How to Wrap Christmas Gifts (Waste-Free)

How to wrap Christmas Gifts (Waste-free)

For some people wrapping eco friendly Christmas gifts is half the fun. Even to the point of rationing the wrapping so they do a few presents a night in the run-up to Christmas. For other people, they hate it and would much rather spend lots of money on gift bags or simply get items gift wrapped by the store they are bought from.

There’s no doubt that wrapping a gift makes it feel more special, especially for children. It's part of why we give gifts rather than just buy things year round. But there’s also the fact that wrapping paper can feel incredibly wasteful. Especially the shiny glittery paper and plastic ribbons that can’t even be recycled at the end of the process.

We’ve all been there Christmas day with a bin bag full of wrapping paper Christmas day. So how can you wrap your Christmas gifts waste-free and still hand over beautifully wrapped gifts to friends and family?

Here are a few of our favourite waste-free wrapping tips.

Fabric wrapping - Furoshiki

Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping with fabric. Fabric wrapping has been used for over 1000 years in Japan and is a great way to package gifts in a beautiful and eco-friendly way.

While it can be expensive to buy fabric wrapping paper the great thing is it can be used multiple times. Especially if you use it to wrap gifts for your own family or give fabric wrapped gifts to friends you know will reuse the fabric.

And fabric doesn’t need to be expensive. Old sheets and pillowcases are great for wrapping gifts (you can die them if you don’t like the colours) and if you keep your eyes peeled in charity shops you’ll find loads of scarves that are perfect for gift wrapping. The square ones are best.

A quick google will bring up plenty of instructions on traditional Furoshiki techniques but don’t be afraid to add a bit of ribbon if it makes life easier. Little wooden Christmas decorations also make great tags, add decoration to the gift, and have a string to help you secure the fabric.

Save packaging materials

If you shop online the likelihood is you’ll end up with plenty of packing paper in with the gifts you buy. And plenty of handy boxes that make wrapping tricky shaped gifts easier. Save the paper and use it to wrap your gifts.

Those traditional brown paper packages tied up with string actually look really lovely. And you can jazz up the plain paper with some festive stamps or stencils. Kids love helping with this and a few potato stamps and a bit of poster paint will keep them happily entertained and your gifts will be wonderfully personalised.

Again using little decorations, ribbon and string can make all the difference to how your gift looks and can turn a gift wrapped in newspaper into a very stylish gift.

Saving bags you’ve received gifts in and reusing them is another easy way to wrap waste-free. As it saving wrapping paper, even if it’s only little bits you can use to make bows or tags.

Wrapping big items

Big items can be hard to wrap, and use a lot of wrapping paper. But there are some eco-friendly alternatives.

1. Don’t wrap it. Set it up under the tree and add a festive bow instead.

2. Use a sheet. Fabric wrapping can be used for any sized gift and a sheet or duvet cover can be a very way of wrapping a bike or similar item.

3. Use a table cloth. The disposable table cloths you can buy in supermarkets for kids parties make great wrapping paper for tricky items. Simply place your toy kitchen, easel, fire station etc in the middle of the cloth, bundle up the corners and tie in a bow. And because they’re hardier than wrapping paper you can use them again and again.

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