Unwrapped presents against orange backdrop
Sustainability

Festive and eco-friendly gift wrapping hacks

Gift wrapping is easy with these tips. Read on to find out how upcycling wrapping and trim is eco-friendly and can give your packaging a unique touch that everyone will admire.

Good to know:

  1. When cutting paper, place the item on it so you can loosely wrap it and see how much you need.
  2. Keep a box for storing gift wrapping, and add anything that catches your eye.
  3. Reusing wrapping paper is good for the planet. Trim off torn or wrinkled sections with scissors.


Gift wrapping is a breeze with these practical tips, plenty of tape, a glue stick and a good pair of scissors.

Easy gift packaging ideas:

  • Strange shapes: Wrap strangely shaped gifts in tissue paper and place in a festive bag.
  • Save paper: Wrap boxes on the diagonal. This uses less paper and gives more coverage when that sheet of wrapping paper is slightly too small.
  • When the paper is still too small: Incorporate a panel in a complementary pattern or colour, which will fill the gap and add visual interest.
  • Neater finish: Use 1mm thick double-sided tape on the inside of flaps.
  • Last year’s cards: Cut them up to decorate this year’s gifts. 
  • Popcorn: Make a batch of popcorn, and once cool use as a biodegradable alternative to plastic packing chips that is perfect for protecting delicate gifts.
  • Wrapping cylinders: Wrap the curved surface of the cylinder and secure. Then use a series of fan folds to make the circular ends look attractive.
  • Wrapping spheres: Use aluminium foil, which crinkles well, to wrap spheres. Or put them in a box that you can wrap.

Upcycling

Re-using materials is eco-friendly. Look around your home for inspiration, which could include:

  • Anything Christmassy from last year.
  • Bright wrappings and ribbons.
  • Trims: Bows, tiny pine cones, plastic figures or dried leaves.
  • Shoeboxes
  • Tubes that contained crisps or confectionery: Clean thoroughly and wrap the exterior. Place a disc of paper or a bow on the lid.
  • Toilet paper or kitchen roll tubes: Push in edges at each end to close. Decorate with a strip of wrapping paper around the middle and some ribbon.
  • Branded paper carrier bags: Cover the logo by glueing on a picture, or some fabric. Then decorate the rest of the bag.
  • Old maps, pages from catalogues and magazines: Add layers of interest to packages.
  • Tissue paper: Wrap bottles, pad boxes or stuff a bag.
  • String and twine: Re-use – along with old cords from dressing gowns or curtains - for a rustic or artisanal look.
  • Crisp bags: Cut along the seam to reveal the plain, shiny interior, wash with soapy water and flatten out.


Furoshiki
: The Japanese technique of wrapping presents in cloth – from tea towels to silk scarves - scores points for sustainability. Store up your old clothes and then cut them up to use as gift wrap. Secure fabric with a knot or a safety pin and finish with ribbon or string. Patches of contrasting cloth can be added for more impact. In traditional furoshiki, there are more than a dozen ways to wrap and knot cloth around objects.

Bespoke gift wrapping

Get crafty, use your imagination and stamp everything you give with personality.

  • Rolling pin designs: Dip in diluted food dye and roll over white paper to create patterns. Let the paper dry, then use it to wrap gifts.
  • Used wrapping paper strips: Use as trim, or glue on instead of ribbon.
  • Shoeboxes: Draw, attach pictures, or add biodegradable glitter for a distinctive result. Line the interior with tissue paper, insert the gift, add the lid and finish with ribbon or twine. Cover logos with wrapping paper or fabric.
  • Newspaper: Add festive touches with ribbons, contrasting panels of wrapping paper or glued-on photos.
  • Craft paper: Ask children to draw pictures using colourful crayons, and use their creations  for personalised gift wrap
  • Print photos: Print onto one side of the medium-weight paper to make Christmas cards or gift tags.

 

Top tip:

Use old photos to create gift tags as individual as you are. Punch a hole in a top corner so you can tie them on, and write your message on the back.