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9 Sustainable Gift Wrapping Ideas

Gift Wrap Ideas Published Apr 19, 2024

Do you have a box of old ribbons, hairclips, buttons and pretty things? If not, you might want to get one after reading this! 

I never used to be a gift-wrap sort of girl. Back in the day, when we had a much larger team of staff, we'd do a secret Santa every Christmas, and everyone could tell which gift was from me. It was the one that looked like it had been wrapped by the dog. 

Recently though, something's shifted in me and I've started to see gift wrapping as a fun activity. I've been using unusual items to prettify gifts wrapped in brown paper. Maybe I'm maturing, or maybe it's just fun to make gifts look pretty, who knows!

Here are some of my top tips for creating beautifully wrapped gifts without spending a fortune or costing the earth. 

1- Use brown Kraft paper. Make sure it's the fully recyclable stuff and not plastic-filled non-recyclable wrapping paper disguised as brown paper. The problem with most cheap supermarket wrapping papers is that they are non-recyclable, so using Kraft paper stops this problem. 

2- Wrap smaller gifts in unusual re-purposed papers such as maps, wallpaper, posters or sheet music. You can usually pick these up from charity shops for pennies. Old books work too, but please make sure that no one wants the book first! 

unusual gift wrap ideas, using newspaper


3- Use ribbons or string to tie around gifts. I have a box full of old ribbons and bits and bobs for just such situations. I collect and stash things throughout the year that I think might be useful for gift wrapping one day, and Christmas me is so grateful to past me for doing so. It's become second nature now, saving ribbons, but when I first started, I purchased a pack of different ribbon colours like this one from amazon to get my collection started. 


4- Old hair clips and headbands make excellent gift decorations. In fact, the big white bow in the image above is a headband that my daughter refused to wear. It's all stretchy too, so it fits perfectly on most gifts. 

5- Use a hole punch and some old scraps of coloured paper to make confetti, and glue them to the gift. 

6- Add natural decorations- leafy sprigs or flowers. 

7- No Sellotape? No problem! Use washi tape or stickers instead. The best thing about washi tape is it comes in a variety of colours and patterns. I always make sure I have a roll or 7 stashed away in my craft supplies box. 

8- Use photographs instead of gift tags. I am obsessed with photo corners at the moment, they come in a range of colours and mean that you can add a photograph to a gift and it can easily be removed and kept. 

9- Relevant Wrapping- who said you need to wrap gifts in paper? If you're buying someone a new home gift, why not use a (new) tea towel to wrap it? If you're buying a new baby gift. wrap it in a baby blanket. Birthday gift for a friend? How about a pretty scarf? Making the gift wrap an extra present is such a nice idea, it reduces waste, and it means double the gifts! 

fabric gift wrap

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