Low Waste Gift Wrapping Ideas

low waste gift wrapping ideas

Are you looking for ways to reduce your waste this holiday season? One area that typically produces a LOT of waste is gift wrapping. Pretty packaging that's used once and then tossed is not your only option! Here are our tips and ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle your way to beautifully wrapped gifts.

Ardent Earth Upcycled wine bottle gift bag

Reusable Fabric Gift Bags

I think that fabric gift bags used to be more common than they are today, my parents definitely have a few that they have been using every year since before I was born. Our Ardent Earth Upcycled fabric wine bottle gift bags take it one step further since they are made from 100% upcycled materials. I love the idea of one of these making the rounds through a family or group of friends year-by-year.

  1. Place a favourite bottle of wine or liquor in one of our upcycled wine bottle gift bags, slip the beaded collar over the top, and you're done!

Recyclable wrapping paper and NO TAPE!

Most wrapping paper is not recyclable! If you love wrapping with paper, look for an uncoated, recyclable option like kraft paper. You can also avoid tape using this clever no-tape wrapping method and reusable fabric ribbon.

  1. Cut a piece of your recyclable paper to size, make sure you have a good amount of overlap. Place your box (reused, if possible) in the centre.
  2. Bring opposite long sides together above the box and fold down in 1-2cm increments until the paper is tight and flat against your box. Crease well.
  3. Fold and crease your wrapping paper ends in as usual, but don't add tape!
  4. With your gift right side up, centre a long piece of ribbon over the top, parallel with the fold.
  5. Bring the ribbon to the back, twist and bring back around to the font, carefully securing your wrapping paper ends in place. Tie in a bow.
No tape wrapping method
upcycled paper bag gift wrapping

Upcycled paper bag gift wrap

Avoid buying any paper at all by upcycling a paper bag you may already have at home, and securing with fabric ribbon or kitchen twine.

  1. Cut your paper bag open down one side, cut off the bottom and lay flat with the printed side up (so it will be on the inside when wrapped). Trim to the appropriate size for your gift, if needed.
  2. Place your gift in the centre and use the no tape wrapping method described above.
  3. Forego a card or gift tag by writing directly on the paper!

Wrap with part of the gift

What if you wrapped your gift WITH your gift? Our upcycled coffee sack baskets make great gift baskets too! There is certainly less mystery with this method, but it can be a great option.

  1. Gather your gift items. I like to include items that all match a theme. In this case, the kitchen.
  2. Place gift items in the basket and tie a reusable ribbon around it in a bow. Tuck in a piece of seasonal foliage, if desired.

Ardent Earth Upcycled gift basket idea


Furoshiki-inspired fabric wrapping, two ways

The Japanese method of furoshiki fabric gift wrapping has gained popularity in the West in recent years, and it's easy to see why! The result is beautiful and the fabric squares can be reused year after year. You can also try this method with a scarf or tea towel.

Method 1

  1. Cut or select a square of fabric larger than what you would need for wrapping paper. Place your gift in the centre, diagonally.
  2. Take opposite corners and tie in a knot on top. Repeat with remaining corners


Method 2

  1. Cut or select a square of fabric larger than what you would need for wrapping paper. Place your gift diagonally near the bottom left corner of your fabric.
  2. Roll & wrap your box diagonally from there to the top right until the top right corner is draped over the top of the gift.
  3. Pick up remaining corners and tie in a knot on top. Add a gift tag to the knot, if desired. (write with pencil so you can reuse the tag next year)

Save everything!

I like to keep a small box of gift wrapping supplies. Save any reusable bags, fabric ribbon, gift tags, and even paper that's still in good condition and use it all again next year.

Zero waste gift wrapping ideas

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