Wrapping gifts for the holidays is exciting and a great way to get into the holiday spirit, but traditional paper gift wrap bought from stores are oftentimes not recyclable and are a wasteful way to go when it comes to wrapping your gifts. Instead, try a more eco-friendly and sustainable approach with these 10 alternative gift wrapping ideas! They’re creative, festive, and more eco-friendly than a traditional paper wrap. Feel extra good about giving this year with these cute ideas featuring reusable or recyclable gift wrap!
Using fabric as an alternative method of gift wrap is much more sustainable than going for expensive paper wraps that’ll just be torn up and thrown in a landfill somewhere. There are a lot of different options when it comes to wrapping with fabric and fabric allows you to really get creative!
Wrapping with a scarf, towel, or dishcloth add an extra little bonus gift for the recipient, or you can wrap with old fabric scraps as a great way to recycle them. Clothing makes a great fabric wrap as well, such as a sweater or t-shirt. Get creative with how you wrap it, like tying a chunky knot on top!
2. Old Newspapers
Old newspapers make a great recyclable alternative to store-bought paper and can give your gifts a really cool old-timey feel to them. You can go with black-and-white or use a colored print, both work great! To add something extra to your newspaper wrapping, decorate it with some twine instead or ribbon and add natural elements like pine branches, berries, or a cinnamon stick.
These natural decorations in combination with old newspapers create a really sophisticated looking gift. Wrapping your gifts with the newspaper is a really eye-catching and eco-friendly way to decorate your gifts. Add a recycled fabric ribbon to take this eco-friendly wrapping to the next level!
3. Put It In A Box
Chances are you’ve got some boxes laying around your space from gifts you’ve received or things you’ve bought online. Utilizing any boxes you have laying around is a clever and simple way to avoid using store-bought gift wrap! And if you really can’t find any, cereal boxes or snack food boxes work great too!
Repurpose that Amazon box by adding some hand-drawn decorations or using some more natural toppings like fabric ribbons, candy canes, or dried flowers. Boxes are reusable and recyclable, so the recipient doesn’t have to feel bad tearing into this gift and you don’t have to feel bad wrapping it!
4. Old Maps
Old maps are a super cool and creative way to wrap your gift more mindfully! It’s a much more eco-friendly alternative to traditional wrapping paper and is a surprising and artsy way to present your gifts this season. If you don’t have any old maps of your own laying around, they can usually be found at an antique store or sometimes at thrift stores.
If you can’t find any, old calendar pages or magazine pages are other great options! Your gift will stand out and you can feel good knowing your wrapping is reused and can be recycled.
5. Jars Or Tins
Mason jars or other glass containers or metal tins are classic and eco-friendly alternatives to wrapping paper. Glass jars are a fun way to package gifts (if you don’t mind the recipient seeing inside!) and can be decorated with lots of different sustainable decorations like fabric.
Tins are a little more difficult to come by, but if you’ve got any old cookie tins or even smaller lip balm tins they can make great gift containers too, especially for smaller things like jewelry. Any glass or metal container that can be reused again and again makes for a great and practical gift wrap!
6. Use Baskets
Baskets can be really nice and effective alternatives to traditional wrapping paper. Presenting your gift in a basket works really well for single gifts or gifts that contain multiple pieces and can really tie a gift together. Add some natural pine branches or berries for decoration!
They not only look really nice but gifting your present in a basket gives the recipient a bonus gift! They can reuse the basket however they’d like to and there’s no waste from non-recyclable wrapping paper. A win for both the gift recipient and the environment!
7. Book Pages Or Sheet Music
Similarly to using old newspapers, wrapping your gifts in old sheet music or pages from an old book is another really classy way to wrap your gifts while also being a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional paper. If you’ve got some old sheet music or old book pages (please don’t go out of your way to destroy any books for this!) those make crafty and stylish wrapping that’s recyclable!
If you don’t have any laying around at home, thrift stores or antique shops are a great place to find some cheap! They’re much cheaper and more eco-friendly than buying rolls of wasteful wrapping paper. Sheet music and book pages work great as wrapping on their own or as embellishments, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
8. Flower Pots
If you really want to get creative with your eco-friendly gift wrapping, try using some flower pots! They come in so many different shapes, sizes, and designs so they make great gift containers for lots of different gifts. You could use a new and decorated flower pot or repurpose an old one with your own decorations or designs!
They’re great options for more sustainable wrapping because they’re reusable and your gift recipient will be getting a bonus gift! They make great gift baskets or holders, and if your flower pot has a bottom dish, use that as a convenient lid to your gift container. Tie it together with a big recyclable bow to really wow your loved ones!
9. Brown Paper Bag
Using a reusable and recyclable brown paper bag is a classic go-to for eco-friendly gift wrapping. There’s something really classy and chic about the brown paper wrapping that gives off a natural and high-end holiday feel.
The paper bag wrapping works really well on its own with some natural decorations like pine branches or a gingerbread cookie, or it looks really good decorated with your own art! There are a lot of fun possibilities when you use brown paper as your wrapping instead of traditional paper, so let your creativity shine while you wrap your gifts!
10. Reusable Tote Bag
Gifting your presents in a reusable tote or shopping bag is a great way to give a bonus gift with your present! A reusable bag is a great alternative and is much more eco-friendly than wrapping your gift in store-bought wrapping paper that’s no good for the environment and only serves one purpose before it’s thrown away. The bag can be reused over and over and is a clever way to switch up your wrapping game.