Every year I get a few comments from Unclutterers about the wastefulness of wrapping paper. It’s there for a few minutes and then it’s gone and tossed into the trash.
Now, I understand that wrapping paper adds to the festive feeling of gift-giving. A carefully-wrapped gift can express caring and affection for the recipient. I love a well-wrapped gift, but I can see the other side, too. If you’re in the anti-wrap camp, here are several ideas for clever ways to wrap gifts without paper.
A beautiful cloth can make a gift look fantastic. Furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that’s perfect for oddly-shaped packages or gifts. It’s also a great choice when a scarf or beautiful cloth is part of the gift.
If you want to give this a try, download this beautifully illustrated PDF from Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. Likewise, the video below provides a nice step-by-step for a popular method.
You can also re-purpose decorative napkins, old curtains or scrap fabric. Simply stitch them together for a fun, vintage look.
Lastly, I found this great idea using a cable knit sweater , some ribbon and decorative pine cones. It’s clever and looks great.
For many, the issue is the single-use nature of wrapping paper. One thing you can do about it is re-use decorative retail bags. Here’s a great example using holiday-themed grocery bags from Trader Joe’s . Likewise, you can buy an inexpensive stamp like this and some scrap paper from the printer, junk mail, etc. and create great-looking wrap.
When I was young, my mother would occasionally wrap presents in the color Sunday comics from the newspaper. It always looked great and I thought it was a lot of fun.
You can buy a gift bag. It’s not my favorite solution, but it’s there. If that’s not your thing, consider these other fun packages and gift wrap.
Here’s a great tutorial on turning a cereal box into a lovely and charming gift box. Likewise, here’s a tutorial on using a Pringles container to present beautiful, customized gifts.
I hope this list was helpful. A thoughtfully-wrapped gift can say as much as the goodie it contains. And yes, paper is not your only option. Have fun wrapping! And don’t worry, there’s plenty of time left.