Eco-friendly Gift Wrapping
A Family Tradition: Merry & Bright Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping
By Amity Hook-Sopko
In our family, wrapping the gift is almost as fun as finding out what’s inside.
For the past 5 years, we’ve challenged ourselves to only wrap gifts in fabric or with what
we have on hand. So while we may have some holiday gift bags left from friends and
family last year, or a folded sheet of recycled content wrapping paper from environmental
causes we support, once those items are used we’re left to our own devices. And those
measures tend to make for quite a creative, eclectic assortment under our tree.
In years’ past, I’ve done a bit more coordinating of colors. But since our boys have been
old enough to help, we’ve decided save our sanity and embrace imperfection.
Here’s a peek at what you’ll find under our tree this year:
To add to the DIY fun, we started hosting a Make Your Own Wrapping Paper party with
the neighborhood kids. They stamp and color old packing paper and make their own
embellishments from ornaments, bells, and even colorful yarn pompoms.
If you’ve ever had a professional move, you have enough paper on hand to wrap gifts for a small city for 20 years. A Brooks Brothers’ store window in Chicago had this type of crinkled paper with velvet bows on display. I’ve found that if you save enough holiday trinket-type things you receive, you’ll never be at a loss for embellishments.
Fabric Gift Bags
One of the simplest eco-friendly solutions for small gifts, fabric gift bags are not only
beautiful, they also last year after year. No need to worry about folding corners just so,
just drop the gift in, tie the ribbon, and you’re good to go.
This is a favorite gift bag style from GLOB:
I have actually had fabric wrapping scarves for longer than I care to admit. But last year thanks to Jenn Playford’s book Wrapagami, I finally figured out how to use them to wrap boxes, books, and wine bottles.
This wrap was actually from a set of holiday cloth napkins I found at a craft store
for $1.99 each. You could do the same with a kid-friendly set of napkins. http://
There are hundreds of other options for wrapping your gifts without creating any new
waste. All it takes is a little thinking outside the gift box.