Make your own wrapping paper

If you’re trying to be a bit more earth-conscious this Christmas, gift wrapping is a great place to start!

There are loads of options that require varying degrees of effort and skill so there are eco-wrapping possibilities for everyone. Which one will you choose?

If you want to recycle the wrapping paper on the gifts you receive you can check if it’s recyclable by doing the scrunch test – if you scrunch it up and it stays put you can recycle it, if it springs back it means it has plastic covering and can’t be recycled.

1. Newspaper

Printed media is in decline but for those of you who still get your headlines in paper form, why not save them up and use them for your Christmas wrapping? You might think that your presents would look a bit boring, but with some festive additions, newspaper-wrapped gifts can look really stylish and require zero crafting ability.

2. Brown packing Paper

Simple, cheap (under £1.50 for 6m) and infinitely instragrammable, brown packing paper is a great option. You can keep it plain or jazz it up with washi tape, foliage or your own printed patterns. Potato stamps, lino blocks or just let your kids go nuts with some good old crayons. Why not bring a roll along to our Christmas Fingerprint Workshop and cover it with your little ones hands, feet or fingerprints ?

3. Lining paper

Just like brown packing paper, lining paper (usually used for prepping walls ready for wallpapering) is cheap and it looks stylish and festive whether you leave it plain or decorate it. It would look great adorned with tiny footprints (get help from the expert at our Christmas Fingerprint Workshop)

4. Fabric

If you’re an avid fabric hoarder and have lots of off-cuts you don’t know what to do with – wrap your gifts in them! Traditionally from Japan, furoshiki is the art of wrapping items for transportation using cloth. The Japanese Department for the Environment even have a handy guide to show you how to wrap different shaped items. Why not include some instructions on how to tie a furoshiki as part of your gift so the wrap can be reused, spreading the eco-friendly fabric wrapping joy! If you don’t have fabric lying around, you can pick up scarves really cheaply from charity shops, or even use old tea towels or decorate cut up sheets.

The finishing touches

1. Tape

If you’re trying to be more eco-friendly, it’s best to avoid the plastic sellotape which hinders recycling. Instead, opt for pretty and colourful washi tape or paper kraft tape.

2. Ribbon

We collect ribbons from gifts and packaging and keep them in a drawer for all sorts of crafting possibilities. Brown packing paper with a bright red ribbon is super festive and simple.

3. Twine/String

Gardeners’ twine or striped bakers’ string look lovely against plain wrapping, newspaper and printed paper and can be picked up cheaply. 

4. Foliage

Why not add a little spring of holly or spruce to your gifts? Very insta-worthy!

5. Labels

Save your Christmas cards from this year, cut out the images or just use the fronts and repurpose them as gift labels for next year.