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Sustainable Christmas: Gift Wrapping And Holiday Cards Ideas

Topic: Christmas

Gift wrapping paper is often used once and then thrown away, plus it's often not recyclable. Turning to sustainable Christmas gift wrapping is a fun and easy way to wrap our gifts beautifully while being mindful of the environment!

Sustainable Christmas: gift wrapping and holiday cards ideas

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.
Credit: Weiss & Schwarz
Gift wrapped in brown paper and decorated with few twigs wrapped into brown paper like a flower bundle.
Credit: OhOh Deco
Gift wrapped in brown paper and decorated with newspaper cut-outs in the shape of Christmas ornaments hanging from a fluffy twig of greenery.
Credit: Miss Red Fox
Brown paper gift wrapping with a ribbon drawn over it.
Credit: My Cakies
Brown paper gift wrapping decorated with a small bell and white fabric pompoms all around.
Credit: Kates Creative Space

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.
Credit: Skonahem
Black wrapping paper decorated with leaves, wood ornaments and cardboard cutouts.
Credit: Wohn Gold Stück
White, black and brown paper decorated with a bow made with the same paper, for a full monochromatic and very elegant look.
Credit: The Merrythought (via Instagram)
White and black and brown paper decorated with a garland made of twig and small cut-out stars.
Credit: Homey Oh My
White and black paper decorated with cork ornaments.
Credit: Zwo:Ste
White, black and brown paper cut in the shape of a star a stitched to make a creative gift wrapping.
Credit: Collective Gen

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.
Credit: Schere Leim Papier
Christmas card with two white buttons representing the body of a snowman and the hat drawn with black pen.
Credit: Nikelcards (via Etsy)
White Christmas card decorated with triangular cut-outs representing Christmas trees.
Credit: BloGbloM
White Christmas card decorated with a simple drawn tree.
Credit: Bloom Letterpress (via Etsy)
Hand embroidered gift tags.
Credit: A wonderful thought

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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