3 Zero Waste Gift Wrapping Alternatives

3 Zero Waste Gift Wrapping Alternatives
zero waste gift wrapping

Gift wrapping is a tedious task. You spend so much time making it look perfect, but it only takes seconds to be ripped off and chucked in the garbage. It certainly says a lot about consumer culture: We’re so used to creating waste that we don’t even think twice about throwing something away. Sadly, the holidays are the most wasteful time of year: Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year period. Considering the average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day, that’s a huge increase (25 million tons of extra garbage to be exact).
However, for those who are eco-conscious, there is a solution: Avoid conventional gift wrap and get creative! There are so many ways to wrap a gift without creating more waste. Here are three zero waste gift wrapping alternatives you need to try this holiday season. 


zero waste gift wrapping
Here’s how I wrapped my mom’s gifts: I used salvaged packaging paper, jute twine, and pine tree sprigs! No tape what so ever.
1. Maps, newspapers and calendars 

Have any old maps, newspapers or calendars lying around? They’d make great wrapping paper! If you have a loved one in your life who loves to travel, wrap their gift in an old map.

Cooler yet, gift them a plane ticket or cash for an upcoming trip inside their map-wrapped box. If you know someone who loves staying up to date on the news, wrap their gift in newspaper.

The cool part is most newspapers have different sections: If there’s a comedian in your family, wrap his gift using the comics section; if you have a foodie friend, wrap their gift using the restaurant review section. Taylor it to their interests.

Last but not least, old calendars can be used as gift wrap too: The gift receiver can use it for scrap paper or marking off days where something eventful and significant happened to them.

You can also use calendar pictures to wrap the gifts, as these tend to be really beautiful. After all, who doesn’t want a picture of a cute kitten or a stunning bird? The gift receiver can even hang up the pretty calendar pictures on their wall after the holidays.

Another bonus idea is using salvaged packaging paper to wrap your gifts. That’s what I did (pictured above)! Zero waste gift wrapping is so easy with this paper and it can be composted or recycled easily after use. It also looks really cute and adds a rustic feel to your gifts!


zero waste gift wrapping
These gifts were wrapped in fabric: I used handmade lace I got at a local vintage store. Then I added some pine sprigs!
2. Fabric gift wrap (furoshiki)

Have you ever heard of furoshiki? It’s basically the art of gift wrapping with fabric, and it’s huge in Japan.

To wrap a gift furoshiki style, you’ll need a simple square of silk or nylon cloth. You can also use blankets for really big gifts and vintage scarves/bandannas for smaller gifts.

Personally, I used handmade lace I found in a local vintage store to wrap some of my gifts (pictured above). Vintage scarves, handmade lace, bandannas and blankets make unique wraps, plus they can be worn/reused by the gift receiver.

In a way, it’s kind of like receiving two gifts! Wrapping the gift is easy too.

Just place your fabric on a flat surface with the pretty side down. Put your gift in the center, then grab two opposite corners and knot them over the gift. Do the same with the remaining two ties. Tada, you’re done!

I personally love this form of zero waste gift wrapping and thought it was a lot of fun!


3. Tins, cans and clay pots 

Sometimes, gifts don’t actually need to be wrapped, just cleverly packaged. Try opting for a reusable metal tin if you’re making someone a piece of jewelry, a DIY lip balm, candle, hand salve or body lotion.

You don’t have to label it (so the contents will remain a mystery), but you can decorate it with a bow made from twine.

You can also use emptied and cleaned cans to contain unique gifts such as jewelry, hair accessories, small toys and makeup products. If the can is missing a cover, try covering it with a piece of fabric and tying twine around it to keep the fabric in place.

Another item you can use to package gifts is a clay pot (such as a terra cotta pot) coupled with a terra cotta base. Choose the right size terra cotta pot for your gift and place the gift inside it. Then, take the terra cotta base out from under the pot and use it as a lid.

To make sure the lid stays on, secure it with a tight-fitting bow. This works great for any gardening gifts you’d like to give (seeds, gardening gloves, gardening tools, etc.), but can be used for just about any present, depending on the size.

Of course, no matter what’s inside, the terra cotta pot and lid can be used for housing plants after the holidays are over.


zero waste gift wrapping
Here’s a picture of (almost) all the gifts I wrapped in zero waste gift wrapping. The best part? The gifts are zero waste too!
Decorating your gifts 

You can finish off all your presents by using some twine or jute to create bows. For decoration, add some pine tree sprigs and dried oranges or lemons. Your gifts will look super unique! Also, if you’d like to include a gift tag, consider making or buying one out of seed paper.

Zero Waste Gift Wrapping Alternatives

Have you ever tried zero waste gift wrapping? Let me know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to share it! If you like my content, sign up for my newsletter to get notified every time I write a new blog post. To support me even further, please consider buying me a cup of tea to help support my blog.

Until then, happy holidays from me to you. 


  1. There are some gift wrapping alternatives which are used for different purposes. This blog is really a perfect blog if some one is new in best paper writing service work he can learn it from this blog. This blog is really interesting for the people of blog related ideas.

  2. Now, with the advent and advantage of online shopping, this one daunting part of gift giving is no longer necessary. luxtime.su/louis-vuitton-handbags

  3. Custom Packaging Boxes – Packaging PAPA
    Thank you for sharing superb information. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject.

  4. Custom Stickers Printing
    Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.

  5. Packaging Printing UK
    Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across.

  6. Never scrimp on the perfect gift. Once you find the right gift idea, go ahead and splurge. True and thoughtful gift giving is lavish without being wasteful nor being impractical. teddyway.fr

  7. Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one.
    Square shipping boxes

  8. I love your blog! This is very helpful in learning. Some genuinely nice stuff.Nice blog. Found this while searching through
    Apparel Packaging Boxes

  9. That is really nice to article. This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work to thank you for the update and thank you for sharing. You put really very helpful information. Thank you …
    Custom Boxes TOGO

  10. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Your blog put really very helpful information. Thank you for sharing superb information…
    Crafts Boxes Uk

  11. Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information.. personalised dog portrait gift

  12. So impressive suggestions. Glad to read this post.
    vinyl sticker printing manchester
    sticker printing manchester
    transparent sticker printing
    cheap sticker printing
    paper sticker printing
    cheap sticker printing uk
    hologram sticker printing uk
    sticker company uk
    custom sticker printing uk
    vinyl sticker printing
    sticker printing uk
    custom sticker printing

  13. Presently this does not imply that you must go out and spend an uncommon measure of cash to get a totally different look. Anne Hathaway Face Cream This new look can be cultivated by including a couple of bits of assistants to your current closet.

  14. The information you share in the blogs are very well. I like the web content and the way of your discussion is very impressive. Nonton Drama Korea

  15. download custom 30ml bottle box templates
    where is best essential oil boxes
    10 hidden secrets of bath bomb boxes
    why children getting header card packaging
    read these tips to eliminate foil stamped boxes

  16. العقارب هي أكثر الكائنات الحية التي تسبب الموت ، بسبب وجود السم في دم الإنسان وتؤدي إلى الوفاة على الفور ، وبالتالي خطرها في المنزل ، كما توجد في العديد من المناطق الصحراوية والزراعية بسبب الظروف التي تتعايش مع لهم
    شركة رش مبيدات
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بحائل
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بحائل
    شركة رش مبيدات بحائل

  17. Great Information sharing .. I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info. Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. and thank you for sharing an amazing article…
    Custom Packaging Boxes Wholesale
    Custom Mailer Boxes
    Slider Boxes
    Cigarette Boxes
    Candle Boxes Wholesale

  18. I definitely liked reading everything that is written on your site. I like this post, enjoyed this one thanks for posting.
    Custom Packaging Printed Boxes

  19. I respect this article for the very much investigated substance and magnificent wording. I got so included in this material that I couldn't quit perusing. I am awed with your work and aptitude. Much obliged to you to such an extent. Free PSN Codes

  20. We provide custom packaging boxes for multi-purposes depending on their usage and quality. To make your custom boxes speak about your brand, we offer a verity of printing solutions. You can make your own custom packaging boxes that fit the requirements of your brand. Thanks, Custom Boxes

  21. Really awesome blog! Thanks for sharing with us. I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. This is very helpful in learning. Thank you…
    Custom Packaging Boxes

  22. Great website. thanks for sharing. my best wishes always be with you,

    Custom Boxes With Logo
    Soap Boxes
    Custom Cake Boxes
    CBD Boxes

  23. This is a great post I seen because of offer it. It is truly what I needed to see seek in future you will proceed after sharing such a magnificent post.
    custom pizza Boxes

    custom candy boxes

    custom gift boxes

    Custom Packaging Boxes

  24. i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. gifts for boyfriend

  25. I absolutely loved everything about this post, you are very talented in terms of writing and know how to make it sound interesting. Looking forward to seeing more great posts from you soon.
    Visit us for Personalized Coffee Mugs.

  26. Thank you for sharing superb information. Your blog is very cool. I am impressed by your blog and detail that you have on this site. Thank you…
    Custom Printed Boxes
    Custom Boxes with Logo
    Custom CBD Boxes

  27. Very Nice writing!! What a great post! I really liked your article a lot and appreciate your talent. Thank you.
    Visit us for Stylish Laptop Sleeves and Cases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *