simplygreen_giving1With Christmas almost here I decided to dust off a gift-giving book review I wrote for another blog ages ago and re-post it here. I would post a new review but things have been nuts and I’m trying to get over a really bad cold. Enjoy!

I’ve been a big fan of crafter Danny Seo ever since I saw him on Wendy Russell’s late crafting show “She’s Crafty.” But the delightful Danny is more than just a crafter; he’s thrifty and devoted to the environment He’s also utterly charming and cute as can be.

Being a fan of Seo’s I was pretty thrilled to find Danny’s book Simply Green: Giving at my local library. I quickly checked it out, hoping to get some good advice.

This slim volume tells you simple tricks you can use to give your holiday gifts (or any gifts really) an extra punch. Have extra VHS tapes around? Take apart the cartridge, pull out the tape and use the tape for curling ribbon. Who knew those taped episodes of “Friends” would come so handy?

One idea I really like was personalizing homemade soap using Scrabble tiles or those old poetry magnets and using them as gift tags. Further bonus: These gift tags are also functional. Of course, anyone familiar with my soap making process is not surprised by this.

Another great idea I liked. Turning a used potato chip bag inside out and using it as wrapping paper. This works best when the inside is silver, and it’s probably a good idea if the bag has been properly washed of potato chip grease. Nobody wants potato chip grease on their gift. However, this does give you a good excuse to eat more potato chips.

Seo also offers suggestions using vintage greeting cards, watch faces, old work shirts, wooden boxes, natural box fillers (including actual peanuts, not the foam kind), old hardback books, terra cotta blooming boxes and even leaves and grass you find in your backyard! Before you throw something in the garbage or recycling bin ask yourself, “Hmm, can I found another use for this?” Yes, I bet you can!

As I read Simply Green: Giving I found myself thinking of other things I could use to wrap and hold gifts. I found some paper grocery bags I could use as wrapping paper. I brought home some cardboard inserts we use at work to divide various print jobs and I’m going to cut them into smaller shapes and make them into gift tags. Seo is a crafter that inspires rather than intimidates.

This book also has a section on actual gift giving using handmade know-how that is both charming and gracious, and will please the many people on your gift list. These tips are also thought-provoking, and will make you think of gift giving in a whole new way that is economical, green and yes, very crafty.

Simply Green: Giving is divided into four sections, which include Cards and Tags, Boxes, Gift Wrap and Bows and Handmade Giving. This book is written on recycled paper (no surprise there). And the various resources Seo provides at the end of the book are a lovely added bonus.

Simply Green: Giving is a great addition to any crafter’s repertoire, and it also makes a great stocking stuffer for your best crafting friend.