- When cutting paper, place the item on it so you can loosely wrap it and see how much you need.
- Keep a box for storing gift wrapping, and add anything that catches your eye.
- 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.
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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.
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.
- 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.
If you've received gifts wrapped in wrapping paper, here are some ideas for how to reuse/dispose of it sustainably.