6 Ways to Use Old Ribbon or Paper to Make Pretty Gift Bows

Video screen capture. Various/YouTube

Why buy new gift bows when the best ones can be made easily with things you have on hand?

The holidays are lovely. What's not lovely are the enormous heaps of trash that head to the landfill; imagine the sad scene of millions of pieces of Santa paper and pretty bows sent to their deaths after a single romp under the Christmas tree. How bad is it? Stanford University notes that Americans throw away an extra 25 million tons of garbage between Thanksgiving and New Years. And while that is inclusive of all the trash we generate, even ribbons account for a lot. If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.

Now of course, when all is said and done, ribbon and bows aren't going to be the worst things to happen to the planet over the holidays, but making your own serves other purposes as well. They use up old materials, they are fun to make, they elevate the gift and make it more special, they look fabulous, they're not made of plastic, they cost nothing, and they are more likely to be reused. What more could you want? Here are some favorites:

1. Rolled paper flowers

2. Pretty ribbon bows

3. Tissue paper flowers

4. Sewn ribbon bows

5. Recycled paper bows

6. Old sewing pattern bow