Every September, when the kids bring home a stack of textbooks from school and a teacher’s order to put covers on them, I take out the brown paper grocery bags and get to work. An hour later, there is a stack of books all tightly and cleanly covered on the dining room table. I recall Eli once saying, with a touch of wonder in his voice, “Mom, this is your secret talent.”
Grocery bags, and other sources of discarded paper, make mighty nice gift wrap too. Last year, I wrapped some small gifts by turning the printed side in on two squares of paper from bags and sewing up three sides. Then I inserted the gift and sewed up the fourth side, with scrap paper appliqués. I tied them up with fancy string. This year, I might go totally green, and use bits of twigs instead of the colored paper scraps for embellishment.
And if I had a lot of outdated sewing patterns, I might steal Lisa Brainerd’s method for wrapping the items she sells and ships through her Etsy store. In January, I received a plain brown box in the mail from her. Opening my purchase was as satisfying as the item (a pin) itself.