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Green Gift Wrap Ideas

I recently found out that half the paper consumed in the U.S. every year is for wrapping and decorating items. So, I’m challenging myself to wrap all gifts I give more creatively than in newly-bought paper.

Eco-friendly, green gift wrap could mean lots of things, but for me, this means reusing and recycling as much as possible. A few more thoughts:

1. Use what you already have.

Don’t buy any more gift wrap supplies unless you have to. Find inspiration from things lying around your house—shopping bags, newspaper ads, and the like. Once you start looking at material as potential gift wrapping aids, the possibilities are many.

2. Reuse as much as possible.

If your recycling bin overflows, you have plenty of wrapping paper and containers. I’m starting to save my yogurt containers for gifts!

3. Buy sensibly.

If you do need to buy wrapping material, look for paper and bags that can be reused and recycled.

4. Less is more.

When you use unconventional materials for gift wrap, it’s easy to get carried away and think you need to make up for your approach by overly decorating the wrapped gift. Just keep wrapped gifts simple. A little bow, a picture, or hand-written message on a brown box goes a long way, and it looks classy without looking like you tried too hard.

Ideas for Gift Wrap


  • Save paper shopping bags from stores
  • Ask for plain brown paper bags at stores
  • Save interesting newspaper, magazine pages, and newspapers
  • Save your child’s artwork
  • Save plain white paper you’d otherwise recycle


  • Gently-used scarves, t-shirts, thin towels, and washcloths are great for wrapping oddly-shaped gifts
  • Use new tea towels and make them part of your gift


  • Bottles and tins are great for packaging edible gifts
  • Small baby food containers are great for jewelry


Keep these on hand for decorating wrapped gifts:

  • Crayons (great for drawing on gift wrap)
  • Small ornaments
  • Little pieces of artwork (to cut and glue to gift wrap)

A few gift wrapping ideas in action

1. Cloth

Cloth is great to wrap oddly-shaped gifts. This technique has been around for centuries, and is still really popular in Japan.

fabric gift wrap
Photo source
Learn more about furoshiki—the Japanese art of fabric gift wrapping:

Furoshiki—the Japanese art of fabric gift wrapping.

2. Brown bags

Brown bags are super versatile.

Brown bags for gift wrap
Photo source

I have a friend who always gives her gifts in simple brown packaging with a little bow. Classy and eco-friendly.

3. Brown paper from cut-up brown bags

We have dozens of paper bags from Trader Joes—they make great wrapping paper.

Brown paper packages tied up with string
Photo source

4. Plain paper with tape embellishments

Plain white paper with fun duct tape you already have on hand = lots of fun.

Duct tape and paper
Photo source

5. Children’s art work

I love children’s artwork because they’re so unpredictable and look great as unique wrapping paper. The kids can also create the gift wrap after you wrap the gift.

use children's artwork as wrapping paper
Photo source

It’s also a great way to reuse all that artwork you can’t bear to toss (a particular hit with grandparents).

6. Bottles with a handmade label

It’s easy to transform bottles and tins into special gift packaging with a custom handmade label. All you need is a little white paper and some creativity.

My husband gave me a necklace in this bottle years ago. It is something I’ll save the rest of my life.

7. Newspaper

I’m a big fan of newspaper as gift wrap.

Use newspaper as gift wrap

Use either the comics section with a simple bow or just the printed newspaper (no color or ads) for the classiest look.

by Maya

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Angela @ Homegrown Mom

    My first Christmas with my husband (then boyfriend ) I gave him a pair of snow boarding gloves wrapped in a cozy blanket. He still has it 🙂

    Love these ideas!

  2. Nisha @ Healthy Mom's Kitchen

    I LOVE all these cute ideas! Growing up, we reused the same tissue paper over and over and over (a habit/tradition I carry on). I still laugh when I see the things my mom has gifts wrapped in. I was really surprised at the statistic that half of paper is used in wrapping and decorations. Wow!

  3. Nadene

    We’ve re-used netting bags from our fruit and vegetables. The kids can even weave some coloured wool/ ribbon through the holes to decorate it and it looks colourful and creative!
    My mom re-used long-life milk boxes. She cut off the top, covered it in paper/ fabric and attached 2 rope or ribbon handles for sturdy gift bags.
    I’m planning on cutting our old, clear plastic milk bottles into basket shapes for gift bags.

  4. Heather

    I once found a huge pile of japanese newspapers at a recycling bin. they made great wrapping paper. I regret getting rid of them in our move.

    • Amy@ Best Baby Strollers

      Oh my gosh, Heather, that would have been AWESOME wrapping paper! I have to say that #7 looked the prettiest, though all photos are gorgeous. Who would have thought that recycled wrapping would look so lovely. I also reuse gift bags and the tissue paper in it. Oh, and if I receive a gift with a fancy bow, I keep that too.

  5. Marcia Francois, Organising Queen

    Oh my word, these are fabulous ideas.

    I love the newspaper with the plain black ribbon – very stylish. I think I’ll do that, especially as I’m planning to give everyone photos of my twins for Christmas in plain black frames.

    I’m subscribing to the comments as I already love the ideas of the long-life milk boxes!

    This is my very cheap and very cute idea that I’ve been doing for years. I buy brown paper bags that are decorated – they sell them with pink, blue, lavendar, etc. I use those for all my gifts and add a ribbon to jazz them up. And they look fabulous.

    best of all, they are flat when not used so they take up very little storage space, which is always a plus for me!

  6. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

    Don’t forget the time-honored technique of simply draping a blanket over a huge amount of gifts! We do that for birthdays.

    Reusing gift bags from received gifts also works wonders too (my husband’s favorite idea!).

    • Anitra

      With our two kids being the only grandchildren/nephew/niece/etc in the family, we seem to get WAY more gift wrapping then we could ever re-use! Every few years, I’ll buy a couple rolls of paper for wrapping large gifts, but most of our stuff goes into re-used gift bags!

      My grandmother saved and re-used wrapping paper. I’m not against it, but I won’t do it – when it’s been re-folded to a different shape/size, it just looks… worn.

      • Suzy

        Hi Anitra,
        I reuse wrapping paper all the time – it can look perfectly ok if you store it folded neatly. Then when you want to use it, just cut off any torn edges or bits of sticky tape, and once you put a ribbon around or stick a card over a worn spot, it is barely noticeable that it has been pre-used. Especially for kids’ gifts when they are likely to rip the paper open anyway – they aren’t going to know whether a tear in the paper was there originally or whether they did it themselves! You should try it!!!

  7. Catie

    I have tried my best to use brown paper bags from a local grocery store, but I can’t figure out how to get tape to stick. Anyone else out there have a solution for this problem?

    My husband’s ‘solution’ is just to put the gift in the bag, fold over the top, and add copious amounts of staples. He does not understand why I disapprove.

    • William

      Try glue dots from the office or crafts store.

  8. Kristi

    With plain paper bags you can just fold over the top, punch with holes and weave ribbon in them. I did this recently for my son’s birthday party loot bags (black bags with bright yellow ribbon) and they looked awesome! (no staples…sounds like something my husband would suggest as well!)

  9. Judy

    It occured to me last year after I had disposed of all my wrapping paper that it is perfect to reuse to wrap up all of your Christmas decorations. Then the next year you can pull them out and look at the artwork or creativity used in wrapping 🙂

  10. Rebekah

    I’ve wrapped Christmas gifts in plain, brown paper for years, embellishing with pretty ribbons or stamps and ink. I LOVE the crayon “bow” idea. I’ll definitely be adding that to my repertoire this year.

  11. Kelly @ Mom's Kitchen Gadgets

    These are really great ideas. I especially love the idea of using my kids artwork to wrap gifts. I know the grandparents would adore a a present wrapped in works from their favorite little “piccassos”.

  12. Kara

    We always reuse gift bags and tissue paper too.

  13. Kristen

    We’re using part of the gift as the wrapping this year! As an independent consultant for Thirty-One Gifts (see for more info) we offer adorable bags, which can be used as purses, grocery bags, and even gift bags! This Christmas we’re giving our mom’s the Demi Purse, which will be filled with a variety of lotions, perfumes, jewelry, sweaters, framed photos – each unique to each mom. The purse will be the “gift bag” and usable as a purse afterwards!

  14. TAbitha (From Single to Married)

    Great ideas – I especially like the one about using Trader Joe bags – I have a lot of those lying around! 🙂

  15. Gwyneth

    Don’t forget the rubber stamps. Stamping is a great way to decorate brown paper, white paper, & cloth. You’ll need fabric paint for cloth. Stencils are also good for decorating paper & cloth. Newspaper cut into strips will curl like plastic ribbon. I use packaging tape on stubborn brown paper to wrap but colored tape would be another decorative touch.

  16. Kika

    A few days ago I repurposed a blousy shirt of mine: the full lower portion became a skirt for my five year old and the full arms were cut off and the bottom part stitched, creating two cute, magenta gift bags with draw string tops!

    • Sharon

      Love this idea! I might have to try that!

    • Kika

      Since then I’ve also made some christmas cloth bags using a second-hand red tartan flannel dress and green/red ribbon for the drawstrings. So easy to whip up.

  17. susie

    At our house, Santa always wraps the gifts in dish towels, this allows him more time to get around. My children decided this was a good idea and stole it for birthdays. They also often wrap in their own clothes or our dishtowels and cloth napkins.

    For gifts that are not opened at our house, we often wrap in part of the gift -dish towels are great for this and can often be purchased in bulk for a great deal. Who doesn’t need a fresh dishtowel?

    For baby gifts, we use a baby blanket or burp cloth (often a cloth diaper with a fancy ribbon sewed on). Even the bubble wrap and air pockets that come with on-line orders can make cool wrap.

    Sometimes we get creative with the ribbon too and use a licorice rope, cool shoe laces, a jump rope . . . or tie a fresh flower or sprig of rosemary on with simple twine or yarn.

  18. Andie

    Love these ideas! I’m looking forward to searching through our huge pile of kids’ artwork:)

  19. Maya

    Thank you all for sharing your ideas for frugal and eco-gift wrapping!
    I am really loving all these ideas – possibilities are endless!!

  20. sandee

    I make a drawstring gift bag out of repurposed fabric I pick up at a thrift store. (curtains, sheets, linens, pillow cases, sham covers). The bag becomes part of the gift to be used.

    I have repurposed used white sheets to embroider designs or names on the bags. (see a picture here of Halloween gift bags I did. I actually had the spooky fabric from last year.

  21. Sheridan

    These are great ideas. I usually buy wrapping paper after Christmas when it is on sale, but I love the idea of being more green! So I will use up whatever I have and then try these ideas. My uncle always used the comics to wrap presents and I remember as a kid I loved that!

  22. Rebekah

    I love the idea of using newspaper, but I worry that adults will think it is tacky. Anyone feel that way?

    • Tsh

      I can see it might look that way if it’s done “college-style” — masking tape, wadded up, written on with a pencil, etc. But if it’s done with simple black ribbon, like Maya has here, or maybe with some other creative idea, then I think it looks really unique and trendy without being overdone.

      Great ideas, Maya.

    • Jen

      If I received a gift that way I would like it, if it is done nicely. But I was also thinking that the news articles showing should be the “good” news! LOL

  23. Meg

    One of my favorite things to do when using brown paper bags (or really any plain paper) is to write lyrics/poetry/etc in cursive, slanted diagonally across the paper. For Christmas gifts, I usually write the lyrics to a Christmas song. You could also write a poem, inside jokes, etc. Simple, yet effective!

  24. Prerna

    Oh.. I love this topic and yup, will be posting about it on my blog as well later this month,.. But some of my faves include toddler artwork, cloth with strips cut out for matching “ribbons”, using old but in good condition linen for bigger gifts, using orphan earrings and spare buttons for decorations.

  25. Kimberly

    I love the look of the black and white newspaper with the black bow. I’ve often used the comics for kids’ birthday wrap, but I love the elegance of the black and white. Gorgeous!

  26. Kit

    We keep all last year’s wrapping paper from other people’s gifts to us and re-use it. The ribbons especially can easily be re-used and dress up plain paper wrappings.
    Often I wrap a big item in newspaper or brown paper and then put a band of bright paper salvaged from last year around it to make it look festive. Or re-use crepe paper from last year – it can be tied into a bow and look very classy.

    Odd bits of broken tinsel stuck on to a plain paper parcel look great too!

  27. Sharon

    Thanks for sharing all of your creative ideas-I LOVE doing this and always try to reuse paper…although, I also love the wrapping paper fights my extended family has every year!

  28. Jenna

    When I was younger my mom used to make all of our wrapping paper out of brown paper bags, paint and a couple potatoes at stamps. It was a fun pre-holiday craft project and I’m sure super cheap. I still love the old fashioned look of brown wrapping paper. And newspaper, especially the comics section!

  29. GALE

    I save all of the bags from stores with the little handles…Ok so I usually get them at garage sales. After Christmas, I go through the Christmas cards and cut them up then paste them over any words, advertising, etc that is on the bag. One side of the bag might have a picture collage and the other the printed words from the inside of the card. I’m not as frugal as my mom was though. We would carefully unwrap the presents which would then be put in a big box. We then ironed it and reused the next year. One piece of paper was used for over 20 years! Everyone was excited to see who got the “special” paper each year.

  30. priest's wife

    I love the idea of using comics to wrap- we usually use butcher paper and have the kids paint it. FUN!

  31. Charissa - The Gifted Blog

    Lovely ideas! I write a blog about gift wrapping, so I’m always interested to read about other people’s gift wrap ideas, especially when they are as green and charming as yours.

    One of my favorite ways to creatively/frugally wrap presents is to make a recycled grocery bag pom-pom to use as a gift topper. It sounds crazy, but it’s a very cute and playful way to dress up a gift!

    Thanks for sharing – I’ll be bookmarking this for future reference!

  32. Katie @ Imperfect People

    Kids art work! PERFECT!! I think I will get some butcher paper and have them finger paint all over it. Grandparents will eat it up!

  33. Scarlet

    I love the photos. I am always saving paper and bags and boxes to reuse. My cousin always uses cloth bags and collects them after present opening to reuse. So many creative ways!

  34. Julie

    I absolutely love some of these ideas! One year we used some brown recycled stuffing paper and let our son (who was 3 at the time) go crazy with some green and red paint. We then used these pieces of homemade art as wrapping paper. Everyone loved this and my inlaws even framed this as a keepsake!

  35. Nelly

    We are proud to introduce Recycled Ecological Christmas Wrapping Papers. It is never later to start planning christmas! Buy eco wrapping Christmas paper at with the possibility to order personalized design.

  36. Bren

    I love how you have started out the Holiday season Eco Friendly! I am looking forward to what you share next.

  37. Lisa Robin

    Last year we were low on funds so I bought a big red plastic table cloth for a few dollars to wrap all our gifts! People loved the material and we got a lot of compliments. But I love the idea of using stuff we have already, so that is what we will be doing this year. 🙂

  38. Ariel

    I use reusable bags from ChicoBag to wrap all of my gifts! They are the perfect alternative to gift wrap!

  39. reckless driving attorneys

    Very nice idea. I will share it with my friend. He really need it. Thanks

  40. janet

    four years ago i bought a red jersey sheet set and made 6 “santa bags” from them by using the pillowcases as a template and adding shoelace drawstrings. haven’t wrapped a christmas gift for our family since. i have extra fabric to make more as the family grows (weddings and grandchildren).

    for those outside the family, i re-use bags from gifts received or brown paper kraft paper from target. inexpensive, easy and green!

  41. gigs from home

    Really new idea,its cheap and new,but there are some people who still not recommended this but from my side its really great and recommended.I am also doing these thing and will share with all of you soon.

  42. Lee

    My family has not bought paper gift wrap in over 15 years, we have stocked up on different sizes of Fabric Gift wrap.

    No Scissors or tape needed it’s fast.

    We’ve be replacing our stock as we give it away here.

  43. Allison

    Fabric is MY favorite eco-friendly wrap. My family and I cut up a bunch of Mom’s Christmas material that had been languishing, unused, in her closet for YEARS. We left some whole on the bolt for the big stuff and cut a lot of the rest. Green, red, gold, white, silver… We purchased some ribbon (not the throw away kind, mind you) and now we give each other gifts in the fabric. The recipient just re-uses for the family member the next year and it just keeps getting swapped around year after year.

    • Emilie

      We also use Christmas-themed fabric bags and they look beautiful! Sounds like you use the same types of ribbons we do to dress them up. It’s as quick as using a paper bag with none of the waste.

      • Rita

        I’ll chime in on this one, too. Gave my parents some gifts in our handmade bags more than 10 years ago, and we still see them every year. There is nothing better late on Christmas Eve than throwing a gift into a bag and simply tying it closed with a ribbon. (We stash the ribbons inside the bag when we’re done.) It was a bit of time the first year, but well worth the time it’s saved every year since.

  44. eWrapz

    Love these ideas! It is so important to reduce all of the waste that is associated with something as wonderful as holiday gift giving! I am so passionate about “greening” the gifting process that I started my own little eco-gift wrap company last year. eWrapz ( is reusable fabric gift wrap that is stylish and easy to use. Just another option for making holiday gift wrapping a bit more eco-friendly this season!

  45. railroad design

    Great! I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what you’ve said and still make it interesting. Well, at least I’m interested.

  46. Adrienne

    I needed some basket filler, so I put brown paper bags in my paper shredder. It wasn’t quite as fluffy as the store-bought kind because it wasn’t crimped, but it worked great!

  47. Jen@ kids bean bag

    I love your gift wrapping ideas here. But I like the most the eco-friendly materials being used here. We need more post like this, for us to be educated and be responsible.

  48. Emily

    Three yrs ago or so, I got hold of a large box of scrap fabric for practically nothing at a garage sale. We are now using that fabric to wrap gifts for the three of us, and when we run out of gift bags and wrapping paper for others we will go the brown bag route.

  49. Margaret

    Over the past 7 years I have been buying fabric remnants in Christmas colors and making cloth bags. We have been reusing them along with paper gifts bag that we receive.
    I really like all the brown paper bag ideas and may have to use some of them for gifts that go out of state.

  50. Amy

    I love to use sewing patterns for wrapping gifts.

  51. Emily

    I have patterns to make reusable and study shopping bags out of pet food bags! Our Christmas presents will be given in those this year. A special treat being that the dog food we buy and that from other family members are in red and green bags! I also have a pattern to make shopping totes from old t-shirts. If anyone is interested in the patterns, I’m happy to share 🙂

  52. Sara Tetreault

    I love to wrap gifts with old maps. They’re always great colors and always seemed to start a conversation. Add a ribbon and done!

  53. karen

    thanks for the brilliant ideas! I’m always the first in line to buy the most minimalist-ically well designed wrapping paper, and I’m sure waste loads of money in the process. The idea of having children create wrapping masterpieces with crayon and water colours – Love.

  54. Stephanie Pease

    Wow – that is the most comprehensive and non-time-intensive list of practical eco-friendly ideas I’ve ever seen! Well done!

  55. Rache

    love lots of these ideas.

    I keep an eye out for christmas or plain/silver or gold gift boxes in thrift shops. I got a lovely set of three with embellishments on a few years ago. we use them to store small decorations during the rest of the year, and for smaller presents for christmas. since our children are small, we try to take presents out of their store packaging beforehand, which means we can also recycle the different elements more effectively than if they were all in a massive heap with paper etc on christmas morning.

    I’m definitely looking at using fabric more this year, since I’m sewing some presents it makes a lot of sense.

  56. Jessica

    If you live in a city with a newspaper you can probably get end rolls for free if you are willing to make a trip to the printing press. Our newspaper offers up to two end rolls for free per day (you can even choose from a couple of lengths). An end roll is the last of the roll of newsprint that can’t be used. Maybe the best part is that it comes wrapped around a heavyweight cardboard tube that is a favorite toy around our house. End roll paper is just beautiful blank newsprint that you can use for an endless number of projects and jobs around the house!

  57. Stacy Makes Cents

    My dad always used the funny papers to wrap gifts. He still does. 🙂 I used to think it was silly when I was young, but now I’m doing it myself!

  58. Arran

    Wonderful article! Last year we had less than one grocery bag of waste after Christmas and it was a great feeling. Some of the things that people in my family did were:
    -sewed cloth bags with scrap material. These can be re-used for years
    – used old pattern paper instead of tissue
    – used yarn instead of ribbon (which we reuse every year as well). This looks great on brown paper.
    – didn’t wrap at all! Instead we hid a few smaller gifts around the room and turned it into a game.

  59. Dee

    First let me say that I LOVE Christmas wrapping paper. But, I was also trained from a young age NOT to tear it apart. In my family it has long been tradition that you carefully open your packages so that the paper can be reused again and again. So I was not only brought up this way, I now do it in my family. My husband is…less than enthusiastic, but he accepts it. He always says “This is the year we’re not recycling wrapping paper, isn’t it?” But it never is. So we are always using paper from years gone by.

  60. phyliss flanagan

    I expecially love the newspaper with ribbin and the brown bags. So simple but elegant 🙂

  61. jenny

    a dear friend once wrapped a gift for my child in the old pages of a dick and jane book that had a broken binding. i have since saved that wrapping (to reuse) and have started saving other pages from otherwise ragged books, too. it was so creative!

  62. Erin OK

    I find I never even get to use cute ideas like this, because just saving paper and gift bags from gifts we receive gives us more than we can ever use. I wish that our parents and grandparents would stop buying that stuff! Oh well, we do what we can!

  63. Anna

    I love using baby’s art to wrap, I will use brown bags, and I just thought of using pages from an old, falling apart book. If it’s not in good enough shape to read or donate, or nobody cares to read it, I think it would make great wrapping for a small gift.

  64. Beth Roland

    Love these ideas for gifts we give to others! Our family has stopped wrapping our gifts to each other altogether. Last year I made fabric “santa bags” for each family member out of holiday fabric and each person got to choose their decorative trimmings. Now all our presents go into each respective fabric bag (that also matches each person’s stocking) and they look really nice sitting under the tree. My husband and older kids love it b/c they hate wrapping. The younger one’s doesn’t get filled until Christmas Eve (and I keep colored tape around the tie on the others so I know if anyone has peeked!). Christmas morning we open the bags and take turns taking gifts out so we all get to see and share – and no mess (other than store packaging) when we are done (stuff often even goes back into the bag until it has a place to go).

  65. Melissa

    I reuse Nordstrom’s silver boxes every year.

  66. Michal

    Did you know that you can use wrapping paper cut into strips as curling ribbon that matches your package? You have to be gentle as you pull the paper against the side of your scissors, but the paper curls beautifully. I like to tie several of these curls in the center and attach them to the top of the package.

  67. Molly

    We had a bedsheet that was stained by a spill in the basement. I dyed it red and cut it up for gift bags with bows. It was my first time dying anything and I definitely learned a lot about fabric dying also — on cloth that wasn’t so critical to get exactly right. Love this post! I’m proud to say we haven’t bought any wrapping material this season and no one is the wiser.

  68. Eva

    Great article and great ideas! We use, reuse, and if we buy, we buy recycled. Besides, there is nothing like a brown bag decorated by a three-year-old (with non-toxic crayons and paint).

  69. Ruth18

    This is a wonderful tip. It doesn’t only help parents to save money it help them make use of those extra paper lying in the corner of the house. And having this kind of activity at home can help kids more creative as they are.

  70. Melissa Taylor

    love the art work idea!

  71. alanc230

    I’ve used the color comic sections of newspapers for wrapping kids’ gifts. They like it, and the paper, whether free or expensive, is just going to wind up in scraps on the floor anyway.

  72. priest's wife

    We’ve been sewing fabric gift bags- this makes a great beginning sewing project

  73. Erin

    I love these ideas! Since we moved cross country this year, I’ve got lots and lots of packing paper that just seemed a waste to toss in the recycling bin. My girls will have a blast decorating it to wrap Christmas presents in!

  74. Melanie

    Wonderful ideas, especially for less creative types like me. Who knew newsprint gift wrap could look so attractive? Love the reusable jar idea with handmade label as well. Will share the ideas with our friends and customers.
    Thank you.

  75. Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site

    I love to use my children’s artwork for wrapping paper! Just not anything painted with tempura paints, they chip. It gives the art a new life, and saves on paper. I love the ideas fore using yogurt and baby food and other containers!
    Thank you!

  76. Jenn

    We love using fabric for wrapping. We have a variety of pieces picked up in the sheet section of the thrift store and from the remnant bin at the fabric store. When wrapping time comes around I pull out my handy furoshiki guide and get to work.

    I’ve also used a really fun furoshiki method that makes a pocket on the front to tuck things into as a baby gift wrap. The gift gets wrapped in a baby blanket and a stuffed animal or other baby toy gets tucked in the pocket. Super cute and all useful.

  77. Julia B.

    Last year’s wall calendars work great for wrapping gifts.

  78. Angel Collins

    This is such a great idea most especially during this season! I love the idea of using brown bags because of its simplicity and elegance at the same time. It’s more of letting out my artistic side! I love it! 🙂

  79. Shannon

    another idea for decoration- when I remember! is to save old Christmas cards (those you send or receive) and cut out for the embellishment on something otherwise pretty simple.

    Thanks for the ideas- and reminders!

  80. Ecmh

    Love this post! I’ve been collecting pretty pillowcases, sham cases, sheets, and tablecloths from thrift stores and now have a stack of fabric that is great for wrapping gifts we give in our family. I like to keep real ribbon to decorate and secure the knots from curious kids’ eyes, which can be ironed and used again, too. Furoshiki is a Japanese tradition of tying cloth artfully–

  81. Sarah

    Buy a roll of butcher’s paper. It is so versatile, not only for gift wrapping, but many other things. And because it’s on a roll, you can use it to wrap bigger gifts. One of my favorite gift wrap ideas is to paint the paper with water colors in an abstract pattern. Another cute idea is to use a scarf bought at the dollar store as a bow. Not only is cute and quaint against the paper, but it also serves as another gift! Give an Experience Gift across Oz and NZ with FreemanX Gifts

  82. Mayra Rachel

    She really keeps you on your toes. Love her spirit.

  83. Suzanne Holt

    Reusing the previous years wrapping paper is a good way to conserve. It’s not so easy when you have little ones that just crumble and rip it to pieces, but if you have adolescents, bring them in on the greener solution to unwrap gently so you can reuse.

  84. Cybele @ BlahBlah

    Thank you, gorgeous ideas. I love using old maps and unwanted sheet music x

  85. Angie Collett

    I have often saved the clear plastic “to go” containers, washed them and the use pretty tissue or shredded paper inside to package the gift. I’ve used the same clear plastic containers from herbs to wrap small gifts. Cans of any kind can easily be made into little “buckets”. Honestly, most food containers of dry goods can be reused for packaging. You can paint directly on to boxes.

    It’s also fun to cut a plastic water or pop bottle, insert gift, put bottle back together with tape and wrap that area to hide.

    I have also created fabric bags in the past. Some times, I use old, worn out pants such as my kid’s jeans, cut off the bottom part of the leg and make a fabric bag out of it.

  86. Jen Norris

    Brown paper bags are my fave. I also like to attach a zipper (mayhaps a broken one?) to the package and insert a scrap of fabric or recycled wrapping paper into the “v.” Looks very fun, like you’re unzipping to something underneath!

  87. Sally

    I have to design packaging for my illustration BA and these ideas would serve as ideal eco friendly options for my cookie box idea. the carton and milk bottle ideas are brill. I may use them for giving family, bottles of wine for christmas. I wonder if you can get two bottles in the 4 pint milk bottles. maybe rope or hessian handles or the maybe shape a curved handle on each side as I am cutting the design out?

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