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Share to PinterestThe Rap on Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

The Rap on Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

By Alicia Smith
Share to PinterestThe Rap on Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

Why not ditch that basic, expensive wrapping paper in favor of a unique look that's eco-friendly to boot? Next time you need to prepare a gift for a friend or family member, these innovative ideas will help you do it in style, without breaking the bank or harming the planet.


Recycle your boxes and bags

Just about everyone has old boxes and bags in their closets. Save money, space, and materials by repurposing them for any gift-giving occasion. You can even make a game out of it. Start a humorous tradition and exchange the same packaging year after year with someone special. Have a blast and see how long you can keep the bag or box going.


Put together a theme package

Choose a theme, select corresponding items, and pack them all together in a container that fits the motif. Personalize a gift collection where the wrapping is part of the present.

Do you have a friend that loves to cook? Pick up some kitchen items and put them in a stockpot. Is there a gardener in your life? Package seeds, tools, nutrients, and gloves in a planter or watering can. Have a family member who likes to have fun in the sun? Add towels, sunglasses, lotion, and a pair of flip-flops to a big, bright beach bag.


Reuse your containers

Crocks, cans, storage containers, and tins all make ideal packaging. As a bonus, they're much sturdier for breakable and fragile items compared to a flimsy box or bag.

When it comes to packing up homemade cookies or candies, antique canisters and mason jars are a wonderful choice. Get creative while giving a homespun gift. Add a bow and handcrafted rustic tag for a charming and personalized present.


Rejuvenate old fabric

Share to Pinterestwoman wrapping a gift in furoshiki style with fabric

Fabrics like clothes, towels, curtains, and blankets all have potential as gift wrap. Give these materials new life by making them into stylish works of art. Cut them into sheets and ribbons for unique, eye-catching packaging. Add an old ornament, cinnamon sticks, silk flowers, or pine sprigs for an elegant and exciting presentation.


Baskets, bushels, and more

Share to Pinterestbathroom gift basket in reusable basket

Baskets are a catch-all way to package gifts. Put an outfit in a laundry basket or wicker hamper. Bundle a set of dishes in a picnic basket. Load a bunch of candles into a bamboo bushel. Fill a storage basket with luxurious bath items.

Coming in different styles, materials, and sizes, baskets will fit all those odd-shaped items that traditional wrapping methods can't handle. Use your imagination and you'll come up with some wonderful and resourceful ideas. Plus, if you don't already have them, you can cheaply score baskets at thrift shops and dollar stores. Your recipient is just as likely to display it in their home as they are to repurpose it for their own gift-giving.


Shipping and packaging materials

Share to Pinterestperfume wrapped in bubble wrap for gift

Do you shop online? If so, don't throw out any of those shipping materials. Styrofoam and bubble wrap are ideal buffers for fragile gifts. Kraft paper is even better. Not only does it protect breakables, but it doubles as wrapping paper. Get the kids involved with this one and make it a family project. Have everyone decorate their papers with markers, paint, or Sharpies for a heartfelt, homemade touch.


Put it in the bag

Fabric bags make amazing packages. Effortless and versatile, they're a catch-all way to wrap. Perhaps you have some drawstring totes you don't use anymore. Or maybe you have a few reusable shopping bags that deserve a new home. Stuff one or a dozen goodies in them and you'll have a simple way to surprise someone special.

Upcycling pillowcases is also a great idea. Get crafty and make a clever pouch. Decorate it with buttons, ornaments, pieces of broken jewelry, or anything else that needs a second chance at life. Tie it off with a stylish ribbon, and you'll have a package that doubles as a mixed media collage.


Cardboard Creations

Lightweight cardboard offers a great alternative to gift wrap. Empty boxes of cereal or other pantry items can be easily turned into colorful gift bags. All you have to do is punch a few holes in the top, thread ribbon through them, tie it up, and you're good to go.

Paper towels and toilet paper rolls make wrapping small items a breeze. Decorate them in a funky style, fold one end in, insert the gift, then close the other end.


Hide one gift in another

Up the ante of wrapping paper by putting one gift in another. Use a cuddly throw to conceal a board game. Stuff some costume jewelry into a fuzzy pair of socks or slippers. Cradle a bottle of perfume in a silk scarf. Get creative and have fun mixing and matching.

Then, decorate your package with other clever ideas. Use a necktie as a ribbon, or a hair clip as a bow. The sky's the limit when it comes to these creative options.


Paper Products

Comics, old newspapers, and weekly mail circulars always make for amusing wrapping paper. Other ideas include sheet music, leftover wallpaper, calendar pages, graph paper, or anything else that's striking and fun.

Old maps also make great gift wrap. And for an added touch, use the part featuring a state or country that holds sentimental or special meaning for the recipient. Put the most relevant city or region right on top and highlight it with markers, glitter, or other decor.



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