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Do you obsessively salvage wrapping paper during the frenzy of gift opening?

Save an empty oatmeal canister and recycle the beautiful wrapping paper from another gift to make a reusable wrapped package of your own.

Oatmeal is good for you, and this project is a great reason to eat your oatmeal!

Step 1: Materials List

Here's what you need to make this project:

Recycled items
empty oatmeal canister
oatmeal canister lid
paper sufficient to cover canister
additional paper scraps about 8 inches long (double-sided, heavy weight and foiled papers make the nicest bows)

Office supplies
one two-pronged brad-type paper fastener
transparent tape
double-sided tape (can use regular tape, glue, etc., but double-sided is easiest)

Tools
scissors
hole punch
utility or craft knife
paper trimmer (nice to have, or use scissors or craft knife/ruler)
spring clip or binder clip (not shown)

Step 2: Let's Pretty-up That Canister

First cover the canister sides.

1. Ensure your paper has one very straight edge

2. Test fit the paper around the cylinder, making sure to align the straightest edge with the upper lip of the canister.

3. If your canister has a discernable seam, line up the line up the side of your paper with that seam. This will result in the smoothest finish, minimizing bumps where the paper will overlap.

4. Using a small (one inch or so) piece of double-sided tape, adhere the upper corner of your paper to the upper lip and side seam of canister.

5. Roll remaining paper around the canister, keeping the top edge closely aligned with the lip of the canister. Some canisters have a rolled paper lip, other have an applied plastic lip. If you have one with the plastic edge, you can tuck the edge of the paper under the plastic lip for a finished appearance. Don't worry about the paper that extends past the bottom edge just yet. Leave it alone.

6. Identify where the paper overlaps the seam. Allow one quarter to one half inch of overlap and trim off the excess paper with scissors. Save these paper scraps for the bow creation!

7. Apply double-sided tape to the complete side seam edge of paper and one more small piece to the upper corner where it abuts the canister lip. Double-check that your paper is smoothly applied and tight against the upper edge. Adhere paper to canister.

Step 3: Fixing Up the Bottom

1. Trim paper sticking out beyond the canister bottom to extend just about half the diameter of the canister. Reserve any scraps for the bow!

2. Apply double-sided tape inside circumference of canister. Large canisters often have a lip of 1/4 inch or so. For these, apply tape to inside of lip. For other canisters, apply to flat bottom just inside the outer edge.

3. Use scissors to snip into extending paper about every half inch. TIP: It's much, much easier to apply the double-sided tape before snipping the bottom edge.

4. Adhere paper in sequence, folding carefully over the canister edge for a smooth appearance. You should get a neat spiral. You may want to add a couple additional pieces of double-sided tape to center of canister to hold paper ends.

5. Adhere final paper ends with some transparent tape

Optional: Cut a circle of matching or contrasting paper smaller than the canister bottom and adhere to bottom, over the taped-down strips. This is also great to do with a piece of coordinating paper if you don't have enough of the original piece to cover the whole bottom.

Step 4: Cut Paper for the Bow

Alright, let's get to those paper scraps.

1. Cut strips of paper. Strips in the example are about 8 inches by 1/2 inch. Experiment! You will need at least 6 or 8 strips. I like to have at least 10.

2. Gather and align a stack of strips. TIP: Hold the stack of strips together with a spring clip or binder clip for convenience.

3. Punch holes in each end and in the center of strip. I usually fold the strips in half to find the center. Repeat for all of your strips.

Step 5: Assemble the Bow

Let's build the bow now.

1. Push your two-pronged paper brad through the center hole of one strip. Gently curve each end of the strip to the center, putting the holes over the prongs.

2. Check that you have the side of the paper you want showing on the outside of the simple bow you've just made. Oops? Take the strip off, reverse the paper and flip over your stack of strips so you'll do the rest the right way. Or, embrace that you have cool double-sided paper and go for it willy-nilly.

3. Apply remaining strips just like the first, changing the axis to fill in the bow. It's a whole lot easier to arrange them as you apply each strip than to move all the loops around once the bow is complete.

4. Need to make more strips or punch more holes? Just use your handy spring clip again to hold the brad prongs and keep the loops you've made so far in place.

5. OK, go find that canister lid.

6. Using a craft knife, make a small slit in the center of the lid.

7. Insert brad prongs from the top side of lid through slit to underside. Bend the prongs out to secure the bow to the lid. Fluff and make small adjustments to bow as necessary. If you want to get fancy, you can put some tape and a gold sticker or such over the prongs to pretty up the inside of the lid. I don't bother.

Step 6: Admire Your Creation and ...

Cool, you're done!
Stick a gift in there. Slap the lid on. Admire.

This is a great way to wrap a group of little things, stuff like t-shirts, or oatmeal cookies!

Best thing is the fab paper is not destroyed in the unwrapping of the gift. You can use this pre-wrapped package over and over.

Where to go from here?
Decoupage groovy pictures on the canister instead of using wrapping paper.
Paint the inside of the canister, or line with batting and satiny fabric.
Use different lengths and widths of paper scraps to make the bow. Heck, you could even use ribbon.
Apply the technique to recycle your skinny chip cans, nut canisters, coffee tins, etc.

I've never seen those here in Australia. What brand was it?<br />
I love oatmeal containers (not so much the oatmeal) and this a a great use for them! I remember I had a Glinda The Good hat made out of one when I was 4...
Hey, look at that! I do the same thing, using all kinds of containers & boxes, not just cylinders, although I find they are the easiest to use. Great work!
Post pictures of your works! I am addicted to making these bows. Now I'm saving the laminated bags from coffee for another round -- my hope is they'll be especially sturdy and crushproof.
I just checked out all the steps ~what a fantastic instructable~ so detailed with good photos and well laid out step. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
Wow, thanks for the great compliment! My mind works this way naturally. I'm treating my recent layoff as an artistic sabbatical and love the challenge of structuring my learning for teaching others. I took a bunch of pictures last night for a new instructable on my most recent obsession in the kitchen, so there should be something soon.
...they turned out pretty nice.... ....cylinder shipping containers work good too.....

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