Have you found yourself lost in a sea of wrapping paper and twine? Or perhaps you're wondering how to gift wrap more sustainably? After wrapping hundreds of gifts using recycled wrapping paper and plastic-free materials, we share our top tips so you'll know how to wrap presents the eco friendly way.
Explore Christmas at Good Things: hundreds of ethical and eco-friendly gifts, toys and games that support charities, empower people and protect our planet.
1. Get prepared
Start by working out what you’ll need and make sure you’re ready. Big gift? You might need a bigger sheet of paper or even a large piece of fabric. Lots of gifts? Make sure you’ve stocked up on all your chosen packing materials. Awkward shapes? Think about using a bag or box rather than trying to wrap the object up perfectly.
2. Make a plan
Look at the shape of the gift and work out how much paper you’ll need and how you’ll fold it over the shape. You don’t want to damage the wrapping paper by folding it too many times – luckily fabric’s much more forgiving! If you’re not sure you could use a piece of newspaper to test how you’ll wrap your gift first, then it won’t matter if you have to make a few attempts.
If you’re avoiding plastic tape (we applaud you!) you might need to get a little more creative with the shapes and folds you use as you can’t rely on tape holding it together!
Top eco tip: look after your paper and avoid tape that will damage your paper because you'll be able to reuse your paper over and over again!
3. Get an extra pair of hands!
Even small gifts can be a fiddle and if you’re wrapping using ribbon or twine two hands just aren’t enough! Ask someone to help keep the paper or fabric tightly wrapped around the gift so you can secure it.
4. Choose your wrapping
There are loads of eco-friendly wrapping options to choose from! You could use sustainably sourced wrapping paper – make sure it’s recyclable too (check out our favourite recycled and recyclable designer wrapping paper here), or you could reuse wallpaper, newspaper, or even create your own (kids’ Christmas holiday project anyone?).
But it’s not all about paper. Fabric is a fabulous reusable option, and you can find some gorgeous designs – check out these furoshiki style upcycled sari wraps, or sari gift wrap bags. Fabric gift bags are also a good option as they’re so easy to pop a gift into and you can use them over and over again.
5. Secure it
Plastic tape is a no-no if you’re wrapping more sustainably. Not only is it a single-use plastic, it also makes it harder to recycle the wrapping paper. Instead try paper tape which you can leave on the paper and recycle, or you may be able to peel off to reuse the wrapping paper again (reuse before recycle everyone!). We have a range of printed paper tapes made from recyclable and biodegradable paper.
Or you might like to wrap your gift with ribbon, twine or string. Try to use natural fibres which will rot down over time rather than plastic-based ribbons and twines.
6. Less is more
When it comes to wrapping and keeping things neat, it’s actually best to use the least amount of paper possible. Measure the paper around your gift and trim it to shape to remove any excess. All those extra folds and flaps create extra bulk and can look untidy. Take care not to go too far though – you can always trim off more but you can’t add it back!
7. Tags and decoration
It’s time to get creative! It’s easy to make your own tags from scraps of paper or card, or you could reuse and cut up last year’s Christmas or birthday cards!
Make gifts look extra special with seasonal natural decorations like dried orange slices, sprigs of rosemary, holly or pine cones.
8. If in doubt, ask us!
Does this all sounds like too much hard work? Fair enough, we can gift wrap many of our gifts for you and send them straight to friends and family. We’ll even add a matching gift tag and handwrite your personal message!
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At Good Things you’ll find inspiring ethical and sustainable gifts that support charities, empower people and protect our planet. Discover gifts for all ages and inspiring ideas like cards that plant trees, handmade cushions empowering people in Tanzania and eco toys made from recycled milk bottles. Have a look at our collections.