Five Eco Friendly Gift Wraps

Gift Giving is an integral part of the festive season – when we choose special something for our loved ones and then gift wrap it beautifully both to conceal it and to announce it!

Of all of the possibilities, here are my top five eco -friendly gift wrapping styles.

Newspapers and Magazines

I love wrapping with newspapers because they provide a decent size of piece of paper (and a really decent size it’s it a broadsheet!) You can match the section of the paper to the recipient – sport, fashion, finance, the crossword, cartoons, cooking.

If you can get your hands on a foreign language newspaper more the better.

I love magazines too! The pages tend to be smaller than newspapers, but the images are more colourful and GLOSSY! Fashion and travel magazines are fabulous for this purpose as are sports magazines and the Sunday magazines from the major papers. Look out for full page images that can be used by themselves or joined with other papers.

Maps and Other Ephemera

Maps are the gift wrappers secret weapon. They are large and colourful and tell a story. I love picking up maps when I travel – transport maps, park maps, gallery or museum maps – anything that tells the story of making a discovery or of getting from A to B. Thrift Shops are a rich source of maps, often with a vintage feel. 

I love other forms of ephemera too, and not just because I love using the qword ephemera. I love incorporating any bits and bobs that speak to a time or place or a shared memory – the instructions from the first piece of Ikea furniture you assembled, a drink coaster as a gift tag, a movie ticket, a printed review of a movie watched together. All provide such wonderful personal touch.

Fabric

Fabric works well as a gift wrap because it is flexible and can be folded and refolded, used and reused. I love calico but tea towels, scarves, serviettes and table cloths work really well also.

The Japanese art of Furoshiki is more popular than ever, providing a myriad of ways to fold perfectly precise packages. There are multiple sites and videos devoted to Furoshiki so you can practise to your heart’s content – this blog from 1 million Women is a sensational overview. I find it works best for smaller gifts – rather than larger presents.

Crinkled Paper

Like many people, I reuse wrapping paper but after much trial and error, I have discovered that you have to lean right into paper that is scrunched. Don’t get caught in no man’s land -with some parts crinkled and other parts smooth. If you are going to use scrunched paper – scrunch it all so it looks fabulous, textured and as if you really meant it. If you can’t get there on a fully scrunched wrap, just scrunch a portion of the paper and use it as a feature panel or belli band.

Brown Paper and Butcher Paper

Save all the brown paper bags that you get because they make excellent wrapping paper that is not prone to tearing. The same with butcher paper. You’ll probably want to avoid the inner layers of your deli package but the outer layer is generally absolutely fine and even better after a quick iron. The great thing about both brown and butcher paper is that they form a canvas on which you can draw, paint, letter, personalise or upon which you can build up with botanicals such as leaves, twigs, gumnuts hardy herbs and fine ferns. 

Save all the brown paper bags that you get because they make excellent wrapping paper that is not prone to tearing. The same with butcher paper. You’ll probably want to avoid the inner layers of your deli package but the outer layer is generally absolutely fine and even better after a quick iron. The great thing about both brown and butcher paper is that they form a canvas on which you can draw, paint, letter, personalise or upon which you can build up with botanicals such as leaves, twigs, gumnuts hardy herbs and fine ferns. 

That’s my top five but there are heaps more ways to use what you already have around you to wrap gifts that are eco and wallet friendly. Keep your eyes open and you can keep both the festive spirit and the planet alive!

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