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12 Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts Using Recycled & Upcycled Materials
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12 Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts Using Recycled & Upcycled Materials

Want to make gift-giving extra special this year? If so, look no further than what you’re wrapping those presents with, babe. Traditional holiday wrapping paper that you typically find at the store isn’t only hard on your wallet. It’s also not so cute for the planet. We’ve all been there, furiously cleaning up and bagging the ripped apart paper on Christmas morning (you know, so we can get to that festive brunch a little quicker). The waste this creates is significant, and quite frankly gorgeous, there is a better way! We're going to give you all of the inspo you need with these 12 Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts Using Recycled & Upcycled Materials. Trust us, you’re bound to have some of these gems hanging around your house already!

The creative way to wrap your gifts by using recycled newspaper…

First up on our list of 12 Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts Using Recycled & Upcycled Materials is one method that will add so much uniqueness to your present! Not to mention, it only requires a material that you can likely find in your recycling bin!

Using recycled newspaper or even pages from an old book you never plan on reading again is an easy way to avoid buying Christmas wrapping paper. What’s more, it will make your gift stand out from the not so eco-friendly crowd. We also love the idea of using old comic books to add some creative flair (and a laugh) to your gift!

Image of Christmas gifts wrapped in upcycled pieces of newspaper.

… Or old maps!

You’d be surprised at how many old maps are hanging around your local second-hand store, babe. And while none of us want to use them for directions (hello, we have Google maps for that), these guys make for perfectly upcycled wrapping paper.

Just like with the newspaper we mentioned above, this eco-friendly wrapping method is sure to add a quirky and unique touch to any present!

Recycled paper bags are perfect for wrapping gifts!

Image of Christmas gifts wrapped in recyclable brown paper.

If you can’t get your hands on a newspaper (don’t worry babe, not many of us can in this fast online news era), recycled paper bags work just as well to wrap those gifts with. Instead of tossing those brown paper bags you might have gotten from the grocery store (you know, when you forgot to bring your reusable ones that *one* time), use them for wrapping purposes instead.

The best part about using paper bags as wrapping paper is that you can spruce them up by adding your own personal touch on them. Draw, write a love note, or add some kitschy objects (read, unusable junk to some!) to your wrap job to make it extra special. Trust us babe, all of these little touches will mean so much to whoever is lucky enough to receive them.

Ditch the wrapping paper and give a little extra by wrapping small gifts inside of a gorgeous scarf…

This next idea on our list of 12 Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts Using Recycled & Upcycled Materials is by far one of our faves. Not only does it mean you don’t have to use wasteful holiday wrapping paper, but it also adds to the gift you’re already giving!

Whether you choose to use a vintage scarf or to purchase something new, consider wrapping someone’s gift in gorgeous material that they can wear afterwards. All you need to do is add a bow or some string to keep everything together and voilà – you’ve just made an eco-friendly wrapping choice that is sure to please any babe on your Christmas list.

Hit up your local thrift shop to find tea towels or tablecloths that can also serve as wrapping material!

Keeping with the idea of using upcycled pieces of fabric, you can also choose to use tea towels or kitchen tablecloths to wrap your gifts this holiday season. We love the idea of attaching a broach or a piece of jewellery to the mix to make your gift-wrapping job extra unique.

Image of several presents wrapped in fabric and decorated with pieces from nature.

Stainless-steel containers can protect fragile gifts and be reused long after the holidays!

If you’re gifting something fragile or simply want your present to look a little more structured, consider using reusable stainless-steel containers. These guys can be purchased in several different sizes and can be reused for everything from food storage to home or office organization hacks!

Image of 3 stainless-steel containers.

You can choose to wrap these up in an upcycled fabric of your choice. Or, leave as is for a modern and minimalistic flair.

If you’re a java loving babe, don’t throw out those coffee tins!

If your recycling bin often has one or six empty coffee tins, don’t be ashamed babe! I mean, first off, why would you be? Coffee is life! And secondly, these guys can easily be upcycled to wrap your next gifts in! Ah, coffee. The gift that just keeps on giving.

Alright, here’s how it works. All you have to do is rinse these babies out, and stuff them with the presents of your choice. You can then wrap the tins in some of the other recyclable gems we’ve mentioned in this 12 Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts Using Recycled & Upcycled Materials blog!

Image of upcycled items used to wrap presents with, including a coffee tin.

Spruce up a few mason jars instead of buying gift bags that will end up in the trash…

If you want to be the babe who always wraps her gifts in an eco-friendly way, hear this. You need to always have mason jars on hand! These guys are *so*easy to reach for when you’re in a gift-wrapping crunch. What’s more, they can easily be decorated with small touches and details. Think bows, ribbon, or even some hand painting if you’re an artistic queen!

We love using mason jars because everyone can always use a few more of them. Whether you fill them with preserves or even use them as drinking glasses, you can be sure that these reusable pieces will not end up in the trash.

Image of Christmas gifts inside of glass mason jars.

We know you’ve got Amazon packages coming in left and right, babe. So keep those shipping boxes for all of your gift wrapping needs!

Let’s be real. No matter what time of the year it is, we all have a few Amazon packages that are constantly making their way to our doorsteps. And during the holiday season? Well, we bet you (or your neighbors) are receiving a ton of them.

We know this does create a lot of waste, babe. However, these shipping boxes and bags can be kept and reused for all of your holiday gift wrapping needs. So give your local recycling man a break and upcycle those Amazon packages, girlfriend.

Image of Christmas gifts wrapped in eco-friendly paper, stacked together as a snowman.

Plastic tape is a thing of the past, baby. Use biodegradable paper tape instead!

Yep, this is a thing babe! On our quest to be eco-friendly goddesses, we discovered that plastic tape can now be forgotten (yes, finally!). This year, opt for biodegradable paper tape to keep all of that recycled and upcycled material together.

Image of presents wrapped with paper tape instead of plastic.

Not only is it better for the earth, but it looks way cuter too – if we do say so ourselves!

If you’re in a crunch, BBE has the *easiest* way to wrap your gifts (the eco-friendly way, of course)

Along with those mason jars we mentioned earlier, these are the reusable bags you’ll want to always have on hand for those larger gifts. You know, the ones that don’t exactly fit into a glass jar. BBE’s reusable gift bags are not only *way* aesthetically pleasing. They are also super convenient, and super eco-friendly.

Image of two reusable BBE gift bags under a Christmas tree.

You can stuff these babies with just about anything. Whether it’s obsessively natural beauty products or that cozy sweater you know your bestie will love, these reusable gift bags will definitely stand out under the Christmas tree.

And for those festive finishing touches, use materials found in nature (or, in your grandma’s basement!)

It’s all about the details, baby. No matter what recycled or upcycled material you choose to wrap with, adding a few unique finishing touches to your gifts is what will really set them apart from the crowd. Below are a few tips on how to make all of your presents dazzle this year.

Image of kraft paper gift wrapping, complete with pine leaves and cinnamon sticks.
  • Bring in the green. This time of year, using pine leaves is perfect for sprucing up any of your eco-friendly gift wrapping. You can also add pinecones. Or, include a few cinnamon sticks to your masterpiece that can then be used for tea (or spiced eggnog!).
  • Add in a few trinkets. You can find these guys at a local thrift shop or tucked away in a basement box. And honestly, these odd little objects sure do add a distinctive effect to any present. Not to mention, they can be total conversation pieces, too!
  • Don’t forget the ribbons and bows. But babe, don’t bother with buying those ordinary ones that end up in the trash each year. Instead, upcycle old pieces of clothing or fabric to wrap up that gift!

Ready to wrap up a storm, the eco-friendly way?

Image of gifts with ornate broaches attached to them.

We bet you are, babe. And if you look closely enough, we guarantee that your home is full of creative ways to wrap up all of your gifts. Without creating more waste for the planet.

Even though Christmas is such a magical time to celebrate, the wrapping paper problem it presents is real (and let’s just say, it’s not much a present – see what we did there). The shiny and glitter-packed paper we see everywhere this time of year is full of microplastics and cannot be recycled. So although it looks adorable, it really isn’t so cute for the earth. What’s more, holiday wrapping paper is often dyed which again makes it extremely difficult to decompose. Meaning, it is destined to end up in landfills for several years to come.

So here’s our closing thought, girlfriend. Even if you choose to only wrap a few of your gifts in an eco-friendly way this year, it makes a difference. In fact, every little effort we make towards protecting the earth adds up in a huge way. And if you can make your small mark by enveloping a present in a gorgeous pashmina scarf, well… why the heck not?

Loving & Upcycling,

Carey <3


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