Dec 18, 20193 min
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
It’s true we all love to receive a beautifully wrapped gift and I for one enjoy decorating them – It makes the gift giving experience all the more special, and of course, pretty gifts look the part under the Christmas tree, right!? It’s also true however, that we’ve become a throwaway society. A lot of our festive gift wrap (often coated in glitter and foil - making them non-recyclable) will most likely end up in landfills so this year, I’ve been thinking about how I can contribute to a less wasteful Christmas. If you’re also taking a more sustainable approach, I have some last minute, environmentally conscious gift wrapping tips for you. [Post contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission on each sale].
All the gifts... Wrapped in natural kraft paper, white drawing paper and fabric, I selected these products so they can easily be recycled and/or reused. Do you like my simple wreath too?
Gift wrapping with fabric. This technique is inspired by Japanese furoshiki. I've saved an easy tutorial here.
Here are my tips for a more sustainable approach to gift wrapping this Christmas:
CHOOSE NATURAL OVER SYNTHETIC MATERIALS
Wrapping Paper - Use natural, uncoated, non-glittery paper such as brown kraft paper. The same rule applies for gift boxes but if in doubt, always opt for matte over shiny finishes!
Fabric - If you’re using fabric, ribbon or string, again try to use natural options wherever possible such as linen and cotton. You could also use up any textiles at home that you're no longer going to use such as a linen napkin for example - The recipient can keep this and reuse it or if they don’t want it, why not store it away for another time?
Embellishments - Use natural decorations such as dried fruits. I’ve used dried sliced oranges and pepper berries which add a nice pop color into the mix - These can then be composted or saved for another project at a later date. If you don't like the idea of fruit you could simply decorate with foliage of your choice. And you don't have to just stick with one variety - Get creative!
Gifts have been decorated with natural embellishments including fouraged seed heads and dried foliage from an old bouquet.
RECYCLE AND REUSE
Forage - Forage for decorative foliage in your garden, in your local park (you will often find plenty of leafy branches on the ground) or you could take a few trimmings from your Christmas tree. I used dried foliage from an old bouquet. Simply group and tie the stems with string then hang upside down near your radiator - Et voilà! Dried evergreen at the ready!
Collect - Save any gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and more for next year! There should be no shame in that.
Aim For Zero Waste - I think the title says it all... Save, reuse and recycle what you can. Always measure up your paper around your gift so it fits. Excess can be trimmed and recycled when using natural paper.
Disclaimer: I did use an organdie ribbon that is synthetic (pictured above), but, my intention is for the recipient to keep it and reuse it... or at least I will!
These corrugated kraft pillow boxes are great for (small) homemade food gifts, stocking fillers or for the Christmas table . I do wish they were a little bigger though....
More furoshiki inspired gift wrapping using natural textiles. Just add a sprig or two of evergreen and/or embellishment of choice.
If you'd like to create a similar look for your gifts this year, you can purchase the items I used here:
Fabric & Paper
Kraft Brown Wrapping Paper 70cm x 8m
White Paper Easel Roll 42cm x 20m (size restrictions - can only be used for small to medium sized gifts)
Hessian Natural Fat Quarter 4 Pack (size restrictions - can only be used for small gifts)
Ivory Cotton Homespun Fabric 112cm x 2m
Corrugated Kraft Pillow Boxes 10 Pack
Kraft Storage Box A4
Mache Rectangular Box (with lid) 25cm
Ivory Organdie Ribbon 12mm x 6m
Natural Tags with Jute Yarn 52 Pack
Pepperberries 50g also available here
For the Wreath
Natural Wooden Embroidery Hoop 9 Inches
Oasis Silver Floral Bullion Wire 25g
Don't forget to include some dried (or fresh) foliage of your choice and double sided sticky tape if you must!
Have you started your Christmas wrapping? It just goes to show that sustainable needn't be boring... Now, I'm already thinking about next years gift wrapping ideas...
Products have been supplied by Hobbycraft to create this post. Art direction, styling and photography by Melissa Selmin. See more of my styling work here.