D.I.Y. Thrifted Pattern Gift Wrap

Hello everyone!  Please helo me give a cheery welcome to Rikkianne…our very first contributor for the Creature Comforts 18 Days Series.  You may already know Rikkianne from her business Chakra Pennywhistle where she creates the most wonderful home textiles and accessories for living.

And now…Rikkianne’s D.I.Y. Thrifted Pattern Gift Wrap:

Create a simply beautiful gift wrap by visiting your local thrift shop. Thrifting for materials is a fun and inventive way to recycle and create a unique, personal experience when it comes to gift giving.

For this tutorial, I would like to share how I wrap all of my products and gifts with vintage sewing patterns found at my local thrift.

My Grandmother volunteers at a thrift shop here in Tucson.  Her lovely coworkers allowed me to come in and take a few snapshots. I had to photograph the craft section. Most thrifts have one of these areas filled with everything from fabric scraps, yarn, to sewing patterns.  I personally love this section of the shop. There is just something about browsing those shelves. The yarn is half-used, the ribbon has been cut, the patterns have been opened -  yet they are all still of good use and waiting to be revived.

Thrifting can be so rewarding, not only for scoring those used goods and fantastic prices, but also due to the fact that most thrift stores are charity-based. My grandmother’s shop is associated with a local hospital and all of the ladies that work there are hospital volunteers. They are happy to be there and willing to share their knowledge on anything store-related.  Aren’t these ladies wonderful?  That is my grandmother on the right.

Since my grandmother volunteers, I have gotten to know the folks of the thrift and have learned something that I didn’t realize.  A lot of sewing patterns don’t even make it to the sales floor. They might be missing instructions or parts of the pattern itself. This is where we come in.  My thrift gals save all of those patterns for me. I bring them home and use them for gift wrap.  So make a note of that when you go on your next thrifting trip.  Don’t hesitate to ask if there are any patterns in the back that can’t be sold.

Once home the paper takes on its new life.  I gather my materials and prepare to wrap.  I prefer to use hemp twine. I think that it brings a natural look to the package.  I also have a giant spool of cotton twine that I found at the thrift.  It works well, making the package a bit more soft and simple.

Add some color for a more festive style that is fitting for the holiday season.  I used red cord paper for the gift box below.  I especially love the small surprises you can find when wrapping your gift.  The pillow is wearing a belt pattern while the “sleeve” just happened to place itself perfectly on the top of the box.

Once the packages are wrapped, the pattern envelope can also be used.  You can create fun tags and gift cards making the whole package recyclable.

I really enjoy using these patterns to wrap gifts and products.  This is an old idea that has been used by so many creative folks.  Check out more lovely, eco-friendly uses for vintage sewing patterns on the Crafting a Green World blog.  There are a couple of my fellow Eco Etsy teammates who share some fun projects.

Also, if you are not sure where to find beautiful gift wrapping accessories, I recommend the Etsy shop Nice Package.  I was just browsing the shop and think that the manila tags would make a wonderful addition.  I also spied some mini-clothes pins that would surely take the presentation to a whole new level!  

Gift giving and thrifting go hand in hand. This season, why not have fun exploring and creating you own special presentation? It really is easy to give gifts that inspire and give back to your local community and the environment.

Thank you so much Rikkianne!  If you’d like to see more of Rikkianne you can find her:


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  1. betty lee / / Reply

    yay rikkianne.
    i saved all the wrapping that came with my orders and this wrapping is going to fit right in with my "natural" christmas theme.


  2. alexandra keller / / Reply

    i can say this is a wonderful way to receive a gift! i got one of Rikkianne’s pillows wrapped just like this – and her Grandma is lots of fun!

  3. Mandi / / Reply

    I love using sewing patterns for things like this! I bought a paper mache box with lid from my local craft store and covered it in sewing patterns using spray mount. Now it’s a little storage box for sewing notions.

  4. Mandy Behrens / / Reply

    Absolutely LOVE this! Can’t wait to start this tradition here at home. Cheers, Mandy

  5. My Owl Barn / / Reply

    I think I know which thrift store is that. Is it the one next to Walgreens and Safeway? I shop there regularly and all the ladies who work there are kind and nice. It feels like a little space for girls. I wish they had tea-parties there :)

  6. Anonymous / / Reply

    http://www.patternrescue.com/ takes incomplete sewing patterns as donations. All parts of a pattern are saved and given to people who want to sew the patterns. Please consider donating the pattern tissue, instructions, and envelopes rather than wrapping gifts with them.

  7. Melissa de la Fuente / / Reply

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this hun!

  8. Rikkianne / / Reply

    Thanks everyone!

    I am so glad that you enjoyed this project.

    My Owl Barn: You are correct! I bet the ladies would love to have tea :)

    Anonymous: Thank you for posting the link to the pattern restoration site! I am certainly going to register and donate vintage patterns. What a lovely effort! Recycling at it’s best.


  9. Brenda / / Reply

    Rikkianne, what a fun tutorial and what a delight to see your lovely grandmother! :)

  10. greenworks / / Reply

    Great post! I had the pleasure of being able to thrift shop USA style last year and like you said they had all these incredible craft sections! I was mesmerised and delighted! Most of the thrift shops over here don’t have dedicated sections like that.

    The patterns look fab as wrapping paper – and love the tags too! Nice work!

  11. Mary Ellen / / Reply

    A great way to use up all those patterns that are too old to use but not old enough to be vintage! I love the idea of the tags made from the envelope paper!

  12. Ursula / / Reply

    well done, Rikkianne! these photos are beautiful, and the packages are lovely! anyone would be lucky to receive such a beautiful gift. and I love Barb being included in this tutorial; she is the sweetest and funniest lady and I miss visiting the thrifts in Tucson!

  13. Susan / / Reply

    This is such a wonderful idea. I love the graphics of curves, lines, arrows, seam allowances, texts, the color of the paper, its crinkly texture, and the memories of pattern pieces laid out on fabrics when my mom was sewing

  14. Lisa / / Reply

    Awesome, I’ve been using uncut patterns as wrapping for items sold in my etsy shop (simpledream2.etsy.com), then I tie it up with a vintage button. I’ve had more comments from my customers on how cute the wrapping is.

  15. thrift stores / / Reply

    Wonderful suggestions.It really easy to make new wrapper with old one .Thrifty way for packaging.
    Thanks for the tips

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