5 Ways to Make Recyclable Gift Wrap
This holiday season, you may be wondering: is wrapping paper recyclable? Before you wishcycle it, you should know that no, most gift wrap is NOT recyclable. But if you do want recyclable gift wrap, or to wrap gifts in something that’s reusable or reused, look at these five ideas.
Brown paper bags
Reuse parcel paper or paper shopping bags by wrapping your gifts in them. Add a sprig of greenery and scraps of ribbon if you’re craving something decorative. Here’s a closer look at how you can wrap packages with recycled paper.
Reuse old maps by turning them into gift wrap. Yours will be the most unique one under the tree, guaranteed. I added scraps of yarn and sprigs of greenery for an extra touch. And just like brown paper bags, this gift wrap is recyclable and compostable.
Reusable cloth bags are a gift unto themselves. I know some people sew their own to use as gift bags. I didn’t have the time or patience to fight with a sewing machine so bought a few at a craft fair. This is the most popular zero-waste way to wrap presents this season!
Newsprint and old books
Ok so you know how I found a source for free antique books, right? Well I got a few that were totally falling apart beyond repair. I thought the pictures might be good for collages, and it turned out that for small gifts the pages could be used for gift wrap! I absolutely love the look of these. If you don’t have any books beyond repair, try the pages of a newspaper or magazine for a similar look. Again, this gift wrap is recyclable.
Old wallpaper scraps
This one is at the end of the list because who even has old wallpaper scraps? But I did find some at the local ReUse center, so I guess I do. All the ribbon in the picture below came from the there too. Design studios donate all their old fabric and trims to keep it out of the landfill, and people like me can use it!
What are you doing this holiday season to live more sustainably? Check out ways to decorate with books to see my New Year’s Resolution!
Eco-Friendly Wrapping Options
I love wrapping paper. Each year I love finding artistic paper options that aren’t typical Christmas designs (like the ones below!). But I definitely do not love throwing away the packaging after the gifts have been opened. For a few years now I’ve worked on my collection of pre-wrapped boxes that can be used year after year. There is a downside to those, and that’s storage space. This year, I experimented with the trend of minimalist, nature-inspired wrapping techniques. Here are my Eco-friendly gift wrap solutions to try.
Brown paper Packages, twine and greenery
They look elegant and well-designed, but these packages are covered with things you probably already have in the kitchen! All you need is brown paper, twine and greenery sprigs and you’re golden!
“But where do you get these sprigs, Abbie?” You may be asking. Mine are taken floral arrangements. Greenery usually lasts longer than the blooms themselves, so you can re-purpose it on your gifts. If you have a real Christmas tree you could also take a piece off of that in a place that’s not very noticeable…just throwing out ideas here!
For the paper, I used a brown grocery bag, but you could also try newspaper or the beige paper than comes in shipping boxes. Eco-friendly twine and re-purposed ribbon tied them off. There’s something very personal about the appearance of these packages, don’t you think, like they’re designed with the recipient in mind.
Another option I discovered this year for re-usable gift wrap is a reusable shopping tote. They’re no more expensive than paper gift bags, and the recipient can use it again and again. I found a Minnesota-themed tote at Trader Joe’s this year and it was perfect for large gifts.
Want even more ideas? Another blogger has some for you – I especially like her idea of using last year’s Christmas cards to make tags!
What are you wrapping your gifts with this year?
Last year I posted about my after-holiday shopping score of vintage style ornaments that looked exactly like the glass baubles from the 1950s that my grandmother used to have. These delicate, hand-painted gems have an air of sophistication and elegance that modern resin ornaments can’t match.
A Mid-Century Christmas
The beautiful handpainted glass spheres are just as trendy today as they were half a century ago. Most of them have miraculously lasted without breaking (although she did once wistfully tell me about dropping and smashing an entire box of ornaments, so there were once way more in existence).
Where to Find Vintage Ornaments
Not only are vintage and heirloom ornaments one-of-a-kind, they’re also a sustainable choice for the holidays. Decorating without buying new is always a win for Planet Earth. If you’re shopping for vintage Christmas ornaments, check thrift stores and also Etsy, which has a lovely selection of mid-century Christmas decorations for not too much money.
Take these vintage red satin ornaments for example, which are selling on Etsy for only $3! Or buy a whole set of 8 vintage glass ornaments that look like they came right out of my Grandma’s closet for $32, which is not more than what you’d spend on modern, made-in-China ornaments at most stores.
What are your favorite Christmas ornaments? Do they hold a special memory for you?