Sustainable Christmas wrapping ideas that are much kinder on the planet

If you haven't started your wrapping, listen up!

christmas gifts wrapped up
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sustainable Christmas wrapping might not be the first thing you think about when wrapping your gifts but with most of the colorful papers being non-recyclable it's time to give it a bit more thought and switch up your routine. 

Once you’ve checked out our gift ideas for dogs, zodiac gifts, and best gifts that keep on giving, it’s natural to want to wrap them in paper covered in glitter and foil. But usually, these types of paper are non-recyclable and will have to go to general waste.

To test if wrapping paper is recyclable or not, simply scrunch the paper into a ball —recyclable paper will remain in the ball, non-recyclable will not. Do not despair though, as there are a few options that are both chic and sustainable.

  1. Brown biodegradable paper

Brown paper is not only planet friendly but simple, looks good and easy to dress up. Add a piece of string and a bauble and you’re good to go, or add an extra personal touch and draw on the paper yourself.  

2. Newspaper

We know what you’re thinking, what’s festive about newspaper? Actually it can make really attractive wrapping paper once spruced up with a bit of string or holly. Just try to pick a cheerful page to use and you're good to go.

3. Dried flowers and leaves

Dried flowers and leaves will immediately add sophistication to your presents. They give an air of elegance and expense when actually they are inexpensive and easy to get a hold of. Just tie a stick of dried eucalyptus to your gift and you're done!  

4. Fabric

christmas presents wrapped in fabric

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fabric wrapping has become trendy recently thanks to the eco-savvy. It’s a good investment to have fabric wraps as you can use them repeatedly. It works in the same way as wrapping paper but instead of using copious amounts of tape, you can tie the fabric around the gift and create a makeshift bow.  

5. Dried fruit and cinnamon sticks

Adding dried fruit or cinnamon sticks to your gift wrapping will add a real touch of elegance. Try slicing oranges, limes and lemon and popping them in the oven at 120 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour to dry them. You’ll then have some very stylish, homemade decorations not to mention a kitchen smelling like Christmas. 

6. Origami

The internet is filled with step-by-step guides on cranes, flowers, and tree origami tutorials. So grab some brown biodegradable paper or tissue paper and have a go at crafting your very own paper trees. Place them where you would normally put a shiny, foil bow. 

Being more sustainable doesn’t need to be expensive and with many of us stuck inside or working from home, getting a little bit more creative is a fun way to pass the time. You can use so many things within your home whether that be string or flowers to add a bit of flare to your wrapping this year. 

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...