Link Party this week! Thanks so much for linking up and we hope to see you this week! Pinned 😊

    1. Thank you so much Cindy for featuring it. I enjoyed making it and keeping all of that paper out of our trash bin. It really does take up a lot of unnecessary space.

  7. What a great idea! I want to make one for summer with some sunflowers. I can't throw that brown paper away ether. I have been separating it at the seams and using it as pages in my junk journals, but I think I have enough for the next 50 journals. :D I have been wanting a new idea for a wreath and this fits my style perfectly. Thank you!

    1. I have never created a junk journal, but I have seen so many lovely ones shared. Sunflowers would be perfect with the brown packing paper. You will have to share your wreath when it is completed. So happy you enjoyed this project, I love the texture of the twisted paper. Thank you for visiting!

  8. So happy you enjoyed this project, I had a lot of fun creating it and preventing the waste from going to our trash!