When Grist advice maven Umbra Fisk asked the good folks at TerraCycle if they had any ideas for reusing old movie film, they were happy to oblige! Here are their instructions for making filmstrip gift bows — check out their other seasonal DIY projects to see how to make bows from food packaging, ornaments from toothpaste tubes, and more!

Skill level: medium

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Time: 20 minutes

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Bonus: video instructions for the visually inclined

Materials you need:
50 inches of movie film or other three-quarter-inch-wide material
Hole punch
Paper fastener

  1. Cut the film into three lengths of nine inches, two lengths of eight inches, and one length of four inches.
  1. Punch holes on ends of all pieces. Then, punch holes in the center of all pieces except for the shortest piece.
  1. Create a loop with the shortest piece and insert the paper fastener through the punched holes.
  1. Take the second-shortest piece and create a loop lining up all three holes in the center. Take the paper fastener from small loop and insert through the holes in the second piece.
  1. Repeat step 4 for all remaining pieces. Insert the paper fastener through each one, going from shortest to longest. Secure the back of the bow by opening the ends of the paper fastener.
  1. Wrap your package in other recycled paper. Add your bow to the top and that’s a wrap!

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