Another holiday season is undeniably upon us, and it’s time to start getting ready to wrap those gifts! That’s right, I said it, get out those supplies and start making the magic happen! If you’re anything like me, maybe you still need to start your shopping and haven’t really thought about wrapping, but you’ll get there!

Over the past few years, as I watch all the beautifully wrapped packages being torn apart (okay, the first few are beautifully wrapped and then the quality goes slightly downhill if I’m being honest) I feel worse and worse about the amount of wasted paper and supplies I see going into the landfill, and want to do my part to be more conscious of what is happening to our planet.

In such a consumer driven holiday, I feel that the way we wrap and present our gifts is a great way to reduce and reuse. Here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing and get those packages wrapped without filling the garbage truck with waxed wrapping paper.

  1. Hit up your local thrift store. Here you will find a multitude of things that can be used to make those packages pretty. Tea towels, old tablecloths, flannel shirts, mason jars, pillowcases, Christmas decor- the possibilities are endless. You can wrap boxes in repurposed textiles just as you would wrapping paper and secure with twine, and add pretty ornament that can also be reused. 
  2. Newspaper, old book pages or paper grocery bags. Add some colourful twine, recycled ribbon and a repurposed ornament and you’re good to go! You can also use pine cones or twigs found around the yard or your local park with a sprig of greenery for a rustic and beautiful look.
  3. Visit your local post office for a big roll of brown craft paper. Not only can this be folded and recycled after Christmas but you can customize it in so many ways. My favourite way to keep it simple is to draw ribbons on the paper with marker or stamp the paper to make it festive.
  4. If you’re good with a sewing machine, pick up some fabric. One of my favourite eco friendly options is to sew a variety of sizes of square and rectangular fabric bags with a drawstring enclosure that you will be able to use for years to come. Not only does this save money but also frees up so much valuable egg nog drinking time! Who couldn’t use more time around the holidays?! If you’re really ambitious, iron on letters to personalize the bags and eliminate the need for tags.  A great time to find fabric for this is after the holidays when it hits the clearance racks. This isn’t always the greatest option for those with sneakier little (and big) people in the house who can easily untie and feel what’s in the bags. 
  5. Look around your home. You’d be surprised at how many things you have that can be used to wrap gifts. Same idea as the thrift store, get creative with old books, shirts, blankets, and jars that you would otherwise get rid of.
  6. Using a scarf or beautiful tea towel and the Japanese method of furoshiki (a traditional wrapping method to transport clothes, gifts and other goods)  you can give two gifts in one!
  7. Give the gift of an experience. Memories with a loved one require no wrapping at all.

Last but not least, channel your inner grandma and fold and save all that glittery, non recyclable paper, tissue and ribbon you see that would otherwise be thrown out. Chances of being made fun of? High. Chances of reducing your carbon footprint on the planet? Also high. Win win!


Happy wrapping!

~ Liv