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Sustainable Dyearies: 8 Low Waste Gift Wrapping Ideas

I don't know about you guys but I could literally spend ages picking out wrapping paper aesthetic. Yes, I am aware that is such a long time for something so miniscule, but 76% of you guys said that gift wrapping aesthetic matters to you on a recent poll we did through our Instagram stories. That's right, I caught you on that one.

Don't worry, you are in the majority. In fact reports show that Americans spend about $2.9 billion on wrapping paper every year (Nowroozi, Gretchen, and Sarah Acosta). What do you think happens to over four million tons of this festive paper? Doesn't take a genius to figure out it ends up in a landfill. I know I know, I am being a wrapping paper aesthetic Scrooge, but there is hope. I am going to share 8 ideas for low waste gift wrapping, and if I am being honest they are so much more fun than buying rolls of glitter paper from Hobby Lobby.

Furoshiki Wrapping

An Age Old tradition, furoshiki is an ancient Japanese technique and is known as the first occurrence of gift wrapping. You can wrap boxes, canisters, wine bottles and much more by laying out a Holiday Towel, Bandana or Napkin and tying the ends together. You can find an amazing video tutorial here.

Custom Kraft Paper

A personal favorite of mine, I love the idea of getting craft paper and using it as a blank canvas for your Christmas wrapping. You can write words that describe the receiver, have your kids decorate if for grandparents, or make patterns out of things you have around the house. My favorite recent pattern idea involved dipping festive cookie cutters in paint and stamping them around the paper.

Map Wrap

The other day I was in a second hand store and saw a basket of World Atlases from various years and I thought, "how cool would it be to use that as wrapping paper." When I googled it, I quickly realized I was late to the game on this concept. Take old Maps lying around and use them to wrap gifts this year. Maybe, if you are lucky enough, you can find some that show the state the receiver is from, or somewhere you traveled together. I promise you will love the result.

Antique Dish Delivery

Sometimes the best things you can give to your friends and neighbors are homemade treats. Instead of using Tupperware or paper plates, find antique or vintage festive plates and dishes to deliver your made with love baked goods this year. Extra points for using bees wax wrap instead of plastic wrap to cover it.

Net Market Bags

Sometimes, we run out of time, let's all be honest with ourselves. A gift bag is simple and quick when you have so many gifts to deliver. Instead of buying paper gift bags, use a Net Market Bag or a Market Tote that the receiver can use for grocery runs. Now that is a gift that keeps on giving.

Scrap Fabric Tags

This idea I discovered as I was trying to decide what to do with some Dyeraid scraps from previous collections. Our fabric tags are such a unique gift topper and take a package to the next level! You can even DIY some with fabric scraps in your home.

Citrus Topping

You may have seen dried oranges as a fun, festive garland for your Christmas Decor, but did you know you can also use it on top of your packages for an extra touch? Take a small pin, make a little hole, or use the center hole in the orange slice. This idea smells good and the best part? You can throw and orange out into the woods or in your compost and it will decompose.

Ornamental Touch

Sometimes you don't need a name to tell whose gift is whose. Use hoop ornaments, macramé ornaments or travel memento ornaments as a way to distinguish your packages. Not only is it a keepsake for the receiver for their tree next year, but it adds such a fun touch to the top of a gift.

There are so many other Low Waste, Eco Friendly Gifting Ideas, these are just a few of my personal favorites. I know this season is busy and sometimes convenience wins the day, but if all of us only chose one of these it would help lower waste a significant amount. At the end of the day, this is a season for making spirits bright and what better way to do it than by using more sustainable practices that make our future bright?

As always, I am so grateful you are here with me learning and taking steps toward a brighter, more sustainable future. I couldn't do it without you.

Happy Holidays,

Kara Jo



Nowroozi, Gretchen, and Sarah Acosta. “The History behind Wrapping Paper, and How It Became a Holiday Tradition.” KSAT, KSAT San Antonio, 11 Dec. 2020,

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