20 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas For Every Occasion

A Selection Of Sustainable Gift-Wrapping Ideas For Christmas, Birthdays, Weddings & Other Special Events

Eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas

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The tradition of giving gifts for special occasions shows our appreciation and love for the people who mean the most to us. If you are on a journey to shift towards a more conscious lifestyle, taking every small step counts.

Did you know that the majority of wrapping paper, stickers, sequins, glitter, and tape is not recyclable and have plastics in them?

We want to encourage you to try more eco-friendly ways of wrapping gifts from now on. In this article, we will show you how to wrap using earth-friendly supplies, such as twine, kraft paper, hemp webbing, fabric, washi tape, dried flowers, pine cones, and so on. You will find some beautiful ideas on how to reuse, repurpose, and upcycle when wrapping gifts for Christmas, Mother’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, engagement or retirement parties. We have compiled plenty of easy and affordable ways to cut down on your environmental impact.

You can even take it a step further and motivate your family and friends to repurpose and reuse, thus, contributing to a healthier plant and better future. In the end, using earth-friendly and natural alternatives is a change that we can easily make. If everyone contributes a little, it will make a huge impact on the environment.

So, without delay, let’s start eco-friendly gift wrapping!

Eco-Friendly Gift-Wrapping Supplies From Hemptique: All Natural, Sustainable Materials For Greener Holidays & Special Events

Hemptique is a company that is committed to positively influencing the environment by manufacturing products from hemp plant. Hemp is known to replenish the soil it grows on, it is biodegradable and fully sustainable. Our eco-friendly products contain no toxic dyes or chemicals, making them a great green alternative. Check out our webshop for eco-friendly wrapping and craft supplies such as  100% premium cotton bakers twine, hemp paper, hemp webbing, hemp fabric, yarn, etc. Our 2x2 ply cotton bakers twine comes in a palette of over 40 colors, catering to every taste or theme. We collaborate with individuals, customers, retailers, wholesalers, and other businesses who are looking to implement sustainable materials and minimize waste. You can reach us by phone at 760-602-4864. ext. 403 and 405. You can also request a wholesale account to enjoy discounts for bulk ordering.

Earth-Friendly Gift Wrapping Supplies

What to use instead of wrapping paper? Although at first you might think there aren’t a lot of earth-friendly alternatives to wrapping paper, there are in fact many natural materials you can use or repurpose, such as fabric (Furoshiki), old gift bags, old wrapping paper, brown paper bags, hemp paper, parcel paper, old tissue paper, newspaper, mason jars, scarfs, baby muslins, cloth pieces, toilet paper tubes, etc.

Eco-friendly alternatives to glue are bakers twine, paper tape, washi tape, old lace, recycled ribbon, flour glue, cordage from natural materials (hemp cord), wool, etc.

Recycled and reused embellishments and gift tags include pine cones, upcycled gift tags, old postcards, origami decorations, foliage, flowers (fresh or dried), dried fruit, beads, candy canes, Christmas ornaments, shelled nuts, holly leaves, etc.                                      

1. Brown Paper Bags

Recyclable paper bags are great because they look great and can be used for any occasion, not only for Christmas. Cut the bags flat and use the non-printed side. Decorate the gift either with a message or a drawing. For a cohesive look, tie a twine. Idea taken from EcoWatch.
Brown Paper Bags
Fabric Wrapped Gifts (Furoshiki)

2. Fabric Wrapped Gifts (Furoshiki)

Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese technique of wrapping cloth to carry items, but has lately become a popular eco-friendly gift-wrapping method. The only supply you need is a square-cloth (two sided), either a repurposed one (like a tea towel, baby muslin, a scarf), or biodegradable, sustainable fabric, so your environmental impact is minimized. The beauty and elegance is in simplicity. No special skills are needed for this method. For more information and instructions on how to wrap a gift using Furoshiki technique, visit Collective Jen.

Tip: If you want to make the sound of opening the present fancier, place tissue paper under the cloth.

3. Kraft Paper 

Did you know that the majority of wrapping paper can’t be recycled? This is the reason why you should opt for its recyclable and biodegradable alternative – kraft paper. To keep it entirely ‘green’, avoid sellotape and glue. Try using sustainable twine, cord, or hemp webbing. Add tags and decorations that will complete rustic look (dry or fresh foliage, pine cones, dried orange slices, etc.). For more beautiful ideas on how to wrap using kraft paper, go over to Dani Noce.
Kraft Paper

4. Newspaper

Newspaper is cheap material that can be repurposed for wrapping the presents for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries. It is easy to recycle, and it’s trendy, making it a wonderful idea to go green.  If you want to make it more meaningful, you can look for an interesting article  or a picture you want to show off. Idea taken from Shift. Tie with upcycled ribbon, yarn, or any other type of cord.

Tip: Use crossword puzzle to write your message.

5. Repurpose Old Gift Boxes

Whether you are preparing a gift for Christmas, graduation, anniversary, or retirement dinner, you can upcycle old gift boxes that you probably have somewhere lying around the house. What's even better, you can use any type of box you have and then revamp the, with tissue paper, painted details, cute decorations for the occasion.
If you need a small gift box, use a paper towel or toilet paper roll. Even little kids can occupy themselves with making these little boxes. The ends of the roll are simply folded over and that’s it. You don’t need any tape or scissors. Finally, tie the boxes with natural or reusable ties. Finish it off with eco-friendly decorations and gift tags.
Source: Pinterest
Repurpose Old Gift Boxes
Glass Jars

6. Glass Jars

Here is another wonderful idea on how to use earth-friendly materials to put your presents in. You can stuff the jars with hot cocoa mix, cookie mix, jams, salted caramel sauce or homemade vanilla extract. The ideas are endless and the present will certainly look adorable! Personalize the jar by adding candy canes, cinnamon sticks, festive ribbons (reused), foliage or dried fruit. You can also use a piece of cloth to cover the top of the jar and tie with twine. Idea from Pixabay.

7. Bubble-Mailer Patterned Brown Paper   

Use bubble-lined mailer from padded envelopes as stamps to create different patterns on kraft or brown paper. Get creative by cutting out different shapes (stars, hearts, gingerbread men, etc.). You can use only one color paint or various colors. Add a few decorations, and you’re done! Idea from Kari Shea
Bubble-Mailer Patterned Brown Paper
Natural Festive Embellishments

8. Natural Festive Embellishments

If you are bringing a gift for Christmas, or winter celebration, here is another adorable way to decorate it. Gather supplies like tree branches, rosemary, cotton buds, or cinnamon sticks, for a rustic, natural appearance. You can even clip off springs from the Christmas tree if you want. Wrap in hemp paper, or reuse other old paper. Source: Tijana Drndarski

9. Old Clothes As Ribbon And Bows

Make use of old clothes, tablecloths, tea towels, shirts or T-shirts and make fun and festive bows and bows. They will add not only color but also texture to your Christmas or birthday gifts. If you have sewing skills, sew the edges for a cleaner look, or leave it frayed for a more rustic look. Idea taken from Eugenia Visocina.
Old Clothes As Ribbon And Bows
Regifting Gift Bags

10. Regifting Gift Bags

Apart from making the bag yourself (using recycled materials), why not opt for regifting gift bags you have collected. Think green this Christmas season and reuse and repurpose wraps or bags that you already have.  It will express not only your eco-friendliness, but also your loving effort to make every gift unique. Picture and idea found on Unsplash.

11. Cardboard Boxes

Another fantastic idea to go green and save money to use old cardboard boxes instead of buying new ones. They are perfect for gifts that are oddly shaped, for instance. You can easily decorate them by adding a piece of cloth, writing a message, or painting a design. Use twine to tie it up, and add some greenery for a touch of nature. Idea taken from Mindful of the Home.
Cardboard Boxes
12.	Linen Sacks

12. Linen Sacks

Linen sacks make an ideal earth-friendly alternative to wrapping paper. You can either place the gift in the bag, or tuck the handles in and simply wrap the item. By adding some foliage, dried flowers, or ornaments, you can quickly add a festive flair. You don’t need tape for this DIY craft. Idea from: Bedthreads.

13. Tote Bags 

Another great idea to wrap oversized or gifts that are oddly shaped is to use pretty tote bags. Depending on how creative you are, or what your budget is, you can either purchase new tote bags, or make them yourself using pretty pieces of fabric. If you are not good at sewing, use hemming tape to attach the pieces together. Encourage the recipients of presents to regift tote bags for future occasions. Idea taken from Martha Stewart.
Tote Bags
Christmas Tree Springs

14. Christmas Tree Springs

If you are getting ready to start shopping for sustainable Christmas gifts, or, if you are preparing DIY gifts, this holiday season use evergreen springs to embellish your eco-friendly wrapped Christmas gifts. Paper bags, kraft paper, hemp paper, twine, and some greenery are all you need to make a perfect earth-friendly wrapping that will even match the Christmas tree. It will look adorable on a glass with homemade eggnog. For an eggnog recipe and more information, visit Eco Cult.

15. Shipping Supplies 

People are switching to online shopping more and more, which means that they are continually receiving various kinds of parcels. Environmentally conscious individuals can save these shipping supplies so they can reuse them to wrap gifts for their loved ones. Then, when Christmas time arrives, you will have your wrapping supplies ready. Use pine cones, stamps, and upcycled postcards for decoration. Tie with cord or twine for a rustic look—idea from Nynne Schroeder on Unsplash.
Shipping Supplies
Paper Tape (Biodegradable)

16. Paper Tape (Biodegradable)

If you want to go green completely, then you should opt for biodegradable alternatives - washi tape or paper tape. They are made from plant fibers, tree bark or pulp, mixed with natural adhesives. You will be able to find different colors, designs and patterns, suitable for your needs and for the occasion. Some tapes even have sustainable glitter on them. Source: Kelly Sikkema

17. Household Items

Why limit yourself to paper and bags only? Get inspired and creative by gathering various items around the house, such as old maps, baskets, tin cookie boxes, buckets,  pillow cases, blankets, towels, cups, socks, shirts, wine bottles, and so on. You can involve the kids too. They can use crayons to decorate and write greetings. Original idea found on The Eco Hub.
Household Items
Decorative Gift Boxes

18. Decorative Gift Boxes

A simple, yet effective idea is to use decorative boxes. This is a great way to reduce waste, and what’s even better, they can be reused again (storage, regifting, home décor). Original idea from Mindful Of The Home.

19. Christmas Ornaments

Make a present decoration using Christmas ornaments (mini baubles, jingle bells, stars, snowflakes, etc.) Combined with some hemp webbing and old ribbons, they will look beautiful and elegant under the tree. For more information, go over to Thistlewood Farms.
Christmas Ornaments
Washi Tape

20. Washi Tape

Here is another beautiful idea of how to use eco-friendly supplies like washi tape to create a unique and crisp look. Wrap items with kraft paper and use washi tape to create various designs or patterns. As seen on Bellewood Cottage.

The Importance Of Sustainable Gifting: Why Should You Use Eco-Friendly Paper & Twine

Using earth-friendly wrapping paper and twine has various benefits, mainly for the well-being of our planet. Here are just some of the profound impacts you can make by purchasing all-natural or recycled products:
  • Lower carbon footprint – Minimized environmental impact, as they are manufactured from biodegradable and sustainable fibers, like hemp, cotton, or bamboo. Introducing this small change into our life will reduce waste and help heal our planet.
  • Lasting durability - Sustainable products tend to be stronger and last longer, meaning they can be reused many times, before naturally decomposing on a landfill.
  • Saves Money – When you buy a product made of 100% hemp, you know that it will last you a very long time, thus reducing the need for frequent replacements. This saves you money in the long run.
  • Inspiring others - By adopting and sharing eco-friendly products, we motivate others to do the same which ultimately leads to a more sustainable future.