Alternative Gift Wrapping Ideas For A More Sustainable Christmas

While glossy and glittery wrapping paper is undeniably pretty to look at, it tends to contain non-recyclable elements such as plastic, dye, foil and leftover sticky tape. Cue the black bin liner making the rounds on Christmas Day and heading straight for land fill. Five million tonnes of it every year in the UK, to be exact.

To cut down on waste and have a more resourceful Christmas, we’ve pulled together some alternative gift wrap ideas to try.

May your presents come suited and booted in all the sustainable garb!

Paper Grocery bags or Brown Paper

For all the neutral gift wrap enthusiasts out there, use brown paper lunch bags hand-stamped with festive designs by yours truly. Minimalist, chic & Scandi – lovely jubbly.

Bags | *Bauble Stamp | *Botanical Stamp

Long lasting fabric gift wrap

Wrapping gifts in fabric, or Furoshiki as the Japanese tradition is better known, is the perfect antithesis to throw-away culture.

You can use anything from headscarves and linens to tablecloths to swaddle your gifts. Kitsch is the new fetch!

Lush Cosmetics have a lovely selection of knot wraps, some of which are made from recycled plastic bottles. From city maps to vintage prints, there’s something for everyone.

Lush Knot Wraps

Hand-painted ribbons

Enter the holy grail of budget-friendly present toppers: hand-drawn ribbons. You can use craft paint to draw bows, holly, baubles or the whole of Whoville if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.

No paint, no problem – just whip out a felt tip pen or a faithful Sharpie instead.

Old newspapers

Make your news travel further by repurposing old newspapers to wrap your gifts. Resourceful, indeed and probably the only way to put a positive spin on British politics right now.

Eco-friendly sticky tape

Even the most well-intentioned of us may not realise sticky tape isn’t recyclable but it’s one of the worst offenders for the environment around Christmas time. Use an eco-friendly alternative like this biodegradable packing tape from The Green Stationery Company.

Eco Paper Packing Tape

Christmas tree sprigs for present toppers

Before you go throwing those fallen sprigs in the bin, you might want to save them for your present toppers. Brown paper, jute string and a sprig of greenery to boot looks oh-so-pretty.

If your tree hasn’t dropped any branches, you can always pop to your local florist and see if they had any casualties when making their wreaths this year. They often sell Christmas trees too which means they’ll have plenty of branches to spare. Sure it might be a weird request, but we do what we have to do to spruce up our festive offerings.

You can go for a walk and forage for holly, berries & pine cones, too. Decorate them with spray snow or gold spray paint for a beautiful festive effect.

Cookie cutters and any spare decorations also make for great Christmassy present toppers. Or you could even go all-out Star Baker and make your own cookie gift tags. Is there anything better than receiving something edible and personalised? No, no there is not.

Raid your kitchen cupboards

Sprigs of rosemary look just as nice as Christmas tree branches atop your gifts and they smell great, too.

If you have any oranges going spare you can slice them up and dry them out in the oven on a low heat to use as festive fodder.

Re-use old clothes

If you have any old knitwear or embroidered dresses, cut them into thick strips and use them as wrapping trim.