Beat Holiday Waste with Reusable Gift Wrap

Try some of these reusable gift wrap solutions to cut holiday waste without losing the cute factor.

The weather is getting cooler here in the northern hemisphere, and that means the holidays are upon us! Try some of these reusable gift wrap solutions to cut holiday waste without losing the cute factor.

The U.S. generates an average of five million tons more waste during the holiday season, and the bulk of that is all of that beautiful, paper giftwrap that goes straight to the bin after we open our gifts.

Luckily, we don’t have to resort to disposables when it comes to wrapping gifts. There are a few more eco-friendly options out there. Here are some of my favorites.



We’ve talked about furoshiki, the Japanese art of cloth gift wrapping, before. A typical furoshiki wrap is in the neighborhood of 21″ square, but you can make a larger one if necessary. You can make your own by hemming a large, square piece of fabric from your stash on all four sides, or you can check out store-bought options like Bobo Wrap.

Whether you make or purchase your wrap, there are a number of ways to use it, depending on the gift. This video shows you a few handy furoshiki wrapping techniques:


fabric gift bag

Reusable Gift Bags

Paper gift bags are a bit better than disposable gift wrap, since they can be reused multiple times. You can also make your own fabric gift bags, which hold up even better over time.

Companies like Lyziwrap offer pre-made reusable gift bags, if you’re in a hurry. Another quickie reusable gift bag option is this felt gift bag:

Just make sure you’re using recycled felt for this project!

fabric basket

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes, the greenest wrapping option is when the wrapping is part of the present! Arrange things into a pretty basket, Mason jar, or metal tin that your recipient can keep. If you’ve got some extra time, you might even make a sweet, fabric gift basket. Unusual gift wrap like this is not only more eco-friendly, it’s more memorable!

What have you guys done to make your holiday gift wrapping a little greener?

Image Credits: Gift Wrap. Creative Commons photo by meddygarnet, Furoshiki. Creative Commons photo by artistmam, Fabric Gift Bag. Photo by Becky Striepe
Fabric Gift Basket. Creative Commons photo by thewelshes

5 thoughts on “Beat Holiday Waste with Reusable Gift Wrap”

  1. LOVE furoshiki. We make the wrapping more meaningful by wrapping in scarves or other fabric that belonged to someone else. For instance, I have a dozen silk scarves from my mother who passed away. I use them to wrap my granddaughter’s gifts. Now they not only get the gift, but a memory of their great grandmother!

  2. I save all the wrapping I receive and re-use it. This past Christmas I only purchased one roll of wrapping paper. Most all of our gifts were wrapped with re-used tissue paper and bows and a few paper bags from grocery store runs where my husband had forgotten to bring in the shopping bags.

  3. My family has been using fabric for gift wrapping for the last 15 years. It’s a great tradition to pass on to your children and great lessons in reuse as opposed to single use and discard mentality.
    Recently we have been replenishing our stock at, they have a good selection with reasonable prices.

  4. Now I am thinking about the stack of old fabric calendars / dish towels my husband & I both gathered from our mothers. Does anyone still make these? Wouldn’t the current year be awesome to wrap a baby gift?

  5. Pingback: Unfill The Land Fill » Everything old is New Again: Society for the Prevention of Useless Giving

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