Eco wrapping ideas - expert advice for chic and sustainable gifts
Beautiful eco wrapping ideas to help your Christmas go a little green
Wrapping and unwrapping is one of the best parts of Christmas, so my eco wrapping ideas mean you can keep this bit while reducing waste, too.
The reason gifts have such sentimental value is in part explained by how they come into our lives, as tokens of affection, typically at times of celebration, and gift wrap intensifies this symbolism significantly. Big or small, we love the anticipation of that moment of surprise this alluring paper striptease offers.
See also: Christmas decorations - the biggest trends for 2020
Elegant Bottle Wrap
Knowing how to wrap a bottle is always tricky, so I wanted to make more of giving a bottle of wine with this decorative bottle sleeve. For this wrap, I wanted to achieve a chic, refined look, so I chose black Kraft paper as I liked the contrast it created with the natural colour on the inside. It was economical, too, as it uses only half a square sheet.
Cut your paper to into a triangle, the longest edge (laid parallel to you in front of you on the table) being the circumference of the bottle plus 7–8cm and the height of the point, laid out furthest from you the same as the height of bottle plus 6–7cm.
Starting at the lefthand corner, make 1cm accordion pleats until you reach the central point. Crease your folds firmly, running your finger and thumb along each one to ensure a crisp pleat.
Wrap the bottle from the right-hand side and where the paper meets the inside of the longest pleat. Apply glue or double-sided tape to seal the two sides of the paper together.
Position your cord approx. onethird up from the base of the bottle and tie tightly.
To create the fan at the bottom of the pleat, apply adhesive to the outer edge of the pleat beneath the tied cord and bring it up to meet the outer edge of the pleat above, pressing firmly in place.
See also: Home bar ideas - how to make Christmas merry by Jonathan Adler
Wrapping Using Expended Book Pages
When a book has seen better days, it can gain a new lease of life as a gift-wrap material. From vintage paperbacks with broken spines to out-of-date encyclopaedias, charity shops and jumble sales are full of choices. But it’s not necessarily the content that is important, it’s more the colouration of the pages and the typeface used.
For the left-centre wrap, I used copy paper to trace a lotus design onto this feather-light page, which has retained its brilliance despite its age. The clean lines of the decorative motif work against the density of the printed words.
For the gift pouch on the bottom, pages were machine-stitched together.
For the bottom right wrap, the orderly Chinese script was beautiful on its own.
Simple Painting Techniques
As an alternative to accents and embellishments, this is an eco wrapping idea that allows you to use simple brown paper, made more festive with your own designs.
To find your drawing area, measure and cut your paper. Loosely wrap the paper around the gift, and when in the correct position, run your finger and thumb around the upper edge of the gift to give you the frame or your design.
Before committing your illustration to pen or paint, you may wish to lightly mark out your drawing in pencil first, then rewrap loosely to double-check the fit as it may need some adjustment.
Ensure your pen or paint is colourfast. This red colour works well on the brown paper as opposed to a more traditional white background, but on another gift wrap the colour dried more brick-red, negating its effectiveness altogether. A Sharpie or similar high-quality permanent marker maintains its true colour.
See also: Table ideas for Christmas
Gather fresh and pliable leaves while out on a walk, then use them to handprint your brown paper.
For the best results, lightly paint the surface of the leaf using a small paintbrush.
Press it directly onto the paper of your choice, smoothing carefully over its back using your fingertips, then gently peel off to reveal its intricate beauty. Each application of paint should yield two or three prints before the paint needs to be reapplied.
Why not try extending your range to include cut fruit and vegetables?
Of all the embellishments, in my opinion, it is the natural ones that reign supreme. Nature never gets it wrong. It’s fast, often free and ultimately sustainable.
The leaf fall of autumn lays its gems at your feet in a riot of colour, like mountains of copper and bronze ingots. On a dry day scoop some of these treasures up and let them dry out somewhere cool and dark. A cardboard box under the stairs is perfect for preserving corn caps and pine cones.
Tuck fiery red Japanese maple leaves and the sycamore’s helicopter seeds between the pages of a heavy book, sandwiched between layers of kitchen paper to prevent damaging the paper.
In winter, try drying out slices of orange and apple in the oven. It takes no time at all and the scent will be amazing.
See also: The festive events going ahead in 2020
For more eco wrapping ideas, see the book these were all taken from, Gift Wrap Green by Camille Wilkinson, available here
Could the new Apple Vision Pro change the future of our homes? Here's how it might alter the way you live with tech
Is this the dawn of a new type of smart home? Here's what we know about Apple's latest tech announcement
By Lilith Hudson • Published
One simple layout tweak transformed this once-dated Santa Monica townhouse – it now works so much better
The original 70s interior has had a much-needed modern uplift
By Lilith Hudson • Published
25 bathroom trends for 2023 - from the color to the quick buy that is making a big design splash this year
The bathroom trends for 2023 include the warmth of honeyed tones to the quick storage fix everyone needs now. Design experts explain how to use these new ideas in your own space
By Pip Rich • Last updated
Christmas decorating ideas – 20 festive looks from cozy and traditional to bold and maximalist
Be inspired by our Christmas decorating ideas to break with tradition this year and try a new style for the holidays
By Hebe Hatton • Last updated
Interior design trends 2023: the 31 decorating looks for the year
This year's most key colors, textures, accessories and moods have been decoded to help you shape your space
By Roddy Clarke • Last updated
Design-forward living room ideas to give your home a refresh
Living room ideas from our favorite homes, filled with designs and trends to inspire
By Amy Moorea Wong • Last updated
Bathroom tile ideas – 23 creative ways with color, pattern and installations
Use these bathroom tile ideas to add texture, pattern and even a touch of glamor to this very important room
By Hebe Hatton • Last updated
16 living room wallpaper ideas that'll convince you patterned wallcoverings are the way to go
These brilliant living room wallpaper ideas offer up inspiration for how to apply print, pattern and texture to different areas of your scheme
By Hugh Metcalf • Published
Crittall-style doors – 20 ideas that prove this timeless trend is here to stay
Fall for the charm of crittall-style doors, windows and room dividers all over again with our gallery of the best ideas
By Lotte Brouwer • Published
Florist Angela Maynard on how to care for dried flowers and how to style them in a modern home
Knowing how to care for dried flowers means you can have stylish arrangements that last for years. Author and florist Angela Maynard shares her tips
By Angela Maynard • Last updated