3 Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

By Jason Freely / a few months ago
3 Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

Have you started wrapping gifts? My friend Linsey Laidlaw has some fantastic ideas. “Our family is trying to take steps to be cleaner and do better with our sustainability,” she explains. “I read in the Guardian that the amount of wrapping paper that gets thrown away in the U.K. alone can wrap around the globe nine times!” To that end, here are three ways to wrap presents by reusing materials around the house…

1. Children’s drawings (above)
There are many things to do with kids’ art, but this might be one of the best. “We always have an abundance of kids’ art — you can only save so much of it!” Linsey says. And it looks surprisingly sophisticated as wrapping paper. “Grandparents especially love getting drawings; it’s a bonus to get that extra special wrap.”

Three Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

2. Calendars
Old calendar pages make great graphic gift wrap, don’t you think? Desk calendars work well for small gifts, while oversized wall calendars are perfect for larger packages.

Three Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

3. Newspaper
“Most of the wrapping paper you’d buy nowadays isn’t actual paper — it’s mostly synthetic stuff,” says Linsey. So, if you’re a regular newspaper reader, wrap your presents in newsprint. Some tips: Choose pages that are visually pleasing (the travel section is good for this), and try it paired with bright ribbons or fun washi tape.

Three Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

And there you have it! “Besides these options, we’ll be flipping Trader Joe’s bags inside out, smoothing packing paper from things we need to have shipped, using washi tape (biodegradable!) instead of scotch tape, and may even try the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki wrapping cloth for a few special packages,” says Linsey.

How will you be wrapping gifts? Any other ways to have a more sustainable holiday season?

P.S. 10 wonderful holiday rituals, and Linsey’s house tour.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. Styling by Linsey Laidlaw.)

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