How to recycle unwanted gifts

What to do with unwanted gifts

As many people will agree, one of the best parts about celebrations like Christmas and birthdays is getting to unwrap all the presents. Whether you’re the sort of person who takes their time and tries not to tear the paper too much or chooses to savagely rip it apart, there’s no worse feeling than getting all excited only to be disappointed by what’s inside.

While your first thought might be to throw whatever unwanted gift you’ve received into the rubbish bin, there are better ways to get rid of something unwanted. Since December 25th was not too long ago, we thought there was no better time to help you figure out what you can do with any unwanted Christmas presents (with the same going for any other gifts too) and tell you all of our regifting ideas.

Carefully regift it another year

This one requires a little extra thought – as there genuinely would be nothing worse than accidentally giving back your unwanted gift to the same person who gave you it in the first place – but if you’ve received a decent present but think someone else would love it so much more, just give it to them next time!

That way it’s being taken out of your hands to someone else who would much prefer it along with having one less present to sort yourself next year – a true win-win situation. Don’t forget to grab one of our original Christmas or birthday cards to go alongside your regifted present as well, just to add that extra touch.

See if any family or friends want it

Similar to the above, but if you’re not quite sure about who might want your unwanted prezzie then you might as well offer it out to other close friends and family (aka those who didn’t gift you it… obviously). While it might not be an official present at least they’re getting a nice little surprise and you know it’s going to a good home.

Try upcycling it

Instead of recycling, you could always see if there’s a way of repurposing your unwanted gift. If it’s a piece of clothing, there are most likely endless ways you can totally transform it into something that you would wear. Or if it’s another item like a piece of furniture then a quick splash of paint could make all the difference. Plus, who doesn’t love a fun little DIY project?

Be cheeky and see if you can return it

Not always possible, but if you have the receipt (or a gift receipt) to hand then you can try taking it back to the shop. The only teeny tiny little issue with doing this is if you don’t have proof of purchase. If this is the case, you’ll probably have to settle with keeping it or go with one of the other options we’ve mentioned.

Hide it in the back of a drawer

We’ve all been there – opened up a present from someone that you can immediately tell is sentimental and had a lot of thought put into it, but it’s just of no use to you. As it would be morally wrong to regift this present or throw it away, the next best thing is to just hide it in the back of a drawer or wardrobe. Plus, on the off chance they ever end up asking where it is you can just get it out and show them how much you ‘treasure’ it.

Donate it to charity

Perhaps none of the above are potential options? Then the next best thing is to donate your Christmas presents or those from any other time to charity. That way you know whoever buys it will genuinely love it. After all, it’s not hard to find a charity shop to take any bits to since they’re located all over the place.

Ways to use leftover wrapping paper

Should you manage to get into your present without doing too much damage to the paper then there are some ways you can make use of the leftovers:

  • Reuse it next year – A great option although this can only be done if you’ve been super-duper careful. Alternatively, you could make patchwork wrapping paper from all the scraps you have remaining.
  • Turn them into bows– Avoid a trip to the shops next year for present bows and shape the wrapping paper into adorable bows. You can find a tutorial online on how to do this by just a quick Google.
  • Cut it into confetti – A quick and easy use for any wrapping paper is cutting it up into small pieces to create confetti. A fun surprise to put inside cards or presents although be aware that this could be a little messy.
  • Shredded paper for packaging – Similar to the confetti, you can cut up the paper and use it as packing material to keep any presents you’re giving better protected.
  • Use it as drawer liners – Sometimes you feel so guilty chucking away any beautifully designed wrapping paper. If there is any wrapping paper that you really love the design of then you could always use it as a drawer liner to help protect the inside of your furniture and liven it up.

Well, that’s it folks. Hopefully, next time you receive a present that wasn’t on your list you’ll already have an idea of what you can do with it. All we’d say is that if you do get rid of any gifts then you might want to have an excuse at the ready in case the gift giver asks about it.

And if you are big into this sort of thing then we’ve already gone through all sorts of other winter craft ideas for kids and adults. Now you’ve got no excuse to spend any cold and rainy days inside saying you’re bored.

For loads more fun reads like this, you’ll want to head on over to the rest of the thortful blog where we’ve got gift guidesspecial occasion articles and so much more!