Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a loved one’s face light up as they unwrap a carefully chosen Christmas present. But if, like so many of us, you’re keen to take steps to reduce your environmental impact and your spending, the idea of buying reams of expensive wrapping paper which will be ripped up and discarded in a matter of seconds doesn’t feel quite right this year.
So why not get creative this season and opt for an alternative. Here are five suitably sustainable and stylish suggestions to inspire you…
Recyclable plain brown parcel paper is a great alternative to glossy laminated wrapping paper which is sadly only destined for landfill. Granted, it might not have the same impressive visual impact, but that’s easy to remedy. Christmas themed paint stampers are readily available at many hobby and craft shops and can be used over and over again to create all manner of prints and patterns. Alternatively, you can create your own using nothing more than a small pot of paint, a sharp knife and a humble potato.
Give old newspapers and magazines a new lease of life. Broadsheets are ideal for wrapping larger gifts and can create a classy monochrome look. Alternatively, cut out individual images from magazines to create a highly personalised decoupage effect.
Ditch the wrapping paper altogether and instead opt for a fabric alternative. Use scraps of material from old ripped shirts, or wrap your gift in a beautiful scarf, tea towel, or napkin and the wrapping instantly becomes a usable gift in itself.
If you’re a fan of online shopping, no doubt you’ll have a pile of cardboard boxes just waiting to be recycled. Reuse any old boxes and jazz them up with some unusual present toppers. Twist a length of garden twine around the box and finish with some foliage from the garden or tie with tinsel and add a bauble from the tree for a fabulously festive finish.
A thoughtful handwritten note to say who the present is to and from is a must but why waste money on buying packs of costly gift tags? Give last year’s Christmas cards a whole new purpose – simply cut them down to size and punch a hole to thread through your ribbon.