Sustainable Christmas: gift wrapping and holiday cards ideas

in Christmas

Together with holiday decorating, gifts are one of the first things that get tackled when Christmas approaches.
We’ve already looked at some inspiration to decorate more sustainably this holiday season, so now it’s time to turn to sustainable Christmas gift wrapping!

Sustainable gift wrapping paper & co

One of the most sustainable options to wrap gifts is regular brown paper.
But, according to personal tastes, brow paper alone can look too rustic, not festive enough and just boring.
Guess what though? It doesn’t have to be that way!
With a bit of creativity, plain brown paper can become fully Christmas-appropriate and give our gifts an extra touch of personalization (who doesn’t like that?). And all of this while being less harmful to the environment, as brown paper is fully recyclable!

Then how to decorate regular paper to make it festive and appropriate for sustainable Christmas gift wrapping?
The sky is the limit here, with just one rule. Embellishments should not defeat the overall purpose of wrapping gifts sustainably, and should be sustainable too!

So here are some sustainable materials that can be used to decorate brown paper:

  • Paper cut-outs and origami
  • Ornaments (wood, fabric, cork...)
  • Fabric ribbons
  • Greenery
  • Drawing and lettering
  • Postcards
  • Christmas cards (see next paragraph)
An example of sustainable Christmas gift wrapping where simple brown paper is decorated with some greenery twigs arranged radially and a golden star in the center.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Weiss & Schwarz (opened in a new window/tab)
Gift wrapped in brown paper and decorated with few twigs wrapped into brown paper like a flower bundle.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: OhOh Deco (opened in a new window/tab)
Gift wrapped in brown paper and decorated with newspaper cut-outs in the shape of Christmas ornaments hanging from a fluffy twig of greenery.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Miss Red Fox (opened in a new window/tab)
Brown paper gift wrapping with a ribbon drawn over it.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: My Cakies (opened in a new window/tab)
Brown paper gift wrapping decorated with a small bell and white fabric pompoms all around.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Kates Creative Space (opened in a new window/tab)

Even though brown paper is the most common, plain regular paper exists in other colours as well. The overall idea is choosing simple paper (that will therefore be recyclable) and make it special with – equally sustainable – decorations!

Greena and brown wrapping paper decorated with a cut-off in the shape of mistetoe.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Skonahem (opened in a new window/tab)
Black wrapping paper decorated with leaves, wood ornaments and cardboard cutouts.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Wohn Gold Stück (opened in a new window/tab)
White, black and brown paper decorated with a bow made with the same paper, for a full monochromatic and very elegant look.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: The Merrythought (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)
White and black and brown paper decorated with a garland made of twig and small cut-out stars.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Homey Oh My (opened in a new window/tab)
White and black paper decorated with cork ornaments.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Zwo:Ste (opened in a new window/tab)
White, black and brown paper cut in the shape of a star a stitched to make a creative gift wrapping.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Collective Gen (opened in a new window/tab)

Alternatively you can choose to move away from paper and wrap your gifts differently! In a previous post, I’ve DIY-ed 4 easy and sustainable gift wrappings …and 3 of them are not wrapping paper!

Sustainable Christmas cards & tags

Do you still use Christmas cards? In some areas of the world, it’s still common to send over physical cards at Christmas, whereas elsewhere they’re more of a thoughtful addition to presents, just as gift tags.

Either way, the Internet is packed full of ideas to create fun and festive cards and tags using simple materials, which qualifies the end results as sustainable Christmas cards (even though I bet nobody would ever want to throw one of these cards away!)

Christmas card with a watercolour background and a simple "Merry Christmas" writing.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Schere Leim Papier (opened in a new window/tab)
Christmas card with two white buttons representing the body of a snowman and the hat drawn with black pen.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Nikelcards (via Etsy) (opened in a new window/tab)
White Christmas card decorated with triangular cut-outs representing Christmas trees.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: BloGbloM (opened in a new window/tab)
White Christmas card decorated with a simple drawn tree.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Bloom Letterpress (via Etsy) (opened in a new window/tab)
Hand embroidered gift tags.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: A wonderful thought (opened in a new window/tab)

So what do you think? Isn’t it funny to wrap gifts sustainably? Personally, I love the handmade touch, which makes gifts thoughtful and personal already from the unwrapping!

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