An Eco Gift Wrapped Christmas

A few gift-wrapping ideas to get you going.

Christmas traditionally screams excesses, gift wrap strewn everywhere Christmas morning, too much to eat, too much to drink, too many tubs of Celebrations.  Actually, swipe that, is there such a thing as too many tubs of Celebrations?  Anyhow, this year seems a good year to bring some calm to the event and we are starting with the wrapping. 

You may not realise it but the majority of gift-wrapping paper is not recyclable.  If it has a sheen, glitter, or metallic, then it cannot go in most recycling bins.  I am of an age where I was raised by a war babe, my mum was the person who would save the ribbons off gifts and we would sit down in December and cut around last year’s Christmas cards using old pinking scissors and make gift tags.  My grandmother would do her best to open her gifts so that the paper could be reused.  It is time to perhaps reimplement this frugalness in the name of being greener.

Here are a few ideas to get us going this Christmas.

Use brown paper to wrap gifts.  Not only is it recyclable it is also fairly robust and can be saved to be used to either wrap another gift, to send a parcel, or if it is too crumbled to become padding in a gift when we next send a parcel out instead of using bubble wrap.  Another alternative is lining paper.  A great way to use up the offcuts from a DIY job.

Try using string to tie the gift up so you don’t have to use sticky tape which is plastic.  You can buy non-plastic Sellotape, it is twice the price though.  If you are using string to tie the wrapping in place you either need a second pair of hands or use weights and props to hold things in place like remote controls.  I would also suggest placing the string in position, then the paper, followed by the gift you are about to wrap otherwise you could end up wishing you were an octopus.

If you don’t want to use ribbon or string draw your ribbon onto the gift to bling it up!

You don’t need to be great at drawing for it to look fun


Gift tags

You could go retro and do what my mum used to do and cut up our old Christmas cards but if you did not save last year’s cards you could cut your own from thin card.  We often have free printable tags on our blog or you could just cut out whatever shape you fancy, hole punch, and thread your string through.  We have set up some templates for you to use to cut round, just click on the image below and press print.

Link on the above to be sent to a pdf version for printing this template for making your own labels


Do you have a jumble of broken costume jewellery?  This is a great way to dress up your wrapping.  Here is a link to a blog post that we have done previously on this.

gifts for her
Not bad for a broken bracelet!

If you are wrapping a gift that is going to be opened that day, foliage from the garden is a lovely natural way to add interest to the gift.  Careful if you are using a sprig of holly or a rose as you don’t want to draw blood.  If you have used blooms, take a piece of kitchen roll and soak it in water, wrap it around the stem to cover it, and hold it in place with a small piece of tin foil.  Obviously, bearing in mind the point of this blog, we would recommend saving that tin foil for the same use next time you wrap a gift with a fresh bloom!

An idea if you are gifting a scarf along with another gift and if it fits you could always use that to wrap the gift or if you need an extra gift you could gift them a reusable shopping bag.  We do a bag that can be personalised with your photographs, a family saying, initials, or name, or choose one of our designs. 

On the day, find a container or a bag and any reusable gift wrap or bags carefully place them in there, and add decorations that you can reuse, and any ribbon or string.  We would recommend that you wrap ribbon and strings around a piece of card as they easily become tangled.  When you take down your Christmas cards add these to a container and put it somewhere you will remember!

Merry Eco Christmas. 

Well, it’s a start.