Gift Wrap

No Waste Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas

No Waste Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas

Every year people all over the world struggle with Christmas gift wrap ideas, or gift wrap ideas in general. We all want something attractive, unique and personal to the receiver. We want our gift to stand out among the sea of gifts that are sure to be found in almost every home. I changed my view on what I normally consider gift wrap, and began thinking of suitable replacements.

Reusable Bags

Many people, myself included, carry reusable bags for shopping trips. It saves on waste and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, materials and designs. This makes for a perfect gift bag to hold the actual gift itself. You have the ability to find the size and style that you want to suit each individual. Additionally, it serves as a bonus gift to the recipient.

gift wrap
I wrapped a gift for my mother by simply double bagging it. I placed several makeup items in the floral bag, then placed that in the clear one. Ready to go! And zero waste!

Besides choosing the the proper size and an appropriate color, you can also personalize it further by stitching on a monogram. If you aren’t able to stitch or embroider it on, there’s always those printout iron-ons. Or you can just buy an iron-on design if you can’t make one. And let’s not forget rhinestones or glitter either. These are great for adding a bit of sparkle to the bag. The best part about this is that the monogram or design serves as a gift tag to identify who will be receiving it.

In Lieu of Tissue

I’m trying to minimize the use of tissue paper to gift wrap individual items that are going into the reusable bag. Recycled tissue paper from last year makes for great filler, since it’s probably crumpled anyway. If you have a paper shredder, then you can shred junk mail and use that for filler as well.

This year I’ve decided to use scarves, pashminas, and towels in lieu of tissue. I’ve simply wrapped the gift with a scarf and tied it off. I didn’t have to roll out any paper, cut, fold, or tape anything. Okay, so you’re probably thinking that it’s weird and unattractive. To some people it may appear that way, however I enjoy veering away from the norm. And the whole point here is to reduce waste as much as possible. Not only will you minimize the trash, you also have the opportunity to really personalize your gift with patterns, colors and styles for the individual.

gift wrap
I used a pair of cozy socks as wrapping for some small gift items for a friend.

Besides the above mentioned alternatives, I also used fluffy socks, gloves, and berets as gift wrap. The socks I chose are thick, soft fluffy ones that are perfect for wearing around the house or to bed. These are good for smaller items (unless it’s for someone with a giant foot) like fancy soaps, bath bombs, body splashes, lip balms, tea bags, or even chocolates. You just pop them into the socks and secure with a rubber band, hair band, scrunchie, twine, raffia or recycled ribbon.

Reusable Boxes

If a gift absolutely needs a box and didn’t come with one, then opt for one that can be reused. I am a collector of boxes, and not just because I love them. They’re great for organizing any and everything! I pick up boxes year round, either for myself or for packaging gifts. So far the response has been very positive since everyone feels like they’re getting an extra gift.

Clockwise from Top Right: Tea Legends metal box, Pencil pouch/makeup bag, The base is a large heavy duty cardboard box that looks like an old fancy book, Small checkered cardboard box, Old Saint Nick cardboard book box. Center: Small metal watch box with latch and riveted corners, Hand burnished small wood box.

There are tons of different containers to suit any style, shape or size gift that you have. Just visit a container store if you need more proof! Your options range from cardboard to plastic to wood to metal to stone to clay to ceramic. With so many options, you may have a hard time deciding on just one box. Additionally, you can buy a box or container anywhere; there’s no need to visit a specialty store.

wood box
This is one of my favorite styles of boxes. It came as part of a 3 piece matching set.

In fact, you can probably find a container around the house that will work for gift giving. It’s easy to re-purpose or transform it into something unique and attractive. A can of spray paint can do wonders, as well as decorative paper, fabric and adhesive drawer liners. Add some ribbon (left over from other things), lace, buttons, fancy tape, stickers and other small embellishments to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Low Waste Gift Ideas

Gardeners Joy – Use a flower pot, canister, painted coffee tin, or bucket as the container. Add seeds, trowel, shovel, dirt, plant markers, gloves, kneeling pad and/or lawn ornaments to the container.

Coffee Lover – Acrylic or glass containers are great for a more modern look, while a wood box imparts an old world feel. Add some gourmet coffee, sugar sticks, a mug and some homemade cookies for a that person who just loves coffee. You could also substitute or add chocolates and cozy socks too.

Tea Lover – You can use the same kind of packaging for the coffee, but instead of sugar sticks, use honey sticks. I personally really like metal tins for storing loose tea and a clear acrylic box for tea bags.

HandyMan – Simply fill a toolbox with tools. Add duct tape, exactos, nails, screws, washers, sandpaper, paint, putty, caulk, and anything else that you think they may need. Then, just put a nice bow on top and you’re done.

Care Package – Just about everyone loves a care package. I mean, it’s right there in the title – Care! These packages are a great way to show someone that you really care and aren’t just giving them a gift out of obligation. It’s very simple to put together and can really come in handy for the receiver. You can toss in a wide variety of warm fuzzy treats like: cookies, candy, cider, crackers, nuts, cheese, popcorn, chips, pretzels, hot cocoa, sausage, specialty sodas or marshmallows. As for the non-edibles, try socks, gloves, throw blanket, slippers, cozy pillow, hand warmers, ear muffs, music cd, dvd movie, or even pajamas.

There are tons of different ways to wrap a gift using low or no waste packaging, just use your imagination!

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