Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year and yet it is the most wasteful time as well!

Every year we end up with high proportions of waste, which instead of being recycled is being thrown in the bin.

Waste collection company, Biffa, estimates that during Christmas in the UK people create 30 per cent more rubbish than usual, using more than 300,000 tonnes of card and sending more than 100 million bags of garbage to landfill.

When it comes to wrapping paper, researchers from OnePoll.com, revealed many people aren’t recycling at all: one in five admitted to throwing it straight into the bin.

Can you imagine that UK households will be discarding more than 277,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper this year? That’s enough to stretch to the moon!

Well, if all this data has made you feel a bit uncomfortable, then you will find below some great ideas on how to reduce your wrapping paper waste and enter a New Year guilt-free.

First of all, make sure to wrap presents with recyclable papers.

If you are unsure if the paper you have can be recycled just do a quick “scrunch-test”: if you scrunch it and it stays in form of a ball, that’s great, you are on the green side of the Force. If not, then time to rethink your wrapping paper…

Also check this scrunch-test video, coming straight from the North Pole!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PBps0ccvXc

Secondly, start reusing old Christmas cards as gift tags or use brochures or magazines, etc. to do your own cards, tags and decorations. We can assure you that preparing all gift packages yourself will help make your loved ones appreciate the presents you’ve given, even more!

And what do you use for this special Christmas project?

At canvassimo, as we love crafts, we tend to keep almost anything which we feel might be useful for our DIY projects. We let our imagination go wild!

For zero-waste wrapping packing we were using items from “natural sources” (read: found home!), such as:

  • glossy pages, printed on high quality paper, kept from brochures or magazines, commercial catalogues, pictures, greeting cards etc,
  • twigs,
  • ribbons made of fancy fabric,
  • feathers,
  • metal, wooden and stone beads and
  • scraps of various fabrics.

We also used items found in a garden or park: dried twigs, fresh needle sprigs, small stems from berry bushes and cones.

We only bought a few items, i.e.: recyclable brown paper, white paper, acrylic paints and thin wire.

If you don’t have the items above or those you will see in our photos below, don’t worry, you can try finding something else in your home in a forgotten drawer, DIY box, garage or studio (if you are lucky to have one!). Also stay alert and take a closer look at all those wonders you can find during your stroll in a park for instance.

Being equipped with all the desired items we have prepared a few examples of how to wrap Christmas presents.

We truly hope they will inspire you and that you’ll join us in this zero waste gift wrapping project!

1. Let’s start from old sheets of music paper, which will be very good for wrapping presents, especially if you have some music lovers in your family!

A.  Just wrap some presents and tie with string. Then you can stick a nice photo on top, for example photo of a tree under snow, as this is about the Winter Season after all.

 

B.  Tie the package nicely with twine. We used black fabric belt from an old skirt as well. And surprisingly (or maybe not so much… as we had had good feelings about it!) it worked very well. We have also added fresh green needle twigs to our present for a real Christmas look.

 

C.  We wrapped this cylindrical gift with musical paper and tied with cotton threads. We attached an ornament made of thicker paper (recovered from the advertising folder) cut out in the shape of a Christmas tree. We’ve also added one fresh holly berry to finish it off.

D.  For fans of minimalist forms, we have here a present tied with only a few threads of cotton, entwined through a circle of turquoise with a simple tag including the name of the recipient.

E.  We enlaced this gift 3 times with a black cotton threads with silver beads, arranged to mimic a Christmas tree. So simple, but it can impress! 

F.  A cotton thread with wooden beads was laid across. At the intersection of the threads fabric beads were placed and decorated with a fresh green twig of thuja (cypress family). 

G.  This gift was tied with a piece of tulle mesh, to which a fresh green branch with red berries was attached.

H.  More examples of decorating Christmas presents: the first with a pom-pom cut off from an old cap (washed earlier), another has a tag, cut out from a thicker paper, saved from an advertising folder, with the recipient’s name, and the third is a gift with a photo glued to the music paper.

2.  Wrap the presents in recycled white paper. You can decorate wrapped gifts with colourful paper cut into various shapes, related to the winter period.

Please check our suggestions of decorations, applied to the present wrapped in plain white paper, which is great background for colourful applications. Various advertising brochures or magazines were used to cut them out.

A.  Circles with graphic motifs were glued onto the dark paper background. Enlaced at the end with a colourful thread. 

 

B.  A green triangle symbolizing the Christmas tree was glued to the thick dark paper background. Wrapped several times in contrasting thread. 

C.  A Christmas card glued on the front, with a few threads and beads wrapped around. 

D.  A wide strip of brown paper glued lengthwise. Tied with white ribbon, which corresponds with the colour of white paper. Pictures of a Christmas tree glued on top.

E.  Monochromatic. On a simple white paper box a wide strip of white paper with pleats glued lengthwise was placed. Enlaced with white thread and fresh green sprig with fresh white berries attached.

F.  Description as above, but for a pleasant snow effect we’ve added feathers all around.

3.  Same as wrapping in recycled white paper, we can wrap gifts in recycled brown paper and decorate in a similar manner.

A.  Here we have a simple pairing of brown paper with thick white paper cut out from an advertising folder with a snowflake motif, stuck on the front. Gift is also enlaced 3 times with a black cotton threads and silver beads, arranged to resemble a Christmas tree.

 

B.  Four presents. Three already described. The fourth one with a picture on the front, enlaced with two-coloured threads. Fresh green sprig with red berries added.

4.  Gifts wrapped in ordinary daily newspapers.

A.  Newspaper wrap tied only with plain braun jute twine.

B.  Another version of the simple newspaper wrap is with fresh green needle twigs and pine cone attached. 

C.  A gift wrapped in a newspaper page in a single graphite colour (yes, you can find this kind of pages in a newspaper). This looks much more elegant, if that would be your preference. Tied across with a wide white ribbon and cotton red and white thread longitudinally.

D.  One present wrapped in a newspaper page in single graphite colour. Tied with colourful cotton thread. The second one wrapped in white paper and a wide strip of a newspaper page in a single graphite colour glued longitudinally. Tied with colourful cotton thread.

E.  This is our version of the Christmas reindeer on a gift box.

First wrap the box with white paper and a wide strip of a newspaper page in a single graphite colour glued longitudinally. Draw something reminiscent of reindeer horns on brown paper. Then cut and glue on the top of the wrapped box. Below, glue the eyes of the reindeer (we had recovered from last year’s gift, so we used it) – you can use colored paper from an old magazine, cutting out small circles. The nose of the reindeer is fresh holly berry. Glue it or pin it with a sewing pin.

F.  This one is for horse lovers! We found this picture in a newspaper and wrapped the present. Finished with attached cotton threads and an ornament made off with thicker paper (recovered from the advertising folder) cut out in the shape of a Christmas tree. We’ve also added one fresh holly berry.

5. Old or outdated maps can also be used to wrap even large presents. Their advantage is, that their paper is stronger than newsprint. Newspaper can be torn much easier than maps.

So, wrap the presents with maps and check below what kind of emblishment you can make with our help.

A.  Prepare small sticks, about 5-6 pieces. Different sizes. From largest to smallest. Tie the sticks with a cord to form a Christmas tree. Tie the gift so that the Christmas tree from the sticks is in front of the gift. Paint them a little bit using an acrylic paint. Finally, you can also attach small cones.

B.  This present has a fresh holly berry twig on the front, with a few threads wrapped around.

C.  Here we have a few fresh green twigs in the centre with a few beads on a thread and a name tag.

pin for later ↓