Recycled gift wrapping

Since gift buying moved more online Ive noted the amount of packing that I am left with each year. This year I decided to take a stand – rather than unboxing everything then rewrapping in fancy wrap  I’ve decided to make the most of the delivery boxes and padding  I have to try and give a gift that looks great but leaves me feeling less like a one man paper mountain.

I had a look at what I received and realised that actually there were some great materials in the packing – it just needed some imagination and some craftiness. To make recycled wrapping work you will need the following which I happened to have at home…

  • boxes that things came in
  • brown paper or packing beans that things were padded with
  • a shredder
  • xmas stamp and ink pads
  • sticky tape

you may also need to buy (unless you have them)…

  • some ribbon or string
  • If you don’t have enough packing paper then you may need some brown paper roll – (these are dirt cheap from hardware or packing sites –

I realised that many of the brown boxes had logos on them so weren’t gift giving ready but had perfectly usable brown paper in them as packing. Its probably not enough for all your gifts so you will probably need to buy roll.

If you don’t have a xmas stamp don’t panic – you can create a repeat effect using felt pens – just practise first – or with a potato cut into a template and some poster paints – the thing here is to use what you have leftover. (See below some last minute wrapping I did with a sharpie)

If you haven’t got a shredder you can get away with just cutting things up – but even if you don’t have these at home do what I did and use the one at work!!

So now you have all your materials but you need to do a bit of prep work to get these gift wrap ready….

Prepare your materials…

Making filler

Take any remaining  brown packing filler that came in the delivery boxes then put these through the shredder – I mixed mine with white shredded paper (old envelopes) that I’d been saving up. You can use old paper of any colour – this then forms the filling for your boxed up gifts.

Making your wrapping paper

Roll out your brown paper (either flattened packing paper or brown roll if you bought it)  on a flat clean surface. If its particulalry crinkly someone suggested ironing it under a tea towel but mine seems to be ok.

Next use your stamp to create a repeat pattern  – I had a tree stamp from last year and used this with silver and black ink pads to create a great effect on mine.

Making the right sized box

When selecting your box Its important that you get a box which is the correct width and length for your gift -You want something not much bigger then your present. If your box is too deep you can cut the sides down but its harder to alter the widths and lengths!!

To cut a box down to size…

  • First measure the length of the flaps on the box
  • Next Using either scissors or a craft knife cut down the corners of you box till you get it to the required depth (pic 1)
  • Next fold over the sides and ends so you get a good crease on the edges (pic 2)
  • last cut the new ends and sides to the correct lengths (using the measurement you took earlier) so that when folded in they cover the entire box (pic 3)
  • et voila – a shallower version of the original box!! (pic 4)


Now wrap your presents

For those presents that require a box…

  • Pop some filler in your box (either your shredded paper or packing beans) then add in your present
  • Add more filler then seal the box with some tape
  • Next wrap the present in your wrapping paper
  • Lastly seal with either ribbon or string and add in a homemade gift tag made from some leftover cardboard

For those that don’t require a box…

Simply follow the last two instructions above. This will give you a great matched up theme.

So there you have it – professionally wrapped presents that don’t cost the earth but DO save the planet!!


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