I have a few simple ideas for easy and sustainable gift wraps to make everyone happy! The topic or maybe the issue of sustainability cannot be ignored. Over the years, I have been guilty of buying wrapping paper that was most likely not eco-friendly. Now I more than makeup for it by using every kind of sustainable gift wrap imaginable.
What constitutes gift wrap as sustainable?
Well, anything can be repurposed, reused, or recycled without waste. One thing I had not considered (who knows why) is that the tape you use matters. Often we use tape that cannot be recycled with, say, eco-friendly kraft paper. Okay, this is where I can do better. Masking tape over Washi tape works well. I wish Washi tape worked, but I never seem to find the kind that can hold anything together. Paper Washi tape is great for labels and decorative purposes.
Using fabric for wrapping paper that can then be used again and again
I especially like this idea and imagine that any gift I received wrapped up in a lovely piece of fabric would be given to another and then another! One of my favorite methods is the Japanese art of Furoshiki.
Furoshiki are Japanese wrapping cloths used to wrap or transport goods. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Furoshiki for environmental reasons over using single-use wrapping paper. Anthropologie has four choices of Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Cloth. I used a cotton bandana from GAP.
Inexpensive Canvas for sustainable gift wrap
Last Christmas, I started using frayed canvas as a ribbon for decorations, gift wrap, and almost everything. I even have a strip of frayed canvas tied onto my disco ball on top of an armoire. It adds a little something. In general, the frayed canvas ribbon or canvas is so overlooked and underutilized, in my opinion.
I buy my canvas at Blick Art Supply in the city. You can buy it by the yard, and you have a choice of weight. I can never decide so I always buy two weights. One sort of thin and another relatively thick.
Here is how I used canvas to wrap a couple of gifts
Using the canvas to replace paper
I cut a piece of canvas 18″ square. This size seemed like an excellent place to start since many small packages could be wrapped in a piece of cloth this size. I painted stripes on half of the fabric. Messy stripes using a metal yardstick as a guide.
Using canvas strips as ribbon
I wrap all my packages for shopmostlovelythings.com using strips of frayed canvas with twine. Just a tiny piece. I love the way it looks tied to a package or a bag. You can see more about my shop packaging in this post. But for this post, I painted the stripes using the paint I used for the canvas wrap. The paint is what we used to paint Madeline’s apartment. It’s called Sky Pink. We also painted a half wall in her bedroom at our house in this warm terracotta color. See that post here.
Supplies you’ll need to make some sustainable gift wrap
- Canvas or a canvas drop cloth
- paint (anything waterbased that you have on hand)
- paintbrush and straight edge
- scissors that can cut canvas (I love this pair of scissors)
- maybe a few sprigs of boxwood
- ZOE Olive Oil is lovely olive oil that we enjoy using. We keep a few in the pantry for host gifts because the can is so pretty.