There’s nothing nicer than seeing beautifully wrapped presents under the tree but a lot of the wrapping paper we use, and the ribbons and pretty bows we add aren’t recyclable.
Never fear though, there are some fabulously easy ways to create beautiful gifts that won’t cost the earth. Whether it’s simple things you can find around the house, or materials you can buy that are recyclable, here are some simple ideas.
Wrap your presents in material
Furoshiki is the traditional Japanese art of wrapping with cloth. Originally this was a simple way of transporting clothes and other items, but now it’s known more as an eco-friendly gift wrapping idea.
You don’t need to buy specific pieces of cloth. Instead, you can recycle some material you have at home. Perhaps you have some dressmaking offcuts or received some clothes in a material pouch. You could even use a cloth that is part of the gift itself, such as using a scarf to wrap up a hat and gloves.
You can find a bunch of tutorials in Furoshiki online. We think this tutorial from Live Green is fab!
Design your own wrapping paper
Not only is this a pretty fun activity, but it’s also a great way of ensuring that your wrapping paper is recyclable. Use up some brown paper, or any paper you have lying around, and get creative.
Create stencils with old cards or go back to childhood with some potato stamps.
This is also a great way of getting kids involved with Christmas preparation, just make sure you put some newspaper or tarpaulin down to keep things clean.
Make sure you use paint and ink that is environmentally safe and non-toxic to ensure that what you create can be safely recycled.
Use up old newspapers and magazines
Gone are the days where newspapers just wrap your fish and chips, newspaper and magazines can also make your gifts look super pretty.
You can create flourishes with contrasting newspaper and magazine pages or even create a newspaper rosette if you’re super creative and an origami pro!
Try complementing your wrapping with decorations with a similarly earthy colour palette such as a natural cotton twine.
Keep hold of any nice packaging
In the lead up to Christmas, you may find that things you order come wrapped in something pretty like paper, natural shredded paper, or even a gift box. Even some shops on the high street have made their paper shopping bags into wrapping paper designs. Wherever you see this, don’t be afraid to reuse and recycle.
If you don’t want to use paper that is obviously branded, then why not simply decorate it?
Similarly, if you get a nice gift bag prior to Christmas and you’ve already opened it, take the gift out and reuse the bag, simple!
These Paper Christmas Gift Bags are too good not to reuse again and again.
Add a touch of spice
Planning to do some festive baking? Or simply a fan of something warm and mulled? Use any spare cinnamon sticks, dried citrus fruits, and star anise to add a beautiful finishing touch to your gifts.
They’ll smell amazing under the tree, and unless you’ve added glue could even be used by the recipient. If not, they can simply be popped in the compost bin and will safely biodegrade.
Add clippings from your Christmas tree
Hands up who bought a tree that’s a bit too big, or looks a bit wonky? Neaten your Christmas tree up with a quick trim and use the offcuts to decorate your gifts.
The same goes for any wreaths or table decor you’re creating, or the holly bush that’s sat in your garden.
Like spices and citrus, this really complements simple paper or cloth that’s in a natural hue.
Use old cards as gift tags
Saving some nice cards from last year? Cut old cards into a gift tag shape, create a hole, add some twine, and voila you’ve got yourself a unique gift tag. You can even use up old gift bags that have seen better days and aren’t quite nice enough to pop under the tree anymore.
If you’re feeling sentimental, you could even cut out all of the nice Christmas messages and keep them in a folder or scrapbook and just use up the decorations from the card.
Didn’t save anything last year? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered
Ready to get wrapping? We suggest popping on some of your favourite festive tunes, getting cosy, and letting the creative juices flow. You can always use a combination of these ideas to show the people you love how much you care.
Got any other eco-friendly ways to make your present wrapping skills the envy of all? We’d love to know them in the comments below!
Just want to keep it simple? We’ve got a whole gift wrapping collection for you!