I’m often asked about recycling tips and eco friendly gift wrapping ideas, so I decided to dedicate a chapter in my book ‘Giftwrapped‘ about it. It is also an important part of my business so we recycle everything from ribbon spools, packaging and remnants.
Although I’m not a hoarder, I hate throwing away small offcuts, leftovers and remnants so here’s my top ten gift wrapping ideas to help the planet.
1. If you’ve got to tackle an awkward shape, raid your sewing stash and use a fabric remnant. Here I’ve used a thick linen and frayed the edges by hand, adding a luxury ribbon and embellishment to wrap a vintage vase.
Pleating leftover newspaper
2. Give boxes the luxurious touch by pleating a leftover Financial Times newspaper. Use double sided tape for a professional finish.
To pleat the paper you make small folds in the paper (ensuring they are straight) and add some sticky tape to the reverse to avoid the paper stretching when you start wrapping the box. (There’s an easy step guide in my book)
3. When gift wrapping a plant, use a fabric remnant or a used (but clean) paper tablecloth.
These are both flexible for awkward shapes and are suitable for a damp base as the moisture will soak in to the wrapping.
Adding Sticks and feathers
4. For a rustic finish add in sticks and feathers to your gifts collected on country walks using brown paper with raffia or string.
You can also recycle creased or used brown paper and this is a suitable style when wrapping gifts for men.
Pop small gifts in to empty egg boxes
5. Empty egg boxes can be decorated and are perfect for small gifts, chocolates or soaps. Add a band of decorative paper or fabric and tie a bow to finish
Use old scarves for that element of luxury
6. I love the Japanese form of fabric wrapping (known as Furoshiki). Old silk scarves make great wrapping for awkward shapes.
In this project we’ve rolled up a magazine with a subscription and tied it neatly in a scarf.
Joining paper leftovers
7. If your paper isn’t long enough to go around a large box, join an extra piece and cover the join with ribbon.
This looks very creative if you mix 2 opposite papers and is ideal for using those short leftovers you would normally throw away.
A roll of brown paper is an ideal paper that goes with most colours and designs.
Scrolls and straws
8. Small scraps of paper such as music sheets can be easily added as a decoration. Roll them up with a paper straw underneath and tie in with ribbon.
Tie in fragrant herbs and foliage
9. Add an extra sense by tying in fragrant herbs or foliage. The most suitable for gift wrapping are Rosemary, Bay, Laurel and Ivy.
You can also write on foliage to make rustic gift tags too.
10. Paper cones can easily be made with vintage music script and are perfect for children parties, sweets and snacks.
If you wish to giveaway a small gift, the cone can be sealed at the top with some skinny ribbon.
I would love to hear about any of your own recycling projects and hope you will now look through your garbage with new eyes!