DIY Paper Banner from Upcycled Wrapping Paper

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New Years Eve is really just not my thing. Fancy parties? Ubers? Squeezing into a cocktail dress after how much pecan pie I’ve been eating? Nooooo thank you. I’m so much more of a sweatpants and scary movie, champagne and a kiss at midnight, and let’s see all our friends next week kinda girl. However, that does NOT mean I’m not going to decorate my house for the occasion! (Yes, watching a scary movie with a glass of bubbly qualifies as a party in your thirties.)


When we last left off, dear readers, I was turning into my mother by stockpiling all the pretty Christmas wrapping paper to “do something with later.” Like the good little trash panda that I am, that “something with later” meant I upcycled gift wrap into paper crowns, however I still had/have a medium-sized mountain of wrapping paper to deal with. (Spoiler alert: Just because you are going zero waste doesn’t heaps of wrapping paper aren’t still going to find their way into your house this time of the year.)

I zeroed in on the metallic papers first for this year’s DIYs because:

1) I am not kidding about the trash panda bit, I’m 90% sure I was a raccoon in a previous life. Have you seen my messy eyeliner? My giant rear end? My boyfriend will confirm that I’ve been known to dumpster-dive after the rogue banana peel he tosses in trash bin versus the compost heap. Raccoons are my people. Bring on the shiny objects.


2) Metallic and glittery wrapping papers are not recyclable due to the plastic additives.

Thus, as I sat contemplating my giant trash hoard wrapping paper waiting to be upcycled and lamenting the fact that my boyfriend will likely drag my introverted ass out to some NYE party, an idea was born: Upcycled Wrapping Paper Bunting.

Maybe, just maaaaaaybe, I could create a paper banner so amazingly festive, he would agree to an NYE movie night instead.


DIY Paper Banner from Upcycled Wrapping Paper

DIY Paper Banner: How to reuse wrapping paper as zero waste New Years Eve decorations

What You’ll Need:

  • Pretty used gift wrap and gift bags (you can gently iron on a lower heat if it’s terribly wrinkled)

  • Scissors

  • Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue

  • Double sided tape

  • Sharpie

  • Jute twine or other natural fiber twine

  • Clothes pins or an object to weight your banner while drying

  • Tops to both a large and small square gift boxes

  • Hole puncher

How to Make Your DIY Paper Banner from Upcycled Wrapping Paper:

DIY Paper Banner: How to reuse wrapping paper as zero waste New Years Eve decorations
  1. Select your wrapping paper pieces and gift bags. Smooth out and/or iron any wrinkled paper on a low heat, being very careful not to burn your paper. Break your gift bags down into one solid panel by slitting bag down one corner seam, cutting around bottom seams, and discarding the bottom of the bag. Cut away any handles, gift tags, or labels. (Or you can strategically plan for the labels to fall on the back side of your paper flags if you’re short on paper.

  2. Use your large and small gift box lids to trace squares on your paper as desired. On the paper from gift bags, you may want to trace with the “pretty side down” but if you’re using wrapping paper, you may find it easier to trace “pretty side up” and cut inside your lines to avoid any tape or awkward cropping of patterns. Let me just say I had a trial and error with that naked baby paper and I had an accidental crotch flag. So not the New Years vibe I was going for.

  3. Cut out your squares and crisply fold diagonally opposite ends to form triangles.

  4. Apply thin lines or dabs of glue to the edges and creases of your thicker paper and press firmly together. Hold in position with you clothes pins or lay heavy your heavy objects on top of your triangles until thoroughly bonded. IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH thinner paper or tissue paper, you’ll want to use double sided tape instead to prevent wrinkles and warping.

  5. Once your triangles are dry, use a hole puncher to make holes for your twine in the side corners of your triangles, as shown below.

  6. Arrange the flags for your banner and measure out your twine plus about 8 inches. Cut your twine.

  7. Thread your twine through your flags, taking care to enter from the “pretty side” and run along the back until the “exit hole” of each flag to minimize how much twine is visible. Once you’ve exited your flag, leave a little space and then tie a knot. Then begin threading your next flag as you did the last one. Continue until you’ve strung all your flags on your banner.

  8. Hang your banner on your mantle, staircase, front door, or chandelier, pop some bubbly, put a scary movie on, and start the NYE countdown!

Wishing you and yours a year full of hope, blessings, and joy for 2019.



DIY Paper Banner: How to reuse wrapping paper as zero waste New Years Eve decorations
DIY Paper Banner from Upcycled Wrapping Paper