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Recycled gifts are made from materials that once had another use. Rather than discarding the objects after their first use, they are recycled, or reused, to form items attractive enough to be given away as presents. As products are reused rather than being thrown out to end up in landfills, these gift projects are usually considered to be environmentally friendly. Recycled gifts may be personal or corporate; they may be very rustic or extremely polished.
An example of a more polished type of corporate recycled gift is a lacquered, decorative box done in decoupage using old company stationery. Items such as elegant pens and notepaper or fine chocolates could be placed inside each box and given to clients for holiday or customer appreciation gifts. Rather than being thrown in the garbage, the stationery becomes part of recycled gifts for clients. The box can be reused by the gift receivers for storage while also serving to remind customers of the business and its name. The parts of the paper not being used to create the gifts could possibly be used as rough note pads within the office to further make the project an eco-friendly one.
A rustic version of a recycled gift for family or friends could be making picture frames from jigsaw puzzles that would otherwise be thrown out due to missing pieces. The puzzle pieces could be glued on print side down onto a picture frame and then painted or decorated and coated with a clear finish. Another idea for recycled gifts would be to make patchwork quilts or throw pillows from clothing that isn't wearable enough to recycle to a thrift store.
Others types of recycled gifts include reusing parts of no longer usable vintage items in new ways. For example, some people have made jewelry out of typewriter keys or subway tokens. Damaged items around the home can also be used to create gifts such as by using broken pottery to make a mosaic table top or planter pot.
As a recycled gift reuses an existing item, it's not only eco-friendly but also usually easy on the budget. The possibilities for recycled gifts are limited only by one's imagination for reusing items. There are also instruction sheets and craft books available that offer recycled gift ideas. In addition to gifts made from recycled items, some people like to also make gift wrap and bows from used packaging such as foil-lined potato chip bags or cellophane candy wrappers.
This is my version of “recycled gifts”:
For some reason, I always receive a ton of bath and body products at Christmastime. My sister and my in-laws must think that that is all that I will ever need! This year, my husband suggested re-gifting or recycling some of the many bath sets that I have collected.
Let me suggest that if you choose to “recycle” your gifts, try to remember who gave it to you to start with so that you don’t give it back to that person. I made the mistake of giving my sister back the gift that she gave me the year before.