Christmas: Eco-friendly wrapping paper

Christmas wrapping

Eco-friendly wrapping paper ideas to try this Christmas

I vividly remember Christmas day last year.  Having to get a garbage bag and fill it up with wrapping paper just to put it in the garbage bin. After spending all year working hard with my family to reduce the amount we put into landfill each week, it seemed like such a waste. So this year I have been busy keeping items which we can re-purpose to create eco-friendly wrapping paper alternatives this Christmas.

Here are some of my fave eco-friendly wrapping paper alternatives

Brown paper:

This is the easiest to start with. Brown paper creates the most beautiful blank canvas. It is compostable, recyclable and is easy to dress up. Add dried flowers, leaves, ribbons, twine or even Christmas decorations for an easy eco-friendly wrapping paper idea.

brown paper eco christmas wrapping paper

Children’s paintings:

Does your little one love to create art? My boys are always asking to do paintings. And as much as I love hanging it up, I end up with piles of their handiwork stockpiled throughout the year. We often reuse these for Birthday presents but this year they will also be making an appearance as Christmas wrapping. Our trick, we don’t use sticky tape but instead secure it with twine. That way Grandma and Papa can keep the masterpiece afterwards.

painting wrapping paper christmas

Reusable fabric squares:

Do you have a cupboard full of fabric off cuts? Cloth napkins even? Use these fabric squares to wrap your presents and finish off with ribbon, decorations or simply tie the fabric corners together. Bonus points if you have Christmas themed fabric to add a festive touch.

fabric wrapping paper christmas

Scarves and shirts:

Following on from the previous fabric off cut ideas. Why not make the wrapping part of the present? You could buy a range of scarves from an op-shop or support a local business and use these to wrap smaller items. You could also use t-shirts for the same idea. And with basic shirts for just $2.50 from places like Kmart it’s also cheaper than wrapping paper and a white t shirt is the perfect blank canvas.

Magazines and newspapers as eco-friendly wrapping paper alternatives:

A few months ago I cleaned out a cupboard in the lounge-room and found my old magazines from when we were designing the house. I always get the guilts if I just go to throw them out, so they are currently sitting in the kids craft cupboard. But it gave me an idea.. why not use them as wrapping paper. Newspaper and magazine sheets stuck together are great for wrapping larger items that are too big for the fabric and scarf suggestions. Plus you can choose ribbons and Christmas decorations to match and add a bit of flair to your wrapping. Newspaper, like brown paper, also acts as a great monotone background to let the decorations pop.

Recycled boxes/ shopping bags and gift bags:

In the post plastic bag world, I find a lot of stores still offer paper and cardboard bags as part of the shopping experience. While I usually say no to these, if I’ve forgotten my reusable I’d rather these than purchasing plastic. These paper bags can be used to group together smaller items under the Christmas tree. I found the plain ones best but if they have a logo you can always stick one of the children’s pictures over it. This also works for old cardboard shoe boxes etc and makes a great recycled wrapping option.

Recycled bag gift wrapping christmas

Stick a bow on it….

Finally, the easiest eco-friendly wrapping idea is not to wrap at all. If the gift comes in a box such as the brown cardboard boxes of our play mat, simply add a nice bow and pop it under the tree.

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