The Best Gifts Come in Recycled Wrapping!

After this year, I think we’ve all learned to appreciate the little things in life. Even if we can’t be together with all our family and friends this Christmas, by putting a little more effort into their gift wrapping, we can show them we care from a distance.

Using scrap fabrics, reused ribbons, recycled cards, and a big dash of creativity to decorate your presents is fun and far more sustainable than using paper and plastic wrapping. I have even used an old tie as a ribbon (see if you can spot it in the photo!).

Any paper with glitter or foil in it can’t be recycled, and in some areas even plain wrapping paper can’t be recycled easily. In the case of plain tissue paper, it is often better remove all the tape and compost it instead. As people become more aware of our environment, none of us wants more packaging to add to the bin this Christmas!
I spent an evening choosing fabrics and personalising each present’s wrapping to its recipient’s style, thinking about each person as I did so. It’s a lovely way to practice gratitude for the loved ones in our lives and to feel more connected to them from afar.

Presents wrapped in scrap fabrics (apologies for the painty table… we are a household of artists!)

I saved my Christmas cards from last year to make into gift tags. I simply cut out shapes from the old cards and made a hole with a hole punch at the tops, so that they could be tied onto the parcel with ribbon and string. The wooden angels that I added can be reused again and again, or made into a tree decoration by the recipient. Personalised baubles and wooden decorations can be ordered from many small businesses (and through websites such as Etsy, Not On The High Street and nuMONDAY). They make lovely gift tags which double as an extra present.

Home-made gift tag

Glass jars are very handy for wrapping up sweets or smaller presents. They are easily decorated with ribbons and recycled decorations. If you want to be a little more artistic, use specialist glass paints or mix acrylic paints with PVA glue to paint straight onto the glass.
Festive jars of chocolates make beautiful and inexpensive gifts for co-workers. Adding a note of thanks for their help over the last year would make the jars extra special.
If you decorate jars with your family’s names, they can be used as place settings or a table centrepiece on the big day.

Jars are useful for gifting sweets

This Christmas is going to be difficult for many of us, so it’s more important than ever to come back to what matters and connect with our loved ones near and far. I hope this post encourages you to spend some time for yourself, listening to some cheesy Christmas music and getting creative with your gift wrapping. However you are spending Christmas this year, I wish you have a healthy, happy and restorative festive season.

Jenna Woodford

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