Looking for an eco friendly wrapping paper? Why not replace it altogether? We explore some alternatives that will still look luscious under your tree.
- Time & Effort
- Supplies Needed
It is really encouraging to see many of the UK’s large store chains making a concerted effort to move away from glittery papers and plastic covering around rolls of wrapping paper towards more sustainable eco friendly wrapping paper.
But what if we want to go further and remove the wrapping paper altogether? We explore some alternatives to wrapping paper that will still look luscious under your tree.
These ideas will minimise single use papers and hence waste and, in many cases, double up as a bonus gift for your loved one!
Looking for more gift inspiration? Click here for ideas galore of what to put under the tree this year.
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1. Furoshiki Folding
Furoshiki is a traditional folding technique originating in Japan.
Using the technique will make for some awesome looking gifts without the need for a single piece of sellotape! Cut old bedsheets, tablecloths or even shirts to size to make use of fabric you already have.
Alternatively, why not wrap one gift with another and add a new scarf, handkerchief or tea towel to your main present?
The tutorial below from Wrapuccino shows you how – follow them on YouTube for lots more great Furoshiki tutorials!
2. Tartan Designs
We also love this idea for any old festive materials you have around.
Fix the wrapping in place with a complementary bow secured with elastic.
3. Sweater Sleeve Pouches
This gorgeous pouch has been created from a cable knit jumper sleeve, sewn up at one end. Finish with a beautiful ribbon and natural festive icon to create a really striking gift.
Get the tutorial from A Homemade Living here.
4. Christmas Canisters
Reuse your old tins and canisters to deliver your gifts.
We think you could simply remove the label on the canister and add a festive ribbon to the shiny container.
But, if you have some odds and ends of wrapping paper or any other paper around, you could wrap them first (like the ones from Crafty Nest below).
Either way, these make fabulous reusable gift containers.
6. Container As Part Of The Gift
What about if you have a container as part of your gift? Why not use that as the ‘wrapping’?
Fill a cake tin with items for the kitchen including the utensils and dry ingredients needed for a cake.
Or, stuff slippers with lovely spa goodies to make a fabulous pampering gift (just like the one below from Laura’s Crafty Life).
Paper & Card
7. Brown / Kraft Paper
The most eco friendly wrapping paper available in the stores. Check out our list of creative ways to use brown (or kraft) paper to wrap your gifts this Christmas.
8. Music Sheets
Old sheet music can look really elegant when dressed up with a little festive twine and greenery (like those below from Maison de Pax).
It makes a great alternative to traditional wrapping paper.
9. Paper Store Bags
The festive paper bags used by shops in the run up to Christmas make absolutely brilliant wrapping paper.
Take advantage of the ready made folds to give you great gift protection and finish with a festive flourish here and there! More information at A Creative Mint.
10. Old Maps
Vintage maps are another excellent gift covering as demonstrated by Ms Rachel Hollis.
With Sat Navs slowly making paper maps obsolete, are you one of the many households with redundant maps lurking in the cupboard?
Bonus points if you can find a map of a location relevant to the recipient.
Newspaper can look beautiful when decorated with ribbons and foliage. Perhaps even try to track down the paper from a special date, or save the paper from your lucky recipient’s birthday during the year.
And if you’re looking for a purpose made fully recyclable newspaper, we can highly recommend Read Wrap Recycle‘s unique newspaper wrapping paper. One side is a fabulously fun edition of news from the North Pole, complete with jokes and puzzles, and the other side is fabulous patterns ready to wrap your gifts.
12. Book or Magazine Pages
What about finding a second hand copy of your loved one’s favourite novel and using the pages to make gift wrap?
Or, how about covering kitchen gifts in recipes from a cooking magazine destined for the rubbish?
The possibilities to repurpose old literature as personalised and eco friendly wrapping paper for your gifts are truly endless!
Other Alternative Gift Wrap Ideas
13. Crisp Packets
Such a simple idea from EcoCult for smaller gifts, but an inside-out (clean!) crisp packet makes a fabulously shiny festive wrapping alternative.
Looking for more gift inspiration to spoil your family and friends? We’ve got gift guides, homemade gifting ideas & wrapping tips galore!
Why not show off your gifts and simply present them arranged beautifully in a basket?
Use shredded paper as a base on which to lay out the treats!
Your loved one can then enjoy using or regifting the basket afterwards. We love this fabulous night-in crate by Pretty Providence.
15. Tiny Parcels
We can’t resist including this gorgeous idea for jewellery and other tiny gifts.
Use a hollowed out walnut and add a little festive sparkle to the inside. Add your gift and hold it shut with a ribbon.
A perfect idea for … dare we say it … a ring
16. Lego Box
Should you happen to have spare LEGO around at home and a family member in need of an activity, why not follow Cool Mum Picks’ example and put them to work?
There is no denying that this is a time-consuming gift container design. However, to really showcase a main gift and as a way of passing along second-hand LEGO to a new owner, it could be just the ticket!
17. Tote Bag
Present your gifts in a lovely reusable tote bag and give your loved one a bonus gift!
Bunch it together at the top with ribbon or hang it up like a stocking by the fireplace on Christmas Day.
You could even get the tote bag personalised for an extra thoughtful touch.
last but not least…
18. Don’t Wrap!
And of course, you could choose not to wrap the gifts at all. Why not create a treasure hunt activity and hide the gifts at the end of a trail to make a festive game instead?
We do hope you’ve found our list of eco friendly wrapping paper alternatives helpful? Let us know of any other ideas you’ve used or come across in the comments below.
Looking for inspiration for homemade gifts, click here for our ideas.
More Gift Ideas
Looking for Elf on the Shelf arrival gift ideas for your little ones? We share 37 fun suggestions to celebrate your elf’s arrival.
Make your own fabulously fun mushroom wrapping paper for a unique gift wrap idea with this easy cookie cutter kraft paper design.
Looking for gift ideas for the mushroom enthusiasts in your world? We’ve rounded up the best mushroom gifts on the market for 2023.