Posted on

Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

eco friendly gift wrapping with newspaper

I decided to try and avoid buying wrapping paper as much as possible a while ago, as it seems awfully wasteful. As a result I’ve been investigating more eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas and, although I’m still learning, I thought you might like to hear about some of them.

Not everyone realises that the majority of wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. While plain paper is, most gift wrap has plastic coating, glitter and/or synthetic inks added which means it’s destined for landfill rather than recycling. As a very general rule if you crumple the paper up and it stays crumpled then it may be recyclable, but if not then it’s almost certainly got plastic in it.

The great thing about switching to more eco friendly gift wrapping is that it is also usually more economical, so even if you’re just a cheapskate it’s still worth it 😆

Reusing for more eco friendly gift wrapping

Reuse old gift wrapping

The most obvious way to do this is by reusing gift bags and the wrapping paper that gifts you receive come in. If the wrapping paper is a bit wrinkled, then an iron can sometimes help with this. If the paper is plain and a bit wrinkled, then you can also crumple it up really well then flatten it back out again for a lovely crinkled effect. Add some ribbon and a gift tag and you have something that looks like it came from a boutique!

Save up bits and pieces

You can create some really gorgeous gift wrapping by saving up odds and end to reuse. As well as you can reuse tissue paper from clothes and other package deliveries as well as newspaper. I’ve seen some truly gorgeous gift wrapping ideas on Pinterest using newspaper so decided to try it myself. Here’s my effort using scraps of ribbon and two sprigs of lavender, which I think looks quite acceptable:

eco friendly gift wrapping with newspaper
You can also make gift bags from newspaper using the instructions in this blog post.

However I will add that newspaper looks best with just the text. And these days it is quite difficult to find large sections of text without photographs so it’s more suited to a small gift. You also have to be careful what text is on there. Obituaries or bad politics can give the wrong message 😁. One tip I’ve come across is to use foreign newspapers, which seems like a good solution if you can find one.

And of course if you don’t have any newspaper lying around already then buying some only makes sense if you’re going to use the majority of it for something else…

Old boxes can also be decorated to create lovely gift boxes of all shapes and sizes. You can paint them, cover them with fabric or paper scraps (or newspaper), or if they’re pretty enough leave them as is and just cover any logos up with a sticker or gift tag.

You can even use old toilet roll tubes to make cute little gift boxes! Take a look at this video to see how…

Other things that are worth saving to decorate your gift wrapping with are ribbons, string, buttons and fabric. As well as being more eco-friendly you’ll be known for always wrapping gifts beautifully! I have a drawer with all sorts of little bits and pieces in that I’ve kept, including stuff like the twist ties on Christmas crackers and the ribbon and bells that come with Lindt bunnies.

eco friendly gift wrapping using brown paper
Photo by Lore Schodts on Unsplash

All these odds and ends would usually go in the bin, but this way they get used at least one more time before this happens. You might inspire the recipient to reuse them again too when they see your gorgeous gift wrapping! 😃

Use charity shop finds

You can also gather up gift wrapping supplies from charity shops. As well as reusing old stuff you’ll also be supporting the charity. They’re usually pretty inexpensive too. Look for sheet music, old maps or fabric for wrapping in. And any type of haberdashery, faux flowers/leaves and brooches are all great to decorate with. Some clothing that has seen better days could also be cut up and used if the fabric is pretty.

You can easily make a fabric gift bag by sewing a rectangle with one end open. Either sew a seam to thread ribbon or string through and gather,  add a button and loop to fold the top over, or just create ribbon handles.
Oxfam also often sells fair trade and sustainable gift wrapping options. If you don’t want to buy second hand it’s worth taking a look around there.

Other eco friendly gift wrapping ideas

You could use these pretty recycled sari shopping bags from Oxfam to wrap a gift and it can then be used by the recipient afterwards too.

If you are giving a scarf as part of a present, use it to wrap the rest of the gift in. There are loads of videos on YouTube to show you how to do this.

Another very eco-friendly idea is to use a Furoshiki cloth to wrap present in. You can read all about Furoshiki techniques for wrapping gifts here. You can use any square piece of fabric for this or buy one like this example on Etsy.

Furoshiki wrapping cloths from TabithaEveCo on Etsy
Furoshiki wrapping cloths from TabithaEveCo on Etsy

Furoshiki cloths originated in Japan. The tradition is for the recipient to return the Furoshiki cloth to the gift giver to be reused. However even if you don’t get it back they’re unlikely to throw out something so pretty!

Recyclable options

Use plain brown or white paper – it can be more easily recycled. It’s definitely preferable to buying decorative wrapping papers that are likely to end up in landfill. A brightly coloured ribbon and gift tag is enough to make it look pretty (see below), or use any other bits and pieces, such as buttons, string, dried leaves or flowers, to decorate with. You can also draw or stamp onto the paper to spruce it up if you like.

Wrapped gift with gift tag
Seed paper is another terrific eco friendly option which also looks very upmarket. The paper contains seeds in it and can be planted afterwards. You can even print on some of them with an inkjet printer, like these from LittleGreenPaperShop on Etsy:

eco friendly gift wrapping - plantable seed paper
Plantable seed paper from LittleGreenPaperShop on Etsy

Other considerations

Ribbon or string is a much more environmentally friendly way to secure your gift wrapping than using sellotape. However if you do need to use some tape then try paper washi-tape. It’s pretty as well as being easier to recycle.
Finally, it’s also worth considering the environment when it comes to cards. I tend to only give cards to extra special people on extra special occasions and I make sure that all the greeting cards I create are printed on FSC® certified card stock. This means the materials used to make the product have been ethically sourced from well-managed and sustainable forests.

What ideas to you have to make your gift wrapping more eco friendly? I’d love to see your ideas on social media so please tag me if you post something along these lines.

Posted on

Free Printable Gift Tags

Happy Birthday Free Printable Gift Tag

This week I thought I’d treat you to some free printable gift tags. I’m really happy that you’re here, reading my blog, so want to show you my appreciation.

The gift tags cover a range of different occasions, so hopefully you’ll be able to find one that’s just right.
free printable gift tags

How to get your free printable gift tags

To get your hands on these gift tags just click the button below to enter your email address. I’ll then email you a link to a PDF of the free printable gift tags (and you might get another freebie too!) All you need to do is print the PDF onto some card.

You’ll also be subscribed to my newsletter to get all the latest updates and offers each month (if you’re already a VIP subscriber you’ll be getting this freebie in the next newsletter, so don’t worry about missing out!)


How to use them

  1. Print the PDF onto A4 size card stock. It doesn’t have to be particularly thick, so any plain card that goes through your printer will do.
  2. Cut around the light grey tag shaped outlines. You can use a guillotine to get really straight edges if you have one, but scissors and some careful cutting will work just as well 🙂
  3. Punch a hole in each tag where indicated – just use one end of a normal paper punch.
  4. Thread some ribbon or string through the hole of each gift tag and tie together. you can do this two different ways…

And voila! You have some ready to use gift tags…

They’re great for sprucing up plain wrapping. The bright colouring makes them a real feature against any plain coloured paper, including white or brown paper. The picture below shows a gift wrapped in plain white computer paper which really makes the ribbon and gift tag pop!

Wrapped gift with gift tag
You can also create a gift bag yourself out of paper and attach a gift tag – you’ll find the instructions on this page: Gift wrapping ideas

I hope you have fun with them! I’d love to see how you use them, so if you post your creations on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me so I can take a look 🙂


Posted on

Furoshiki Techniques for Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping

Furoshiki Techniques

Are you looking for more eco-friendly ways to wrap gifts? If so, using a furoshiki cloth is about as green as you can get. There are several different furoshiki techniques to suit a variety of gifts shapes and sizes, so it’s as versatile as it is environmentally friendly. And it looks beautiful!

Furoshiki techniques

What is Furoshiki?

Furoshiki refers to a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. Although we’re talking about Furoshiki as a gift wrapping technique here, it’s original purpose was quite different. Fabric was used centuries ago to wrap imperial treasures to keep them safe while being stored. It was later used to describe the fabric used at communal bathing houses, where the fabric was used to bundle up belongings and as a mat. The literal translation of Furoshiki is ‘Bath-spread’ (Furo means Bathing and Shiki means Spread).

Later on Furoshiki cloths were used to protect wares during transportation by merchants and to protect and decorate gifts, and it has now become a popular way to wrap gifts not only in Japan but also around the world. It is also still sometimes used as a bag for carrying things around.

But you didn’t come here for a history lesson, did you? 😁

Furoshiki wrapping techniques

There are plenty of different ways to wrap gifts with a furoshiki cloth. The square piece of cloth can be plain or patterned, and can be made from silk, cotton, nylon or any other fabric which is not too stiff. Furoshiki cloths come in all sizes so can be used to wrap big or small gifts.

Basic Furoshiki technique

The basic Furoshiki technique is for wrapping a square or rectangular gift. Here’s a step by step guide to show you how to go about it:

Basic Furoshiki Technique
Basic Furoshiki Technique
  1. Place the gift diagonally in the centre of the cloth.
  2. Fold the cloth along the one side of the gift.
  3. Wrap the corner over the top of the gift.
  4. Tuck excess corner under the gift.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Fold one of the loose ends neatly over the top of the gift.
  7. Repeat on the other side.
  8. take the two corners of these loose ends and tie in a double knot, then arrange the knot nicely to look like a bow.

It might take a bit of practice to get steps 6. to 8. to look neat but you’ll soon get the hang of it. If you’re struggling to get the corners to tie a double knot then your Furoshiki cloth might be too small for the gift. The knot also creates a handy carrying handle!

If you’d rather watch a video of how to do this, here’s a good one:

You can also use this basic technique to experiment with a variety of different knots and tucking techniques for your own creative take on it.

Furoshiki techniques for bottles

Furoshiki is also great for wrapping bottles. Here’s a step by step guide to this technique:

Furoshiki Bottle Wrapping
Furoshiki Bottle Wrapping Technique
  1. Place the bottle in the middle of the cloth and left two diagonally opposite corners.
  2. Tie the corners in a double knot on the top of the bottle.
  3. Take the other two corners and wrap them in opposite directions around the middle of the bottle.
  4. Tie these corners in a double knot in the middle of the bottle.

It’s actually pretty easy but still looks very impressive!

You can also take a look at this video for three fancy ways to wrap two bottles at once using a Furoshiki cloth.
Give these Furoshiki techniques a go to wrap both boxes and bottles. You can adapt them and experiment to create your own beautiful gift packaging.

You can get Furoshiki cloths on Etsy, Amazon and plenty of other online places – here’s a gorgeous reversible one from Etsy:

48cm Isa Monyo Reversible Furoshiki | Japanese Apricot Blue/Beige
48cm Isa Monyo Reversible Furoshiki

(Just so you know, this is an affiliate link so if you click &buy I’ll get a small commission, but it won’t cost you anything.)
In traditional Japanese culture the Furoshiki cloth is always returned to the gift giver so it can be reused so it’s the ultimate eco-friendly gift wrapping. Feel a bit cheeky asking for it back? They’re unlike to throw the cloth away and they can reuse it for all sorts of things. You might even inspire the recipient to wrap their next gift to someone in it! Let’s make it a thing 😃

Posted on

Gift wrapping ideas for Father's Day

fathers day gift wrapping shirt gift bag

So you’ve got the Father’s Day card and gift, but you need a way to present them nicely to your Dad… I love to wrap presents up in interesting, fun or just plain gorgeous ways. So I’ve been doing my research to find some clever gift wrapping ideas for Father’s Day. And I’m sharing them with you, you lucky duck!

I should also mention that I’m not a massive fan of buying big rolls of wrapping paper. It just seems so wasteful. I can be a bit tight sometimes but also, you know, the environment! So I love the idea of reusing old wrapping paper, gift bags and other bits I have lying around the house.

DIY gift bags

diy gift bag
Brown paper gift bag

Gift bags are so easy if you have something awkwardly shaped or a few bits and pieces to put together. And they can be reused by your Dad next time he gives a gift so he’ll be grateful for that too 😄

You can easily make your own gift bags from old (or new) wrapping paper, brown paper or even newspaper. And you can also make them exactly the right size. (Am I the only person who can never find a bag that’s not too wide or too tall for the present I’ve bought?!)

This tutorial shows you how to make a DIY gift bag (the examples are for Christmas but obviously apply to Father’s Day too. However I think the tartan is great for Dads at any time of year!) Here’s one I made on the left. I just used an ordinary hole punch, so you don’t need a rectangular punch as suggested.

fathers day gift wrapping bottle
My effort

Bottle wrapping ideas

If you’ve chosen a boozy gift for your Dad then this YouTube video on how to wrap a bottle might come in handy.
I must admit I didn’t like that you could still see what the bottle was inside, so I added a paper ‘cap’ to the top of the bottle to cover it. I used black tissue paper, brown paper for the cap and that same teal ribbon. Next time I’ll also use double sided tape instead of sellotape as I think it will look neater. My effort is on the right…

Clever decorative touches for your wrapping

A gift wrapped in plain white or brown paper or newspaper can be made to look extra special with a few clever decorative touches. I saw an idea on iStock where a gift was tied up with a tape measure bow which I thought was a terrific idea for a Dad who’s a DIY enthusiast.

You can also stick interesting bits and pieces straight onto the wrapping paper.

Here’s a tutorial for an origami shirt that you can fold yourself. I made mine from an A5 piece of plain white printer paper. I used some ribbon for the tie (yes, it’s that same teal ribbon again…) Of course, you could add a bow tie, pockets or buttons instead if you wanted to. Stick it onto a card, a wrapped present or a gift bag like I’ve done and it makes it that much cuter. You could also fold money or a printed Amazon voucher to make these types of paper gifts look more interesting!

More ideas

DIY Gift Wrapping Idea for Musicians by Curious Doodles
DIY Gift Wrapping Idea for Musicians by Curious Doodles

Here are some other gift wrapping ideas I found…

I hope you’ve found this helpful. My Dad tends to get the same types of gifts over and over (booze, chocolates, etc). He doesn’t really need anything else. So by putting in a bit of extra effort with the presentation, he knows I’ve still put some thought into it. That’s got to earn me some brownie points, right? 😁

If you try any of these gift wrapping ideas, or something new inspired by them, please share on social media and tag me. I’d really love to see how your efforts come out!