Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap

Posted Thursday, December 22, 2011

Courtesy of Danni of Alphabet Emporium.

How many rolls of wrapping paper do you have stashed in the back corner of the closet, or in a plastic tub under the bed?  Birthday, baby shower, wedding and holiday paper - a different roll for each event, each theme.  It's expensive and not all city recycling centers will take glossy gift wrap.

EtsyKids Team member, Alphabet Emporium, has a couple of simple, genius ways to wrap packages with eco-friendly supplies; many you can put into practice this holiday season.

  1. Use 100% recycled butcher paper (craft paper).   It works for every occasion, is totally gender neutral, and a 200 yard roll wraps a lot of packages!  At $6 a roll (hardware section of your local Wal-mart), it's hard to find anything more economical.  Butcher paper is a great eco-friendly alternative to wrapping paper and is very versatile, creating a beautiful canvas for Christmas wrapping.

    Have your children help you decorate the presents by coloring or painting the paper.  Embellish the boxes by splurging on gorgeous ribbon, using wide strips of burlap or fabric, or multiple strands of string or yarn.   In lieu of gift tags, stamp the recipients initials or name all over their boxes.
  2. Not everything comes in a box, or fits in a box, and for those items gift bags are essential.  If you want to be extra eco-conscious, buy material from the local craft store and sew draw string bags to use over and over again.  I stamped bags with the numbers 1-25 and place some of the bags on the tree as decorations.
  3. I like to embellish my gifts with gifts, a kind of teaser that will get the recipient excited about what's inside.  So if the gift is a cookbook, buy a set of measuring spoons and string them through the ribbon you are using to embellish the box.  Or say it's a gift for someone who likes to sew; you can buy a measuring tape and use the actual measuring tape as ribbon.  For my son (see packages wrapped in picture above) I used an infinity scarf (middle package - red) I made, a mask (top left), my daughter get's hair accessories (top right) and some felt food (middle - red strawberries).  There are endless ways to embellish gifts with little gifts, and with a little forethought and a pinch of imagination, you'll come up with the perfect little addition. 
When done simply and done well, eco-friendly gift wrap is a chic way to personalize each gift you are giving in an extra special and individualized way with being easy on the pocket book and the environment.  It's that extra step that makes a difference.

A huge thanks to Danni of AlphabetEmporium for sharing her tips with us.  You can find Danni after the holidays on Etsy at AlphabetEmporium and on facebook.

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