3 Low-Waste Wrapping Paper Alternatives

3 Low Waste Wrapping Paper Alternatives

Did you know that if every family in the US wrapped just 3 gifts this year in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields? This year, we challenge you to wrap 3 gifts with items you find around your house!

Here are 3 of our favorite easy wrapping ideas using things you can find in your home, pantry, and garden. 

1. Use upcycled paper

There are so many types of papers you can find around your house to wrap with! Old maps, newspapers, magazines... the list goes on! Here are our two favorites types of paper to wrap with:

Paper grocery bag

Brown paper grocery bags make the perfect gift wrap for gifts that are about shoe-boxed sized. Cut the bag open along one seam, and cut off the bottom.

To decorate your paper, use veggies or spices with a lot of pigment, like beets or turmeric. In the photo above, we chopped off the top of a raw beet, and pressed it directly onto our grocery bag to make large red polka dots!

If you are trying to wrap extra large gifts, and you just don't have paper around your house that's big enough to wrap with, grab a large roll of Kraft packing paper and decorate it! Even though you're buying the paper as opposed to up cycling some around your house, this is still a more sustainable option than using heavily ink dyed paper that often isn't recyclable. 

Kids artwork

No need to stick that artwork in a box that will sit in your garage! Instead, use it to wrap gifts for the grandparents, aunts and uncles... not only is it a great way to upcycle, but it makes gifts extra special. 

2. Mason Jar (painted!)

This is a creative way to wrap a gift while also serving as a second gift for the recipient! The jar can be painted in order to conceal what is inside and then reused as a luminary by sticking a candle inside.

We love this idea for gift cards or other small gifts like jewelry. You can even include the candle inside with your gift so the luminary is ready to go!

3. Use fabric 

Whether it’s a nice dish towel, a handkerchief, or simply some extra fabric, this form of wrapping is a classy addition to any gift. Not only do they receive an extra gift, but it makes the unwrapping experience even more meaningful and you can find fabrics with beautiful holiday patterns.   


All of these can be elevated by adding fresh herbs or dried fruit as a finishing touch. A beautiful add-on and naturally biodegradable! Check out the dried fruit we sell at Sun & Swell like dried apple rings or dried pineapple rings!

For a detailed step-by-step of how to make all of these alternative wrapping papers, check out this video made our co-founder, Kate! 

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