Monday, December 16

Low-Waste Gift Wrapping Tips

There's nothing like watching the kids open presents on Christmas. I love to see their excitement as they discover the treasures hidden inside each package. But.. have you ever thought about the trash bags full of wrapping paper when Christmas morning is over? It's something that's been in the back of my mind the last few years... but I've never actually done anything about it. In fact, I've already wrapped most of this years presents in traditional wrapping paper. But... I'm ready to do better. To waste less and teach my boys not to waste. It seems like a natural next step after simplifying our Christmas decor and simplifying our gift-buying this year. And now is actually the perfect time to start preparing! 

I just learned that Burtsbrisplease, one of my insta-favorites, saves back little bits and pieces all year to use for her Christmas wrapping. Look at the beautiful gifts she creates with them!

I 100% plan to start my own thrifty gift-hoard immediately. To build-up my stash for next year. Here are a few items I'll be keeping an eye out for:


I love the idea of fabric gift wrap. For immediate family we could re-use it year after year and totally eliminate our gift wrapping waste. Plus I love the soft, cozy look. With a little practice, you can use a few basic techniques to easily wrap just about anything with fabric! Affordable muslin is a great budget-friendly option for DIY gift wrap, or you upcycle your own fabric items (clothing, etc) or check your thrift stores for vintage sheets!

But that's not all - you can wrap your gifts in a gift. When you're gifting outside immediate family, choose a wrap that will actually be useful to them! You can use a scarf, a tshirt, a reusable shopping bag, or an adorable dish towel like this:


Paper may sound counter-intuitive when we're talking low-waste, but it doesn't have to be! I mean, the whole point is to avoid creating waste - but what if you just use the "waste" that already exists? There are great paper options all around you just waiting to be up-cycled into gift wrap. You can save paper shopping bags (turn them inside-out for wrapping to hide the logo), save the kraft paper inner packaging from amazon orders, use old newpapers or magazine pages, even maps from an old atlas! There's plenty of paper already headed toward a landfill or recycle center. You might as well put it to use! And if you just save back a few of the boxes and wrappings you receive this year? You're already reducing your waste for next year!

Other Wrappings 

Don't be afraid to think outside the classic wrappings. Thrift stores are a treasure trove of unique gift wrapping possibilities! You can use glass jars, vintage tins, cute baskets, just about anything that can hold a gift. You'll be reducing your waste and adding something useful and beautiful to your gift!

Bits + Pieces

These low-waste gifts don't have to be boring. Twine and cotton string are more environmentally-friendly options for tying up gifts, but you can also add all kinds of sweet, zero-waste swag! Look for fabric scraps, flowers, herbs, evergreen clippings, or pine cones. Make salt dough tags or even search for thrifted finds like vintage ornaments.
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Remember how I said you can wrap your gifts in a gift? Well that also applies here! Add a little gift wrapping swag that's actually a useful gift. Try wooden spoons, vintage measuring spoons, or even a photo (like this one from artifact uprising):

Whatever it ends up looking like, I hope that next Christmas finds us with a pile of gifts that are wrapped in a totally new way. Beautiful, unique, and without the bags and bags of trash.

Check out all my Christmas projects and tutorials here.

Have a low-waste wrapping tip or gift idea to share? Leave it in the comments! :)

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