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Talk to More Th>n about reusing everyday items to make Christmas a little easier - £240 voucher to be won! NOW CLOSED

(104 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Dec-13 16:22:39

More Th>n want to talk to Mumsnetters about Christmas and the their top tips on using everyday items in an imaginative way for making it a little easier.

Here's what More Th>n have to say, "Life can be full of little frustrations. At MORE TH>N we want to help, and that's why we love collecting and sharing all sorts of tips and tricks that make life that little bit easier. We like to think of them as 'helping hands', those clever ideas you never knew you needed to know. We're always on the look-out for more great hints to share, so if you've got a top tip, let us know and Merry Christmas!"

For inspiration, watch the video clip below and then share your own tips on this thread.

So, what do you think of the tips given in the video? Have you used any of these ideas this year in the run up to Christmas? Have you got any more to add? Perhaps you keep your presents in a locked suitcase to make sure prying eyes don't spoil any surprises? Or maybe you keep small Christmas ornaments in old biscuit tins to keep them safe and together in one place? Whatever it is we'd love to hear about it.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £240 Amazon voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


AnnBryce Mon 16-Dec-13 16:37:52

Christmas shopping slots open at then end of Sep. I reserve mine with two bottles of champagne then go back
& amend nearer the time. This small thing takes a lot of stress away from the prep!

Hopezibah Mon 16-Dec-13 17:18:50

love the loo roll wrapping paper holder! Haven't really given it much thought but come to think of it there are a few things like using pegs to peg up Christmas cards.

We also kept a couple of big Pannetonne tins that I now use to keep my cake decorating bits in.

Save boxes through the year to keep Christmas presents in (to hide from kids) and / or before wrapping to get a neatly wrapped box rather than odd shaped presents. Helps stop people guessing whats in there.

Pringles packets, washed out and covered in nice paper make good packages for homemade cookies.

And Smarties packets can be filled with nice paper and stuffed with pound coins for children.

Workberk Mon 16-Dec-13 19:13:43

Use vintage square scarves to wrap smaller presents.

No scissors or tape required, it's a bonus present, looks pretty and can be reused. Plus no clearing up of wrapping to do afterwards.

I buy mine from a local 2nd hand shop for £1 a go.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Mon 16-Dec-13 19:15:57

I find using a knife instead of scissors to cut wrapping paper gives much straighter lines.

Also, spending a little more on wrapping paper that's not the absolute cheapest makes wrapping loads easier and less frustrating - thicker paper doesn't tear so easily and makes presents look loads better.

NettleTea Mon 16-Dec-13 20:08:45

Im a skinflint and re-use wrapping paper if possible. My SIL uses pages from some really flash supplements, they always look stunning.

DoctorGilbertson Mon 16-Dec-13 20:31:32

The clip was nice. My Christmas hint is to not have a huge row with your other half about tidying the house.

KnitActually Mon 16-Dec-13 21:40:06

tip: check the size of your oven before buying a new extra large roasting tin smile

I did it once, my friend did it 3 times smile

CozyOtter Mon 16-Dec-13 22:27:12

I'm going to be making my own tags this year...a small saving, but every little helps! I'm cutting a squares of the wrapping paper and sticking on to slightly larger squares of card!

I know someone that used the financial times to wrap up their presents one year - looked very effective under the tree!

DinoSnores Mon 16-Dec-13 22:38:18

Egg cartons?! What a genius idea! Definitely doing that.

I wrapped the presents in tin foil one year and in brown paper another year. It looks pretty cool.

In terms of reusing everyday items, I keep all the ribbons that come with clothes, chocolates etc, and then use them when wrapping gifts. It just adds something pretty and then they can always be used again.

MrsClauswearsspanx Mon 16-Dec-13 22:47:15

Love these ideas!

I keep old Quality Street tins to put baked goods in all year (who doesn't? This has been done since 1845 I believe).

I wrap my Christmas lights around kitchen roll cardboard stuff.

I use Christmas cards for extra scrap paper for the kids.
I've wrapped kids pressies in comic book/kid magazine paper.

serin Mon 16-Dec-13 22:54:35

Genius idea there with the loo roll holders!

This Christmas we are making a big family rag rug (inspired by the National Trust property in Tintagel) we are cutting up old fabric into strips and poking it (with a pencil) through hessian, couldn't be simpler and everyone is helping!

Costs next to nothing and amazingly it looks great!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 16-Dec-13 23:11:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loubielou31 Mon 16-Dec-13 23:31:34

Amazon delivery boxes are just perfect for ... posting gifts to friends and family. I know you'd never thought of that.
We always make gift tags out of old Christmas cards (usually in January when we take the decorations down) cut around the pretty bit of the card with a pair of fancy scissors, punch a hole and tie a bit of ribbon or thread.

mrscumberbatch Mon 16-Dec-13 23:32:56

We use last year's Xmas cards to make tags for presents. Dd also likes doing crafts with all the cutout robins/snowmen etc

yegodsandlittlefishes Tue 17-Dec-13 00:08:50

When we've moved house, we've kept the sheets of clean packing paper and used them for Christmas wrapping.

I like the ideas in the video, will try those.

When wrapping gifts to go in the post, use tissue paper. It's lighter and less wasteful. (It helps if it is something lightweight - which is also less wasteful.)

Cotton ribbon looks very posh on small gifts and can be reused for craft projects. Green or white garden twine looks good on red paper (and can also be reused, or recycled with cardboard).

Save up hotel soaps etc and make into little gift bundles to give to homeless shelters. Use a pair of socks to package them. (Matching contents to type/size of socks).

HootyMcOwlface Tue 17-Dec-13 10:04:36

Reuse last year's Christmas cards to make christmassy collages with the kids.
Keep and reuse any padded envelopes that arrive, we have a draw full of them all different sizes which is so useful.
This year I'll also be gifting some of my son's baby stuff to a friend.

WillieWagglingRoundTheXmasTree Tue 17-Dec-13 10:15:09

i cut up old christmas cards into heart shapes and string them into a garland with ribbon

CheeseTMouse Tue 17-Dec-13 10:41:53

Wrap presents in an old copy of the Financial Times - they can look really pretty. And if you cut up thin strips and curl with scissors you can make matching streamers.

I also reuse gift bags and ribbons. The cards from last year can be cut up to make tags - a fun activity for children as you can make all sorts of shapes...i loved it when little. Also, get children to design wrapping paper and use that - I have very fond memories of doing this.

WowOoo Tue 17-Dec-13 11:42:53

There are some good tips on that video.
We made some of our own wrapping paper with Christmas stamps and a huge roll of paper from Ikea.
This will only be used for the children's presents to be fair. They are very pleased with it.
I save and reuse ribbons.
We keep the ribbons etc from Christmas crackers for craft stuff. We've also made our own. I do prefer shop bought ones - it's the bang bit that I love!

SolidGold Tue 17-Dec-13 11:44:21

I keep all boxes throughout the year and reuse them for posting Christmas gifts abroad or for wrapping awkward shaped gifts. I save any ribbon to decorate presents with, I love ribbon!

We attach our Christmas cards to the doors and door frame with blutak to display them, every time I walk through the door - many times a day - I admire them.

I make a big batch of mince pies in advance and freeze them in lots of 6, so we have a constant supply through December.

FMJ1000 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:11:36

I always buy my gift wrap and cards in January! They are often 75% off and it means I can buy good quality ones at a cheap price.

I also buy little gifts throughout the year and always have a few extra generic ones for last minute guests, party invites etc.

For non-perishables, I start adding one or two to the weekly shop so we don't have a big shopping bill come Christmas.

Gift bags and ribbon can always be reused too smile

Little and often is my motto!

AnnaConda Tue 17-Dec-13 12:31:59

Love the egg box ornament holder idea.

I have a bag like this which is brilliant for keeping wrapping paper, Christmas and birthday, tidy year-round. I keep it my under stairs cupboard.

I fill paper-covered cardboard boxes with each individual family member's presents as I go, ready to give them the whole box on Christmas morning, each with their own distinctive wrapping paper. Saves labelling each gift and sorting them out on the morning.

CrewElla Tue 17-Dec-13 12:33:29

The suggestions in the clip were things I've seen before but I've never used any of them.

One thing I saw this year is to make your LO an advent calendar using mismatched baby socks - it looked really good and I intend to make one for each child.

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