10 Ideas for Pretty Alternative Wrapping

Last year, we were in Argentina for Christmas, and couldn’t find wrapping paper anywhere. I did searches on how to wrap with recycled materials, but most of the ideas I found were fugly. This year, I’ve been collecting some pretty, eco-friendly options:

1. Use vintage scarves, and trinkets in place of bows.

This is a gift I wrapped for a baby shower a while ago. It’s in a vintage silk scarf I got for a dollar at a garage sale. I tied it twice over the top of the box and used a pair of baby booties in place of a bow. It’s similar to the furoshiki concept.

2. Try a reusable wrap cloth.

This one is for sale at Rickrak, but you could also try making one of your own.

3. Make bows from recycled plastic bags.

This plastic bow is from Creature Comforts, and it’s made from a recycled Target plastic bag. Surprisingly cute, huh? Click through for directions.

4. Troll flea markets for containers and embellishments.

This photo is from Lil Fish Studios, it’s a simple kraft paper box embellished with an old velvet ribbon and a vintage belt buckle. When I’m at a garage sale, I look for cheap wooden boxes, ceramic powder boxes, or package embellishments that will make my gift seem extra thoughtful.

5. Make your own pretty boxes.

Check out Eco-Artware’s template for making cool pillow boxes out of old cereal boxes.

6. Forget tape.

This photo is an example from an entire article full of alternative giftwrap options over at Future Present. I like the look of packages sealed with utility clips or clothespins.

7. Dig through your donations box.

This gift is wrapped in scraps leftover from a Halloween costume. It’s part of another article on recycled wrapping over at Enviromom. I never considered using old T-shirts or clothing items to wrap.

8. Use old maps to wrap.

Some cute examples here and here.

9. Repurpose magazines.

This is a bow made of recycled magazines, which you can buy from BellyBuzz on Etsy. If you’re feeling crafty, you can make them yourself.

10. Use recycled paper for tags.

I like the idea of using recycled sheet music to make tags, like these from MissingMyCity’s photostream. You could use parts of old cards, maps, or stationery catalogues.

That’s it! Do you have any pretty ideas for wrapping with repurposed or recycled materials? Feel free to leave links in comments.