There are MANY reasons why looking for wrapping paper alternatives can by appealing.
First off, it’s more eco friendly and sustainable to not be constantly purchasing paper only to rip it up and throw it away.
Second, pretty wrapping paper can be expensive. Many of these wrapping paper alternatives below have little to no cost. And many of them can be used over and over again.
Finally, they make your holiday special and unique. Don’t think your kids will miss tearing into wrapping paper for a second. These eco friendly wrapping ideas are just as much fun!
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1 | Potato Chip Bag
Let’s start off with one of my favorite wrapping paper alternatives – potato chip bags!
I love it because it’s so simple, unique, and pretty.
Take any snack bag that’s lined with a shiny foil-like inside, turn it inside out, and wrap your present.
2 | Fabric Gift Wrapping
Ah the wonderful world of furoshiki. Yes, the Japanese have really perfected the art of wrapping with fabric.
Of course you can use any fabric, but I always try to hit up the Christmas-pattern sales. I usually pay about $3 for a yard.
Check out YouTube for some gorgeous tutorials. If you want a quick summary, here are the 3 main techniques:
- The Knot. This works best for square or rectangular boxes. Lay the fabric down with the “wrong” side up. Place the box in the middle of the fabric at a diagonal angle. Fold the opposite corners over the box. Tie the remaining two opposite corners on the top of the box like a bow.
- The Regular Wrap. For this method, you simply wrap the gift just like you would normally with regular wrapping paper. Only instead of paper, use fabric. Instead of tape, use pins and ribbon to secure.
- The Irregular Gifts. I LOVE this one for oddly shaped presents – things like toys, stuffed animals, or cylindrical shapes. Place your gift towards one side and just roll. Then secure the ends with ribbon. Bam, easy peasy.
3 | Mason Jars
I loooove the look of mason jars with a ribbon or bow. So classy.
And don’t worry about the fact that they’re clear. Kids are still super excited to open them up and explore everything inside.
4 | Baskets
Displaying gifts in a basket with a big ribbon or bow is a classy idea for friends. Best part is that a nice basket is a gift in and of itself!
5 | Newspaper and Magazines
We’ve all seen newspapers used as wrapping paper alternatives, but don’t forget about colorful pictures from magazines!
Ask your family for those old National Geographics they’ve been holding onto. Or hit up a doctor’s office to ask for out-of-date magazines from their waiting room.
6 | Brown Paper Bags or Filler
We save all of that brown paper that’s used as packing material in Amazon boxes. It’s great for crafts and wrapping presents! You can also achieve the same look using brown paper grocery bags.
Pro-Tip: Wrap the gift then let the kids decorate it. Originally the kids would decorate the paper then I would wrap a gift with it. But then a lot of their “art” is cut off.
7 | Kid’s Art Work
Any other moms out there drowning in their child’s art work? It’s too much to save… but throwing it away just feels wrong.
Enter this idea for wrapping paper alternatives where you recycle their art and use it as wrapping paper! GREAT idea for grandparents and other family.
8 | Reusable Shopping Bags
They can be used later for shopping, library books, travel… the sky’s the limit.
9 | Maps
Do you have any old maps laying around in your car? Maybe one that came with a magazine or from AAA?
Use them as fun wrapping paper alternatives!
10 | Pillow Cases
If you’re like me, you have a linen closet full of pillowcases in all colors and random patterns.
Pillow cases make great options for oddly-shaped gifts. Simply plop the item inside and tie it off with a ribbon.
Another similar and super fun idea is to get a special “Santa sack” for presents! Every year gifts from Santa mysteriously appear in the bag under the tree.
What do you think of our list? Any ideas you would add?