Sustainable Gift Wrap Solutions Using Recycled and Foraged Finds


Amidst the excitement of a morning full of gifts, it can be easy to ignore the ever growing pile of garbage. Each year we explore new ways to wrap and decorate our gifts to ensure we are not contributing to the excessive waste of the season. I have collected a few of my favorites to help spark your creativity, and hopefully bring the practice of sustainable gift wrap into your home.

With every delivery we receive, there is the inevitable packaging that comes along. We save each and every component from the boxes, right down to the paper stuffed inside. I am sure you have a stash of similar things somewhere in your home that make a great starting point for alternative gift wrap. A custom-carved stamp or hand-drawn design can make for a truly unique gift.

However, don't stop there, as you can find so many options lurking in every corner of your home. An old scarf you don't use anymore, those glass jars piling up, or scrap fabric that's just waiting to get used, they all have the potential to become a perfectly wrapped present. Fabric wrapping is an art in and of itself; try looking up Furoshiki for some guidance in this ancient art. Old newsprint and tattered books make for excellent supplies. Not only can you wrap gifts with large pieces, but smaller pages or inserts can line glass jars to hide the contents.

Then comes the really fun part, the cherry on the top as it were. Rather than using ribbons and bows, you can find a plethora of natural adornments just by walking in your yard. Cedar sprigs, dried fruit, fallen branches or cinnamon sticks, they all make for a festively foraged gift with the bonus of being tossed into the compost pile when all is said and done.

Everything can be held secure with whatever string you happen to have on hand: kitchen twine, hemp, or jute all make great choices and help avoid the use of plastic tape. I even found a really handy punch at the craft store that lets me create custom tags from left over card stock, but use whatever you have. Your gift will stand out among the rest all on its own anyhow! 

I hope you have found some useful information here that will help you shift your ideas of what gift wrap can be. You can find the leather bows shown I've used in my shop. They make an excellent heirloom and will be sure to stand the test of time.




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