6 Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper Alternatives | DIY Ideas – waste-ed shop

6 Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper Alternatives

Sliding sharp scissors through gift wrap is better than snipping. That's one thing we know about wrapping gifts. But what happens once all that wrapping paper is ripped off? What do you do with all the crumples? Kindling for a fire? What about all those chemicals? Scratch paper? Sorry, too thin.

Wrapping paper is pointless. It's wasteful, so we here at Waste-Ed compiled this ultimate list of upcycled wrapping paper alternatives for your holiday reading pleasure. Let’s get to it.

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag

brown paper bag gift wrap

The classic. A shoe-in for any style palette that says, “I shop at places that have brown paper bags,” sending your recipients into a spiral of madness wondering whether you lack the money for wrapping paper or just think it’s beneath you. Tie a reused (and reusable) piece of ribbon around it and decorate with a wildflower or a sprig of herbs. Classy. Timeless.

Scrap Fabric

fabric gift wrap

What better way to show affection to that special someone than to wrap their gift in a shirt you meant to throw away? Or that doesn't fit you? Pro: stains won’t matter if using to clean up mulled wine. Con: saving wrapping paper is counterproductive if the person opening it has to wear surgical gloves. Wash before use.

Inside Out Chip Bags

inside of chip bag

We wish we’d thought of it first, but seeing as how chips come wrapped in a diabolical blend of metal and plastic, they’re basically never recyclable. Don’t stop at drinking the chip dust – turn out the whole damn bag! Give it a rinse, dry it off, and put something in it.

Shopping Tote

shopping tote on rack

Know somebody who could use one? You know, that person who’s always saying climate change is a hoax? They’ll hate this, giving you an opportunity to channel their inner rage into asking why green solutions would ever rely on visible climate decline in the first place.


stacks of newspaper

Don’t be shy. Everyone born before 1990 did it. If you’re one of the rare few whose addresses still show up on the delivery roster, share the wealth and let us read the comics while we unwrap our presents!

A Litany of Objects

scrap fabric with hand

There’s no rule saying you have to wrap presents in paper. Ribbons are a classic of course, and for an extra touch of glam, you can bedazzle them with the melted bits of plastic bowl your dad put in the toaster oven (true story). Heck, why not reuse the husk of bubble wrap you meticulously popped? The world is your oyster.

With hundreds of millions of tons of wrapping paper going in the trash, any substitute is an improvement to our current situation. Like most creative ideas, the weirder the better. Good luck!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published