Sustainable Gift Wrapping Guide for Beautifully Wrapped Presents

Ditching traditional wrapping paper in favour of sustainable gift wrapping is an easy way to cut down your environmental impact this festive season. You can have fun and indulge in the pleasure of wrapping and beautifying gifts, making them a wonderful experience to unwrap for the recipient, and still stick to your eco-friendly principles.

One of the biggest culprits of Christmas waste is single-use gift wrap, with the average UK household throwing away three-and-a-half black liners of wrapping paper each Christmas, which equates to an additional 3 million tonnes. That’s really pretty shocking when, if we’re being honest with ourselves, gift-wrapping is a frivolous tradition, even if it does bring us lots of joy!

Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable – if it is metallic, textured or coated, the chances are that it isn’t. Most mainstream wrapping options fit into this category. But never fear! The Christmas elves at Wearth have been busy compiling a seasonal guide on how to wrap a gift sustainably while still ensuring it looks fabulous and festive. We’ve had a lot of festive fun along the way!

Read on to discover our favourite sustainable gift wrapping ideas.

Ditch the gift wrap – and use fabric instead

For a zero-waste alternative to traditional gift wrap, learn how to create beautifully wrapped presents using fabric instead. It’s probably one of the easiest and most straight-forward ways to wrap a gift, and to do it consciously too.

We love the eco-credentials of fabric wrapping – but there is also an added present-wrapping bonus – and that is the flexibility of the fabric. Even odd-shaped gifts can be easily covered and wrapped, and the sharp corners of books or boxed presents will never tear through the fabric, meaning your gifts will stay a surprise until Christmas morning!

Fabric wrapping will add a touch of elegance to any gift and can be passed around between family and friends – and even put in the washing machine to freshen up as needed. It looks much more luxurious than standard wrapping paper, so it’s a win-win.



Reuse and recycle everyday packaging

There are probably many things that you have around the home that could be turned into beautiful gift wrap. An old, outdated road map that is no longer used can be repurposed as gift wrap – as can sheet music or magazines. Often online deliveries arrive wrapped in tissue paper, or securely packaged with brown paper. You can save these and use them for rewrapping (Hint: you can use an iron to make it look as good as new!).

Save any bags that you’ve been gifted over the years and reuse them this Christmas – you could even start a tradition to see how many years you can swap gifts using the same bag!

How to gift wrap a bottle of wine

Wrapping bottles of wine can be a bit of a challenge, but we’ve got some gift-wrapping inspiration that makes packaging wine bottles easy – and gives your friends a ‘bonus’ present.

The simplest way to wrap your wine is to place the bottle in one of a pair of socks.  The wine will be cushioned and any excess material can be gathered together, folded over and secured with a bow made from the other sock.  Two gifts for the price of one! If you’d rather keep both socks intact then put the bottle in one sock and then the other, and then tie with biodegradable ribbon.

If you prefer to use gift wrap, choose our recycled paper, which is biodegradable and printed with vegetable-based inks, and follow this easy wrapping method:

  1. Lay the bottle on the paper with a 20 cm overhang at the bottom and 5 cm at the top.
  2. Use eco-friendly sticky tape to secure the edge of the paper to the side of the bottle.
  3. Fold the excess paper into triangles and tuck around the bottom of the bottle while rolling around the bottle and secure with tape.
  4. Stand the bottle up and make a ‘concertina’ or fan with the remaining wrapping paper and secure the middle of the fanned paper to the top of the bottle with tape.
  5. Spread out the folds of the fan to neaten and add style to your gift packaging.

This technique is simple and effective – and works for all types of bottles containing everything from bubbly to bubble bath!

christmas paper


Christmas bow tying made easy

Adding a festive final touch to your gifts will make them stand out from the crowd under the tree.

Another simple and sustainable gift-wrapping option is to create a bow from a fabric offcut to crown your present. All you’ll need is a pretty strip of fabric that’s roughly three times the length of your gift box:

  1. Place the fabric lengthways across the gift box
  2. Wrap the fabric under the box and bring it back to the top
  3. Cross the two ends of the fabric together so they are tight and wrap the fabric around the width of the box to make a cross.
  4. Secure by tying a knot
  5. To create the bow, make loops from each end of the fabric and cross the left loop over the right, pull through and tighten. This ensures the bow sits neatly on the gift.
  6. For the finishing touch, use pinking shears to stop the ends of the fabric bow from fraying.

Add natural festive touches

For a truly natural finishing flourish, get out in nature and gather some eco-friendly gift garnishes. Holly leaves make great gift tags – simply punch a hole in the leaf, loop some twine through the hole and write your festive message on the holly.

An elegant way to wrap a gift is to use recycled brown paper and twine and tuck a cinnamon stick into the knotted string.  Not only will your gift ooze class, but it’ll release a festive fragrance around the house too.

Need some gift inspiration?

Gift ethically and consciously with a range of sustainable seasonal present ideas from our Christmas gift selection. Happy wrapping!