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Alternative Gift Wrapping Ideas

UPDATE: This post originally ran on November 4th 2013, but for all of you who are wrapping your holiday gifts today, we wanted to share it again!

There’s nothing like the feeling of unwrapping a gift. The excitement of not knowing what’s inside; the thoughtfulness of the gift-giver; the look on his or her face as you find out what’s inside… it can bring you back to a childlike mindset, where life is simple and so full of wonder. What can be upsetting, though, is that gift wrap serves its purpose for such a short time — and that it’s not a necessity. This year, why not try wrapping your gifts with reusable materials? It’s a beautiful thing because it gives you such an opportunity to get creative, all while giving a new use to old materials. Here are some ideas for alternative gift wrapping this year. The first way is using paper materials you’ve collected, like paper bags from grocery stores or crinkled paper that comes wrapped around delicate objects when you purchase them. Gather some natural string and twine, as well as some beautiful berries, pine snippings, or twigs from outside for embellishment.

Natural gift wrapping

Berries and evergreens

I love how simple these twigs look — they remind me of reindeer antlers.

Twig on giftwrap

We also have some adorable bells and ornaments available online this season that are perfect for topping gifts!

Gift bells and charms

I love the natural color palette these have all taken on.

Gifts in a row

Another way to wrap your gifts is to use a piece of clothing you no longer wear. I had been meaning to give a new use to this vintage printed romper — and this was the perfect opportunity.

Printed shirt

First, cut your fabric so that it can be formed into a pouch, and will be the proper size to fit your gift. Hold on to the scraps.Gift wrapping with cloth

Make sure you can roll the fabric to surround your gift, with some to spare.Gift-wrapping-gif

Fold the fabric up, like this. Leave a few inches on top.

Fabric folded

Stitch up the sides with a needle and thread, securing with a double knot.

Needle, thread, fabric

Knotted thread, fabric

Then, slide your gifts inside and place the flap over the opening.


Finish by tying a scrap piece around the package, and adding any embellishments you choose — I used a feather.

Gift wrapped in old fabric with feather

How will you be wrapping your gifts this year? Let us know!

Eco friendly gift wrapping

For gift ideas, have a look at our ‘Tis the Season Holiday Shop!

Follow FP Brigette on Twitter.

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Cheyenne -November 4, 2013, 7:08AM

This are such cute ideas :)

Adia Sinead -November 4, 2013, 7:36AM

I love the handmade look, and always prefer to wrap my gifts with things like newspaper or brown paper bags because it gives it a more personal feeling to me (and it’s cheaper of course). Adding berries and leaves as a little accent is a nice idea.

Eva -November 4, 2013, 8:34AM

I have always wrapped presents in kraft paper or old newspapers…but I really love the fabric idea!I especially love personalizing them with little trinkets like you did.
Happy Monday Bridgette!

Crista -November 4, 2013, 9:04AM

i LOVE these ideas!! xox

MacK Mars -November 4, 2013, 9:13AM

Yes! it’s that time of year. These are such cute ideas!

MacK @ SoulMakes | Blog

Liz -November 4, 2013, 10:02AM

Love love love this. Last year I used the reverse side of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s bags and made paper snowflakes for decorations out of leftover paper from the office. It looked great! I like the idea of decorating using some greenery.

Alana Reina -November 4, 2013, 11:15AM

Last year I bought all my presents in Granada, Spain where I was studying for the semester. For gift wrap, I used maps I picked up from the local department store. It was a cute way to show everyone where I was living for the past three months and didn’tcost me anything!

Christin Rupert -November 4, 2013, 11:40AM

Brilliant Brigette :)


Chelsea Ward -November 4, 2013, 12:14PM

So cute! I’ve been hand-printing snowflakes on butcher paper for my wrapping paper this year! I love the idea of using vintage fabric tho!

Joanne -November 4, 2013, 12:20PM

I love the wrapping! Such cute ideas. I may have to use some of these this year!

sarah -November 4, 2013, 1:44PM

This is so cute!

vreeni -November 4, 2013, 1:58PM

wow – nice idea. and i love packaging. great, to see some new alternatives to make presents special ;)

vreeni von freak in you

meg -November 4, 2013, 2:53PM

These are all AMAZING!!! Love a little upcycling. ;)

Madison -November 4, 2013, 2:53PM
tiffany -November 4, 2013, 7:00PM

Love the littler berries on the wrapping paper.


Alexa Sonken {Invitations for Creatives} -November 4, 2013, 7:38PM

Such cute ideas!! Big fan of the brown paper :) Thanks for sharing.

Lins -November 5, 2013, 12:17PM

Nice, but you cut up a really cute romper :(

Ella -November 5, 2013, 6:17PM

I love to wrap gifts in brown paper bags or even in postcards or pictures. It’s such a unique touch that stands out in a sea of store bought neons.

Nora -November 5, 2013, 6:33PM

I never buy wrapping paper, i was raised to not waste paper. so what i LOVE and always use is News Paper!! usually i got tons of newspapers piled up at home, so when i have a gift for a loved person i spend some time digging, looking for a nice picture that i think matches their personality or what they mean to me. try to wrap it so the picture is up on the front! mostly i end up using pictures of the art or movie section ;) this way i add a personal note to the hopefully already personal gift :))
i will add stuff from the garden or park tho from now on! thanx for the inspiration!

Juliette Laura -November 5, 2013, 8:03PM

Not only does this just look SO much better, but it saves money, and it is so much better than buying because of the recycling! So whimsical!

xo, Juliette Laura

Vanessa -November 7, 2013, 4:40PM

Great ideas! I love using brown paper for my wrapping!

DIYEARTE♦DIY -November 20, 2013, 1:46PM

Beautiful ideas!! ♥♥♥


anja -November 23, 2013, 9:14AM

Simply perfect!! Can’t wait for the christmas to come! :D

Uri -December 9, 2013, 6:25PM

love it!!! thank you!!! im so going to do this :)!

Eneli -December 18, 2013, 10:57AM
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Shalu Jain -February 11, 2014, 5:37AM

Lovely Gift Ideas!!! I like gift wrapping very much. I usually use wrapping paper that can make more festive or unique by adding decorations that are readily available like flowers, pine cones, or sprigs of a fragrant plant add a special touch to the wrapped gift.

Beth -April 20, 2014, 9:27AM

I wrap all my gifts with recycled things.

Michael -July 10, 2014, 12:10AM

I love it! When I was younger, I’d always try to find the most unique wrapping paper possible for wrapping gifts for my girlfriends, and then I’d hand-make custom cards … but for some reason, I never thought to actually making the gift wrapping myself as well. I’m going to take this idea over the top come next occasion : )

Lester B. Campbell -November 14, 2015, 9:02AM

Other than that, all you need is, of course, wrapping paper, scissors and tape.Shredder Select

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