Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping: Sustainable Ideas for Conscious Giving

Sustainable Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

Every year there are holidays, birthdays and several other occasions to give gifts.
Presents are awesome, but while they put a smile on our faces, they don’t always make such a cheerful impact on the Earth, especially when you forget about eco-friendly gift wrapping.

Each Christmas, the wrapping paper used in Australia alone, is enough to wrap the earth almost four timesAnd what is gift wrapping paper made of?
Microplastics and fibres that are made with unethical chemicals, and can’t be recycled. As if it’s not enough, many of these wrapping materials are never used more than once. So they pile up in landfills every year.

Thankfully there’s a solution. If you’ve ever scratched your head thinking of sustainable ways to wrap gifts, this article is for you. You’ll see 9 eco-friendly gift wrapping techniques that will make your gifts look unique, while you save money and the planet in prime superhero fashion!


1. Fabric Wrap

Fabrics make the perfect gift wrap with an environmentally friendly touch. Scarves, organic tea cloths, and even pocket squares are just some materials that can make unique gift wraps. The best thing about fabric wraps is that they’re reusable and can be used for years. With a colourful cloth with a cheerful or festive pattern, who needs shiny plastic wraps?

One great thing about wrapping with fabric is you don’t need tape. When wrapped well, the cloth folds inside itself to keep the gift secure. 

Using the Japanese Furoshiki wrapping style, you can create a beautiful package. Plus, boxes aren’t necessary with fabric wraps, so there goes the extra waste that often accompanies gift wrapping.

Fabric gift wraps have another advantage. They provide a two-in-one gift. Recipients can reuse them as a scarf, tea cloth and also as a new sustainable gift wrap to pass along.

2. Old Papers and Cardboards

Newspapers and old magazines are a staple for sustainable gift wrapping DIY

Do you have old magazines lying around? What about some newspapers that no one needs anymore? Printed papers give your wrapped presents a timeless aesthetic. Especially newspapers that are written in a foreign language. You can also use the comic sections of your newspapers and save them up in advance when a gifting occasion is coming up.

Wrapping gifts in paper is an inexpensive way to reuse these papers that you might already have lying around. Wondering how to make an eco-friendly gift box out of some old cardboard? Just fold the paper, and seal the ends with eco-friendly glue, or paper tape. You can also make paper roses to decorate the package. 

Check this DYI eco-friendly gift box tutorial on YouTube, it really is as easy as it looks!

3. Toilet Paper Rolls

If you have some used-up toilet paper cardboard rolls stored away then this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

Bring out these recyclable gems because you’re about to see how to sustainably wrap presents with toilet paper rolls.

First, decorate the paper roll with some paint. You can draw polka dots and festive patterns with environmentally friendly paint. Fold one end of the roll inwards, insert the gift, and fold the other end closed. There you have it! An alternative gift wrapping eco-friendly option that is unique.
You can tie on some string or ribbon for a nice touch.

Toilet Paper Roll Gift Box DYI
Toilet Paper Roll Gift Box DYI - Image credit to

4. Vintage Store Treasures

Antique stores are a treasure chest for beautiful and rare ornaments. For a little money, you can get vintage decorations to spruce up gift parcels. Buying vintage is more sustainable than buying new items and these ornaments can be used again as gift decorations, or Christmas tree ornaments.

When next you visit that old store, keep your eyes peeled for pretty fabrics, magazines, vintage cards as well as ribbons. These accessories can contribute to eco-friendly gift box packaging.

5. Upcycled Gift Boxes

Forget about buying boxes from the store. Your delivery parcels can make for sustainable gift boxes. Many online orders come in cardboard boxes which you might store away somewhere in your home. Simply place your gift inside. While you’re at it, you might stuff in some eco-friendly packing material instead of using bubble wrap.

Wrap the box in some pretty fabric, or cover it up with eco-friendly colours, newspaper prints or sustainable wrapping paper to make your gift box look new. For an extra personal touch, you can attach a to-and-from card (maybe a card from the antique shop) with a bit of twine or ribbon.

6. Reusable Gift Bag

When we talk about eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas, gift bags are perfect. These bags are multi-purpose and can be used for years. An organic tote or drawstring bag can also serve as the perfect accessory and something that will make your recipient remember you fondly. They are a great additional gift that can show thoughtfulness. You can save up the gift bags and drawstring bags you get for this purpose.

If you like to get crafty, you can DIY some eco-friendly gift wrapping bags of your own. Your closet might contain scarves, shirts and pillowcases that don’t look frayed and washed out but need to be given away. With your scissors and threaded needle at hand, you can sew up a bag, add some string or straps and you’re good to go. If you’d like something new, a good purchase would be a bag made from an organic fabric that is recyclable and reusable (Wondering why organic products are so much more expensive? Read more about it here)  (Wondering why organic products are so much more expensive? Read more about it here) .

reusable fabric gift sustainable tote bag

7. Shirt or Sweater Sleeves

What is a fitting eco-friendly gift wrapping technique for wine bottles? You guessed right. A sweater or button-down shirt sleeve will do the trick.

Simply cut off the sleeve of the old shirt. Then hem the cut-off section with some thread. And that’s all. You may now put in your wine and secure the bottleneck using a ribbon, an old tie, or just the buttons of the sleeve.

8. Eco-friendly Wrapping Paper

If you really cannot resist buying brand new wrapping paper, buy some sustainable gift wrapping paper. These wrapping papers are designed with eco-friendly dyes. They are also recyclable and compostable and can be reused for future gift wrapping. 

We love these wrapping papers because they come in colourful prints and attractive designs. Wrap your gift in the paper and secure it with some eco-friendly gift wrapping tape.

9. Glass Jars

If you’re a lover of pickled goods and jams, chances are that you may have some empty glass jars lying around your kitchen. Glass containers are excellent when it comes to holding gifts for your eco-friendly friends. They are reusable and can be recycled repeatedly, each time maintaining a high standard of quality. You can always save up jars, or ask your neighbours and loved ones for some extra glassware they can spare.

The jars can be decorated with Christmas tree sprigs, ribbons, and colourful twine. You can use this gift wrapping idea for homemade treats, skincare kits and other handy gifts.

Final Thoughts on eco-friendly gift wrapping

Ethical gift wrapping is beautiful and leaves very little room for waste. The materials needed aren’t far-fetched. All you need is some creativity and you can create unique parcels without having to buy new supplies.

So go ahead. Save those delivery boxes and newspapers for special occasions. Now that you know how to wrap gifts the eco-friendly way, feel free to show love to your relatives and friends in the most sustainable style.

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