So… you found the perfect gift and now, of course, want to wrap it beautifully to really do it justice. Wrapping Christmas presents can create a lot of extra, mostly non-recyclable rubbish. But what if it didn’t have to?

While shiny papers and glittery gift tags do ooze a certain level of festive-ness – there are other, far more eco-friendly ways to add that little touch of something special to your gift wrap and still be kind to the planet. It’s very easy to make the switch to more sustainable wrapping and we’re here with some tips to get you on your way:

Drop the sticky tape!

One of the first things to remember is the sticky tape is a no-no! Those long strips of plastic and glue make it very difficult to recycle the paper they’re attached to, no matter how good for the planet the rest is. Aim for alternatives such as washi tape (a Japanese paper tape that comes in pretty designs and colours), or you could even go down the “tied up with string” route, it’s always a classic! Admittedly, the tying can be a little fiddly when you’ve ditched the tape step. Try weighting down the loose ends while you tie or grab an extra pair of hands to hold things in place.

Which leads us nicely to…

Paper alternatives

A favourite when it comes to Pinterest-ready wrapping and far more kind to the planet than bleached and printed papers. Brown paper also opens you up to a world of possibility for customisation. Festive potato prints, splashes of colour, you could even hand the kids some sharpies and let them do the work for you!

Newspaper and magazines can also make a really interesting alternative to wrapping paper. Try experimenting with different mixtures of text and photographs and see what you can create.


If you want to try something really different, we recommend giving Furoshiki a go. It is a traditional Japanese fabric folding and tying technique with many styles to accommodate for different shaped objects. Using fabric means you also introduce a completely reusable item. The fabric – be it a plain square of cloth, a funky silk scarf or a fabric bag – can be used over and over again by yourself or the recipient.


If sparkle is your thing there are many alternatives to glitter for adding a little something-something to your gift. Whether you have gone for recycled paper, the brown parcel look or one of the gorgeous Furoshiki techniques, you can bring the bling by using beautiful fabric ribbons, or even by up-cycling bits of broken jewellery into fanciful gift adornments.

Cutting down the stash

I’m sure many of us are guilty of hoarding wrapping paper from Christmases-past with every intention to work our way through. And, guiltily, some of those may not be able to be recycled. Instead of simply using them up and vowing to do better next time, why not make them into something that doesn’t need to be thrown away?

There are many paper decorations and origami designs that can be created from your stash of beautiful shiny papers. We have some great ideas in our Have yourself a homemade Christmas article to get you started.

No matter how diligent you are with your prepping, Christmas time does produce a lot of excess waste and discarded items – but we’ve got you covered there too. After all – ‘Tis the season to recycle!


Happy wrapping, folks! We always love to see your creations so don’t forget to tag #YESlove in your gorgeous festive posts.