Saturday, 28 November 2015

Atishoo! [Thrift Is Not To Be Sneezed At]

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Facts-2Somebody was talking about an elderly relative who ironed and re-used wrapping paper. “Why bother? It is so cheap!” said somebody else. Not wishing to cause dissent, I sat silently – but sometimes it is worth bothering. I need lots of tissue paper to wrap my Christmas gifts this year.

But I haven’t bought any – it is all recycled. That saves money, saves trees, and helps save the planet! In the 1980s, when it first came out, I used to buy Prima magazine, which always had a large sheet of tissue, printed [double sided] with patterns and charts on it. I made the children’s dresses, toys, knitwear, gifts…

early prima

They were all kept stacked in a box. Then when before left London in 1995, I culled them – I kept the tissue patterns I thought I might use, plus the odd pages from the magazine which had instructions, and filed them in plastic pockets in a huge loose-leaf arch file. For twenty years I have referred to this file – particularly when needing patterns suitable for school play costumes.

But before this last move, I decided to cull again – and just retained half a dozen patterns which I had used and thought worth keeping. The discarded tissue and magazine pages provided wrapping for my best china. When we got here, I unpacked, and threw the screwed up pages in the recycling – but ironed all those tissue sheets.


They have provided an excellent wrapping material – especially the ones with charts on – they have a lot of blue or red print. The gifts are going in carrier bags, or having an outer wrap of Christmas paper – but it is satisfying to think these patterns have had two or three uses before going into the recycling bin.



  1. I keep a bag of assorted tissue paper which I reuse - I like the crumpled and then ironed effect as much as pristine new stuff. When it is too torn to reuse I put it in the compost bin or if coloured in the recycling. Wate not want not and the money saved can go towards other things after all when unwrapping gifts it only gets thrown away anyway.

  2. This is a fab idea. Unfortunately I can't see myself ever beating the children to any for a few years yet! But I will definitely stash the idea for the future lol.

    X x

  3. The recycling of Christmas wrapping was some thing we did at home when I was growing up, with instructions to
    undo it carefully, don't tear it. it was then folded for the next year, ( it was a much better quality paper back then)

  4. I always recycle wrapping paper if possible. And, if a multipack of crisps or kit jars that come in foil bag, I turn it/them inside and use as wrapping as it us like silver foil paper. I see no reason to wrap in new paper as it is going to end up being chucked. That type of ignorant snobbery makes me cross! Good on that old lady for doing that.x


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