Each year 4 million tons of wrapping paper is excitedly torn away from treasured gifts on Christmas morning -- then tossed into landfills. Statistics show Americans waste enough wrapping paper to cover 5000 football fields.
But gift-giving is an art, and after spending hours carefully selecting the perfect gift, the last thing you want to do is throw it in a crumpled bag.
Don’t worry! We’ve collected several ideas for crafting beautiful gift wrap that’s as creative, unique, and thoughtful as the gift inside – all while keeping the environment happy!
1. Decorate Reusable Paper
Enjoy a rustic holiday, with brown paper packages tied up with strings! A hand-decorated package is as appreciated as the present inside. In fact, a creatively crafted package can be used as home decor all year round.
Begin with a plain brown package of environmentally-friendly wrapping (here are a few options to start off). On this blank canvas, the possibilities are endless! We recommend visiting a local craft shop and letting your imagination run wild!
- Wildflower Array: Try combining a hot glue gun and silk flowers and berries for an austere, natural appeal.
- Mixed Media Acrylic: Paint a scene with acrylic, then add simple black silhouette of tree branches. Add colorful silk leaves from a craft store. Or, try painting a starry night on a snowy ground, a backdrop of a blue and purple night sky with white paint below. Add a dusting of glitter, and use your glue gun to add star-shaped beads or paper snowmen.
- Quotes Galore: Write meaningful and inspiring quotes across your brown paper canvas. Feeling sentimental? You can “decorate” by writing a heartfelt letter to your loved one - right on the package! Try using calligraphy or letter art (you can find pre-made letter art at your local craft store) to spice up the visuals! Your friend is guaranteed to treasure the box and keep it for years to come.
- For Kids: Kids love decorating gifts! Need something to keep them busy while you prepare for your upcoming holiday party? Encourage them to use markers or crayons to draw and color on the wrapped box. They can also paint their hands to put adorable handprints on the paper. Wanting something more simple? Give your child a stack of charming and creative stickers, and just let them go to town!
2. Gift Baskets
Everyone loves a gift basket! Whether it’s made of cheeses, spicy sausage, crackers, and wine; or sweet smelling bath salts, foaming perfumed bath beads, and luxurious lotions -- artfully arranged gifts along a specific theme are fun and thoughtful. Plus, the basket is reusable, ideal for rustic home decor, or simply for organizing your new holiday gifts!
However, it’s still important to be wary of the environmental impact when using a gift basket instead of traditional wrapping paper. While a basket may be reusable, not all people will reuse their basket; some may end up in the landfill anyway. Furthermore, you need to consider all the items in the basket. Is your basket full of plastic bottles and shrink wrap? Be sure to fill your basket with items in recyclable containers and environmentally-friendly products. Is that lotion tested on animals? Is that cheese in a non-recyclable plastic wrapper? If you’re trying to go green this holiday, be sure to consider all the angles of your thoughtful, reusable gifts.
3. Save Your Holiday Bags
“This looks familiar,” my friends always say cheekily when their gift comes wrapped in the exact same bag they gave me last year. Not only is saving your holiday bags good for the environment, it saves on your holiday wrapping budget. Plus, it can become a fun game to see how many years running you can trade the same gift bag back and forth with your best friends.
If your holiday bags are starting to look a little tattered, try switching it up with reusable and artistic pre-wrapped gift boxes! They’re more sturdy than gift bags, and you can start a new tradition!
4. Reusable ReadyWrap Gift Boxes
With eco-friendly consumers on the rise, the gift wrap industry is striving to go green. ReadyWrap Gift Boxes are the new trend in gift-giving. They come pre-wrapped in colorful paper -- just fold and give! We have vibrant, traditional prints and colors, but we also offer brown paper packages, perfect for DIY decorating. We’re even planning to create “coloring book” boxes, for kids and adults!
These boxes are simple and fun to fold, and you save money, hassle, and trash that comes from using typical wrapping paper. No need for tape or scissors; no wasting those extra paper scraps you have to throw away. Plus, they’re highly reusable! We hope you’ll be saying, “Hmm, this box looks familiar” to your friends for many holidays to come.