Every year, tons of money is spent on packaging materials, not to mention the gigantic waste mountain of paper, foil, and plastic that it produces. Because that does not really represent the essence of the holidays, we went looking for possible alternatives that would do justice to a gift. Of course, you can choose not to simply package a gift or just use an old newspaper.However, it’s always fun to get a present in I nice package, sometimes it’s the most fun part. Some of the nicest alternatives at a glance:

1. Use a newspaper in combination with a brightly colored bow.

Okay, we were talking about newspapers, but you can, of course, use it. To color it up, tie your bow to the color of the photos. Or use a brightly colored bow as a bright contrast against the white with black letters.

Wrap the gift in newspaper with matching bow

2. Save packaging materials from presents that you receive and reuse them.

Save packaging materials from presents that you receive and reuse them

3. Use FSC or recycled gift paper

Not such a creative person, or do you just get mad about all that crafting? Then opt for FSC or recycled packaging paper.

Use recycled or FSC gift wrapping paper

4. Roll up your clothes in a piece of cardboard

Wrapping clothes in the usual way will soon give you a ‘soft’ gift. Try it in this more original way: roll up the garment (eg t-shirt, top or shirt) in a cardboard surface. This could be a piece from a cardboard box, for example. If you tear it in half you have nice ribs. Make 2 holes at the end with a perforator where you can put a rope through. You roll the rest of the rope around the packaging. So you have a nice carrying bag. Some branches of holly and it is complete.

Roll up your clothes in a piece of cardboard

5. Use natural material as decoration: eg. holly, twigs, …

Why would you use new ribbons, sticky glitter,… if the finest decorative materials might be found in your garden? Dried twigs, holly leaves and all kinds of other greenery are ideally suited to make an ordinary gift box look extra festive.

6. Use paper bags that you have received in a store

Got a paper bag with your groceries? Then you can easily transform these into gift packaging. Carefully open the bag along the seam and fold it open completely. Cut off the handles. Use the inside (unless you would like to use the imprint). Do you find brown wrapping paper a bit boring? Stamp or draw motifs on it and make it personal. Stick Christmas decorations from a previous gift and make your own card. You can also use the handles as decoration.

Gift wrap idea: use paper bags you get in the store


7. Recycled paper boring? Stamp or draw on it and make it personal


8. Use old maps or calendars as wrapping paper

Do you give a (city) trip as a gift, then it is nice to pack this in an old country or city map. In these days of GPS and Google Maps, these maps are rarely used. Beautiful and original.

Gift wrap idea: use old maps or calendars

9. Use a package that is part of the gift itself. For example a scarf, a nice box, a cooking pot, …

You can pack a bottle of wine in a kitchen towel (see also the next item), but you can also use a cooking pot as a gift box and fill it with all cooking utensils. In short: you can not think it’s crazy enough.

Use a package that is part of the gift itself. For example a scarf, a nice box, a cooking pot, ...

10. Furoshiki is hip

Furoshiki is a traditional and ancient Japanese folding and knotting art that is completely ‘hot’ again. You do not need more than a few square pieces of fabric with a nice color and/or pattern, and a few creative hands to pack your Christmas presents in an original way. Here is one excellent example.

Gift wrap idea Furoshiki

11. (re) use an old garment

Old garments in the house that are even too frayed to give away? Give them a new life as gift packaging. And reusable in addition!

In this example, we used the sleeve of a frayed black sweater. Sew 1 side and knot the top in a nice way. Finish with some dry twigs, a colored ribbon and a name card for the lucky recipient.

use an old garment

12. Fabric, rope, and lace

Attached to clothes that you no longer wear, you sometimes find ropes or lace. You can use this as decoration. You can also cut fabric into strips and make ribbons out of them. In the example, you see some lace that was on my skirt.

Fabric, rope, and lace

13. Hide a small gift – like a jewel – in a walnut shell

You do not only need to use natural material as decoration. It can also serve as packaging. In a walnut shell, you can easily lose a jewel or money. A bigger gift? Then you are best looking forward to a coconut 😉

walnut shell for a gift like money or jewel

Do you have any nice gift wrapping ideas?