If you feel guilty at the thought of chucking heaps of plastic, paper and wrapping away every Christmas, birthday or celebration, then you’ll love these eco friendly gift wrapping ideas.

Traditional wrapping paper can be very wasteful, not to mention expensive, but fortunately, there are lots of eco friendly, inexpensive AND super glamorous alternatives!

That’s why we’re sharing our top green wrapping paper ideas, so you can enjoy a low waste Christmas and mindful holiday season this year, whilst still giving gifts that matter.

Here are 11 stunning eco-friendly, zero waste gift wrap ideas that not only look beautiful but also help save the planet! 

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11 Elegant Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

1. Furoshiki Art Fabric

Furoshiki is the beautiful and traditional way of wrapping gifts with fabric. It’s an awesome zero waste gift wrapping idea that looks incredibly elegant.

furoshiki gift wrap idea eco friendly

Plus, the receiver also gets an extra present, the fabric becomes part of the gift. Our favorite is wrapping with sustainably made scarves.

Furoshiki is simple and oh so beautiful. Want to make this zero waste gift wrap idea look a little more festive?

Tuck in some wild sprigs of evergreen or rosemary and add a freshly washed pinecone.

Not only does it add a special Christmas look, but it makes the present smell amazing.

2. Newspaper Wrapping

Have some old newspapers lying around? These make a perfect gift wrap idea, and the effect is stunning.

christmas gifts wrapped in newspaper for eco friendly idea

Simply finish with a bit of colour by adding some fresh pine, or coloured kraft eco twine!

3. Brown Kraft Paper

There are lots of other impressive ways to upcycle your gift wrap. Using brown kraft paper is a firm favorite of ours.

Liven up the raft paper with a clippin of evergreen tree to make a ‘mini Christmas tree’.

brown kraft paper with evergreen twig and flick of white paint zero waste gift wrap

Use an old small paintbrush to recreate this effective witnery snow scene by flicking some white paint at the paper.

You can even create your own custom stamp and add a little colour to the packaging using vegetable dyes.

dried DIY orange citrus eco friendly gift wrapping idea

Cut up some old fabric to create a simple ‘bow’, and add a slice of dried DIY orange citrus to complete the rustic, yet elegant gift wrap look.

4. Sheet Music

Have some old sheet music laying around? Sold that recorder or violin after a few lessons?

sheet music gift wrapping idea

Sheet music makes a beautiful gift wrap, and is perfect for any music lover!

Simply finish with a small piece of twine and add decoration, such as an old bell (like the ones that come off those Easter chocolate bunnies!)

5. Old Fabrics and Shirts

This one will take a little more creative thought, and I’ll be honest this isn’t one of the easiest eco friendly gift wrap ideas to pull off, but if you’re up for a challenge (or just have some creative fingers!), why not give this a try instead of sending your clothes to the landfill.

old fabric eco friendly gift wrapping

Old men’s shirts make the best gift wrap ideas too, especially for wine bottles; simply cut off one of the sleeves and sew the bottom and you’re done!

Add a kraft tag and some twine and voila, a beautiful eco friendly gift idea!

6. Brown Paper Bags

Not only does this minimalist idea look cute and save the planet but it also is super cheap.

Shop at a grocer’s or somewhere where brown paper bags are used for food shopping.

brown kraft paper reusuable paper bags

Pick up a few extra or just reuse them from your previous shopping runs.

Tie together with some natural eco-friendly twine and a sprig of fresh pine, and add a freshly made cookie for an extra sweet treat.

7. ‘Pay it Forward’ Reusable Gift bags

I LOVE this idea as it encourages the gift recipient to also adopt a reusable mindset!

You can either buy them, or if you’re the hands-on type, here’s a handy DIY to show you how to make them yourself.

Pro tip: Don’t be tempted to buy cotton fabric thinking it’s eco friendly.

Whilst cotton is natural and renewable, it’s so intensively farmed these days it actually uses a TON of water, land and even pesticides to make!

The reusable fabric gift wrap idea shown above is made from recycled plastic that would’ve been chucked on to the landfill.

8. Magazine Bow

One of our favorite ways to jazz up brown kraft paper is with a homemade magazine paper bow.

It’s so easy to make a zero waste gift bow like this. You’ll never need to buy one those cheap plastic bows again!

Take a look at this handy DIY for some ideas to get started.

9. Map Wrapping

Planning to wrap something small and delicate? This low waste map wrapping hack surprisingly makes for a beautiful, zero waste gift!

map gift wrapping zero waste christmas gift

Plus, the design options are limitless! The geological maps especially, are so colorful and make for a wonderfully bright gift.

Plus, maps always go out of date every year so keep them in a stash ready for celebrations.

10. Book Page Wrapping

This is a really sweet wrapping idea, especially for book fiends: Make your own gift bag with an old book.

book page eco friendly gift wrapping idea

If a book is falling apart at the bind, use some of its loose pages to recreate this beautiful look.

11. Eco friendly wrapping paper

If you really want to use wrapping paper, why not swap out the wasteful, chemical ridden, plastic shop bought type for a more natural eco friendly paper that uses vegetable dyes and recycled fibres as opposed to laminated plastic.

You can sometimes buy these in bundles too. Take a look at Etsy rather than Amazon to support some local handmade businesses.

Loved these eco friendly green wrapping gift ideas? These will look amazing for Christmas, birthdays or even anniversary gifts.

Which gift wrapping idea are you thinking of trying this year? Let us know in the comments.

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