I come from a long line of gleaners! During times of good humor, my Mother was know to describe herself as a "natural born junk picker". But gleaning is not the same as picking through junk. Gleaning is the gathering, of the usable. This could be food in a field or tree, as well as needed information to complete a project.
I have been know to take gleaning an addition step. I enjoy and find it a challenge to glean the usable, and make something more from it. Of course I always remember my manners, and only glean when it is appropriate. In my last position, each Thursday my boss would bring in coffee service from Starbucks. Everyone loved the coffee, and when the morning meeting was over, there was loads of stuff left on the conference table to clean up.
With that said, my enjoyment of gleaning would not allow simple cleaning! Any new (unused) paper coffee cups were set aside and brought home. In addition so were all the little packets of sugar in the raw. Oh and lets not forget the paper napkins. Although I do not buy paper napkins, these work great as disposable clean up wipes, for many needs. It could be the cat or even one of us!
The most fun item to bring home were the little carry out bags. They are the same size as a gift bag, and although not as pretty they can be made attractive for your best gift, in a minute, with yet another gleaned item the Sunday comics or a splashy ad.
You will want to make a weight, so that your bag will not travel away from you. This is easy to do as well, simply wrap a couple of cans up in newspaper and secure with a rubber band, then you can set them in the bottom of the bag and begin making it into a gift bag.
At our house the gifts for children are usually wrapped in the Sunday comics. Sometime however you need a gift bag. In our Sunday paper the comic section is a full sheet and a half sheet. The next step is to put the two pieces together.
Place the weight in the bottom of the bag. Lay the bag down on the paper, and start "wrapping" the bag. It does not matter if the paper is upside down or downside up. It is a funny paper gift bag. But if you have a preference, now is the time to make that happen.
For continuity I like to have where the two pieces come together on the corner edge, but again that is not absolutely necessary.
It is fun to use an ad that might depict what the person receiving the gift loves as a hobby. If your gift receiving person loves to do crafts, a colorful craft store ad would be fun. You can use any type of paper you want, it is all up to you.
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This post is being linked to Simple Lives Thursday.