Thursday, December 20, 2007

wrapping with maps.

map box

I have this conflict with wrapping paper. I love meticulously wrapped presents and can spend lots of time in fancy paper stores. I also hate how inherently wasteful the process is, both monetarily and in actual paper waste. You can spend a lot of time and money making something look pretty, only to have it torn apart in seconds, leaving a pile of paper that can rarely even be recycled. (Or in my case, you carefully open any present with superior paper, in the hopes that you might use it later but you never ever do, are you kidding yourself?)

Maybe I haven't mentioned this here, but anyone who knows me knows I love maps. My shower curtain is a map, I have a map under plexiglass on my coffee table, and I collect them whenever I have a chance. I especially like old maps with countries that don't exist anymore, so I of course jump at the chance to grab any old atlases that are about to be thrown out at school.

The last atlas I got is relatively large, and I've been cutting out map pieces to decorate postcards and such. But at the rate I'm using it will be with me for years, so I have a new plan: map wrapping paper! Alright, so it's not super Christmasy. BUT it is pretty, it's reusing old things instead of throwing them away, and it's maybe teaching people geography while they get gifts. (maybe.) I wasn't even sure of what to wrap yet, so I made one of those gift wrapped boxes that stay wrapped forever, which is nice in and of itself. It's the gift box that keeps on giving!


mikeandhazel said...

Very cool idea. An old atlas is such a great find! I, too, love old maps...and paper goods and vintage-y things in general. In fact this is the first year in a while that I didn't make all of my Christmas gift boxes out of old Christmas record sleeves.

tim j said...

mapping paper is a genius idea. I've always been a stickler for the comics page, but this is a much prettier (and just as cheap/economical/practical/enviromental/etc) as the comics.

and omg, I have a table w/glass on top -- I have an old map -- wow. Yours looks very nice, mine will be all marked up.

and the gift box is way better than my original idea of making fabric wrapping bags. That idea fell by the wayside due to my lack of a) a sewing machine and b) sewing talent.

e said...

Hazel, do you have any pictures of your record boxes? (Assuming Hazel is the crafty one and not Mike..)

Tim- If not a map table, put something under that glass top! In a magazine I saw one with color paint samples that was super cool. Also, fabric boxes?? That sounds like so much work.

willikat said...

love maps. especially the vintage ones with all the wrong countries on them. v. cool!

tim j said...

no no, not fabric boxes, just fabric bags to throw your gifts in. Since I suck at wrapping. This year it was all done on Christmas Eve in an upstairs bedroom in a quick fashion. I could do it even faster if I made sacks out of holiday fabric.

and I will be using that glass-top table for something good -- I promise to get a pic up once it makes its way into the house.