Growing up, we were the family that never, EVER ripped the wrapping paper. We carefully peeled away the tape pieces and refolded the paper so it could be used again. I’m pretty sure I had the exact same piece of wrapping paper on my birthday presents for 18 years. My mom is the queen of eco-friendly gift wrap because it literally never got thrown out. But short of recycling the same paper for a couple of decades, here are some really fun diy eco friendly gift wrap ideas!
This post contains affiliate links. Read more.
Finding creative ways of wrapping presents can really be half the fun of gift-giving! Everyone will ohh and ahh over your efforts and you can save your slice of humble pie for another day. Nobody forgets an occasion where the wrappings were just as amazing as the gifts!
Eco Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas
I’ve been making efforts lately to try to reduce the amount of waste we produce in our household, slowly but surely finding better options and making better choices. When you stop to think about it, buying paper that will almost immediately be thrown in the garbage seems a little silly. I think we can do better!
(Another idea for eco-friendly items for special occasions is this reusable DIY fabric bunting!)
1. Fabric Wrap
Have a search around for a length of fabric, a pretty cloth napkin or a silky scarf that you can wrap furoshiki style.
Photo source: Country Living
A sweater sleeve is the perfect size for containing a bottle of wine. Simply sew (or glue for that matter) the raw end of the sleeve closed and use a pretty ribbon to tie up the other end! If you were really feeling crafty, you could turn the body of the sweater into a larger gift bag as well.
Photo source: The LC Issue
3. Kraft Paper & Stamps
This is maybe not the most eco-friendly but it can be way fun and allows for a ton of creativity. This is a great activity to do with kids too. You can roll out a huge piece of the paper across your dining table and let the kids go nuts. You could use stickers or washi tape and if you’re feeling really brave you can add some glitter too. Scrapbook.com is my go-to site for all things stamping and crafting, you can find practically anything there!
Photo Source: May Holi Craft
4. Kraft Paper & Foliage
In an effort to make the kraft paper idea a little more eco friendly & reusable, you could leave the paper blank and add easily removable details like foliage, flowers or paper cutouts.
I save any kraft paper that arrives in Amazon orders or other online shopping. I smooth it out and let the boys decorate it with stickers and colouring when they wrap gifts for their friends.
Photo Source: Local Milk Blog
Save your rice bags and anything else that comes packaged in burlap. Wrap it up with a lace ribbon or weave in some leftover lengths of yarn for pops of colour.
Photo Source: Annabelle OM
6. Tea Towel
A tea towel is the perfect wrap for a food themed gift. Bake up some goodies and wrap them up in a useful & pretty tea towel for the perfect not too specific gift! (aka suitable for anyone on your list!) This shop has some adorable modern tea towel designs including the lemon branches pictured here!
7. Music Sheets & Book Pages
Use sheets of music to make an envelope or gift bag. Book pages are the perfect wrap for the book lover in your life!
Photo Source: Craft and Creativity
8. Newspaper, Comic Books & Magazine Pages
You could stamp or colour on top of the newspaper to add some pretty detail. Comic book or magazine pages can be turned into DIY bow toppers too!
Photo Source & DIY: Whole Living
(9) Reusable Fabric Gift Bags
I recently created this simple DIY reusable fabric gift bag tutorial for Christmas. It has pretty metallic details and can be used year after year!
One thing I do every year is turn the Christmas cards I received into gift tags for the following Christmas. I happen to have a punch that cuts out the tags, but you could easily cut them out by hand. This idea works great with birthday cards too!
With this list you’ll likely spend more time creating the perfect package than picking out the gift!
What’s the prettiest gift wrap you’ve either given or received?
April Kitchens says
We use the comic strips from newspapers to wrap my daughters gifts. I also like the idea of using cloth. For birthday gifts, we use brown paper bags and my daughter draws a picture or two to decorate the paper.
Marie Ndiaye says
These are all so adorable! I love the wine sweater! And what a great idea about the holiday cards into tags — genius! I’m definitely stealing that. Thanks so much for these wonderful ideas.
Lynn Woods says
Oh I love these! The sweaters are my favorite.
I love these ideas so creative! Thanks for sharing.
I have to get some kraft paper. I just love the look with the stamps or green foliage. Thanks for the reminder.
Felicia @ The Starving Chef says
Such creative ideas here – I have some old clothes I was going to donate but now I might upcycle them into present wrapping instead!
Laura @ The Mindful Mom Blographer says
Oh my gosh, the sweaters!!! I LOVE that idea! So cute, festive and useful! I also loved the music sheet idea. That is beautiful! A wonderful list of ideas!
Really great ideas. I especially love the sweater version that looks so cute or the fabric one… makes the gifts look so elegant 🙂
Zahra Biabani says
Definitely going to be doing the book page/music sheets for wrapping! Also love the repurposed bags into tags idea!
Such cute ideas! I use a lot of the stuffing the comes in packages and try to dress it up or let the kids color it.
Katie Braswell says
How elegant!!! I love all these ideas, especially the ones that are “repurposed”! I love taking my time to wrap presents and making them beautiful, so this post was perfect to spark my inspiration. <3