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BBE Central, Guides

5 Ways to Wrap Gifts Using Recycled and Scrap Materials

December 04 /2020

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Ever heard of “turning trash into treasure”? Or better yet, “one person’s trash is another Beauty by Earth babe’s treasure”? Ok, we might have remixed that last one, but you get it! Around here, we love finding ways to upcycle and do our part in protecting this beautiful planet of ours. And of course, we live to share our ideas with you! The holiday season is no exception to all this upcycling brilliance, so we put together this oh so helpful article. We’re going to show you 5 ways to wrap gifts using recycled and scrap materials, that don’t require any crafty sorcery.

Image of Christmas gifts wrapped in eco-friendly paper.

Chances are, you have most of what you need to ditch the wasteful wrapping paper this holiday season, ready to use in your own home. A little skeptical? It’s cool. Keep reading for our unique, easy, and environmentally friendly wrapping tips. We guarantee at least one of these fun reusable materials is available, at your fingertips.

Wrap Your Gifts Using Upcycled Fabric or Clothing

Ever thought of gifting dad a super cozy robe for the holidays? Go a step further and wrap that state-of-the-art razor kit up in it.

We know this method can give away part of your gift in some cases. But killing the suspense is worth it to us, and the planet. And did we mention it will definitely save on picking up more garbage at the end of Christmas morning? Plus, let’s be real, Dad doesn’t care about wrapping paper! Use a beautiful bow or string wrapping accessory to add a little something extra. Voilà! You’ve got a gift that’s working double duty.

Another easy trick is to go through your closet, and purge. Have any old t-shirts or sweaters that are not donating material anymore? Cut them up at the seams (under the armpit is best). This will make your old shirt into a larger piece of fabric you can then use to wrap that box full of bath bombs for mom.

Image of gifts wrapped in fabric.

Not only will your gift look super unique, you’ve just upcycled and cleared out your closet at the same time. #Goals.

Make Your Own Cereal Box Gift Bags

You read that right. And believe us when we tell you, that this is probably the cutest idea out of our 5 ways to wrap gifts using recycled and scrap materials list.

All you need is (surprise, surprise) an empty cereal box, and some string or anything really that can act as handles. Oh and let’s not forget, a bit of that juicy creativity of yours. First off, simply remove the opening flaps of your cereal box. After that’s done, pierce 4 small wholes in the upper part of it (2 on each side), and slide your string of choice through. Check out the picture below.

Image of two children with cereal box gift bags in hand.

Now of course you can choose to leave your cereal box as is for someone who will appreciate the uniqueness of this idea (we have a few friends that are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs if you know what we mean). But if you’d prefer to hide the box, no sweat.

Cover it up in used gift wrap you may already have. Or, use newspaper for a fun, different spin on traditional wrapping paper or store-bought gift bags.

Speaking of Newspaper…

Put those old magazines, newspapers, and catalogs to good use. Seriously, why are you hanging onto that Cosmo from 3 months ago? Cut out a few pages that have some dreamy images on them, and then wrap, wrap, wrap.

Of course, this method won’t work for large gifts, but it is perfect for those small stocking stuffers or for adding a touch of style to that gift card for your boss.

You can go a step further and personalize the pages you choose to wrap with, depending on whose gift it is. Does your mother-in-law love a good recipe? Wrap her gift with an article from the food section of your newspaper that she can take a look at before unwrapping!

And Just One More Recycled Paper Idea for Wrapping…

This one deserves its own section because frankly, it just looks too cool. Now, we understand that not everyone has an old map laying around. But you can find these at thrift stores, or even yard sales if you look hard enough!

Use an old map for wrapping gifts (because we all know everyone uses a GPS nowadays). Your gift wrap will look so intriguing, and we bet there’s someone quirky in your life who would actually hang on to it!

Image of Christmas gifts wrapped in maps as reusable paper.

Add a bit of sparkle or a bow on top to keep the Christmas spirit alive, and you’ve got yourself a distinctive looking present. While of course, doing your part in preserving the environment.

Use Dish Towels to Wrap Small Gifts

Much like the robe idea we started out with, you can definitely opt for purchasing new dish towels that will serve as wrapping, as well as an additional gift to someone. Think of that cheese knife set you bought your aunt. This is a perfect example of a small gift that would go beautifully wrapped in a set of new dish towels.

Now, if you choose to upcycle some of your existing dish towels, that’s cool too. Just make sure they’re in ok enough condition not to scare away your giftee. This is an easy way to wrap up that wine bottle for your neighbor or work colleague. Add on a cute bow, and you’re good to go.

Image of a bottle of wine being wrapped in a dish towel as a reusable material

Not to mention, you’ll wonder why you ever bought a gift bag for these types of presents again!

Use a Mason Jar or any Glass Jar

If you’re one of those lucky people who can cook up a storm in the kitchen, we envy you! This next environmentally friendly wrapping idea is for our baker extraordinaire reading this.

Wrap your delicious creations in adorable (and reusable) mason jars. This idea will showcase your baked goods in such a pretty way. On top of that, those on the receiving end can reuse the jars for whatever else they need to store in the fridge or cupboard.

Image of mason jars used as gift wrap

We also dig the idea of using these to store any of your homemade scrubs or face masks, all year round. If that’s not your jam, use these guys to pot small plants, or to make your overnight oats! We even love serving up cocktails in these babies, because they just look so darn cute!

Use a BBE Canvas Gift Bag

Ok, we’ll admit it. This is our favorite way to wrap, eco-friendly style, on our 5 ways to wrap gifts using recycled and scrap materials list.

If you’ve searched your house high and low for reusable items to wrap with, and had no luck – this ones for you.

We’ve created this beautiful yet durable canvas gift bag for all your gifting needs this holiday season, and we think you’ll want to pick one up for yourself while you’re at it. Whether it be for grocery shopping or bringing your lunch to work, this cute tote bag is where it’s at.

Image of the Beauty by Earth reusable canvas bag behind a Christmas tree.

Gift Them This Year’s Presents in Reusable Shopping Bags

Keeping with the idea of using reusable bags as gifting material here, we’ve got more.

We encourage you to use affordable, reusable shopping bags instead of those traditional guys that end up in the trash each year.

If you already have a few bags in the house that you can part with, awesome. If not, consider purchasing a few inexpensive ones to get all of your holiday wrapping done this year. Not only will it make packaging a cinch. These bags can be reused for months to come by whoever you’re gifting them to!

And if You Must Use Wrapping Paper…

We get that some gifts don’t fit into a bag, or that you want that unwrapping excitement for the kiddos. So if this is what you’re working with, we have a solution for you too and it’s simple. Opt for gift wrapping options that are (drum roll, please), recyclable! Not all gift wrap is created equal! Some are much better for the environment, and (you guessed it) easier to recycle.

Image of Christmas gifts wrapped in brown recyclable paper

Purchase wrapping paper that is made of recyclable material. Or, be sure to buy the kind that really is recyclable. You know, the kind that can be thrown into your recycling box after it’s been torn apart furiously on the living room floor. We suggest using brown craft paper, because you can draw or paint on it to make it into your very own unique gift creation.  

And if you are wrapping with your kids this holiday season, using brown wrapping paper and then decorating it is a great way to get them involved. What’s even sweeter is that whoever is receiving these works of art will totally feel the love and personal touches you and your family put into them.

Upcycling Tips to Keep in Mind, All Year Round

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably surprised (and hopefully impressed) at how many ways you can be eco-friendly in your gift wrapping this year. What’s more, simply hanging on to a few things you’ve been gifted can make wrapping in an environmentally friendly way uncomplicated.  

So the next time you buy a new household item, consider keeping the wrapping or plastic that it came in. And, don’t forget our list of 5 ways to wrap gifts using recycled and scrap materials.

Gather the packaging up, and create your very own box of reusable materials. This way, you can easily reach for it the next time you need to gift something! Once you get into this habit, it will absolutely change the way you look at “garbage”, we promise!

Image of two Beauty by Earth reusable canvas bags in a Christmas decor setting

We encourage you to see gift wrapping in a different way, not only during the holidays! Think of all of those birthday, baby shower, and house warming gifts you generously give year round. That’s a lot of wrapping paper! So consider using reusable materials to package all of them.

We hope you enjoyed all of the ideas above. And hopefully, they gave you the push you needed to start your own family tradition of only using recycled material to gift wrap this holiday season. Not only do we already love you for it, but the planet will too <3 .

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