Green Up Your Gift Wrapping

Recycled and natural materials make wrapping earth-friendly

Green gift wrapping
Creativity comes naturally to Barbara Hollingdale, our Senior Graphic Designer, and it shows in the ways she combines natural materials with paper, ribbon, and gift tags — and in the fun animation (below). Read through the article for tips and techniques, and get inspired! Photographs by Jeff Clarke.

It's the season of gifting and giving! As gardeners, we like to reflect our love of natural things in the gifts we share. But what about the gift wrap? There's no doubt that beautiful wrapping can add mystery and excitement to a gift, and you can make thoughtful choices that are kind to the earth. Here are some ideas to make your gifts a feast for the eye without feeding the landfill.

Rock the paper and scissors

The beautiful paper from the sweater you received last year can become the wrapping for the gloves you'll give this year. Carefully chosen paper can enjoy a long life. Scraps too small for a gift can be collaged onto gift tags for a surprising pop of color. Repurpose other papers such as pages from old books, newspaper, sheet music, wallpaper, and maps. Cut snowflakes out of white paper. Reuse images from old calendars. With some patience, a hole-punch, and a glue stick, create a miniature pointillist masterpiece!

Green gift wrapping animation

Get Krafty

Use easy-to-recycle paper, such as plain brown kraft paper, and dress it up with your own designs. Decorate the surface with rubber stamping, drawings, or collage. Kraft paper pairs naturally with garden twine, woven ribbons, and seasonal greens. Take a walk through the stationery store and you'll find brown kraft printable labels and gift tags, too.

Green gift wrapping

Use Natural Accents

Decorate your gifts with botanicals. Fresh or dried flowers, greens, and herbs are traditional and on trend! Craft fresh cedar into a tiny, circular wreath to adorn a simply wrapped box. Twigs, berries, balsam, and pine cones evoke the beauty of nature in winter. Cinnamon or peppermint sticks, discs of dried citrus, sprigs of rosemary or sage make perfect accents for gifts from your garden and kitchen.

Green gift wrapping

Think outside of the box

Repurpose part of your gift to contain it. Wrap an assortment of kitchen gadgets in a pretty tea towel. A garden hod or decorative flower pot makes a nice gift basket for garden essentials. Fill a colorful storage basket with a warming wrap, essential oils, herbal tea, and a good book. Tie it all together with rich, woven ribbons that can be used over and over again.

Green gift wrapping

Last updated: 08/03/2023