Monday, December 22, 2008

eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas

I've mentioned this before, but this year I'm trying to reduce the amount of waste that we create over the holidays. One of the ways I'm doing this is to eliminate paper wrapping. Instead, I'm using mostly fabric wrappings, which can be used year after year.

I made a few bags by folding a piece of fabric right sides together and sewing the sides up. Then I just hemmed the top so it looks nice. I'll tie them closed with ribbon or cord. They're really simple but cute. Or you can go all out and do something like this. Fancy! :)

I also cut some fabric into squares and hemmed all four sides to create what I call a wrapping cloth. The Japanese call it Furoshiki. I love this idea so much. Here's an awesome PDF that you can download from the Ministry of the Environment in Japan that has different wrapping ideas. Here's those same images in black and white, because that green is kind of annoying.
And here's a video. I mean really, why wrap gifts in paper?! I made most of my squares 18" and 28" and they seem like good sizes for wrapping a variety of gifts.

Anything that you can put a gift into would make a great alternative to paper, and often the container can be a gift in itself.

Here's a little list of ideas of things you can use:

- handkerchief
- bandanna
- fabric napkins
- table cloth
- apron
- tea towels / hand towels
- baby blanket
- lunch bag
- tote bag
- reusable shopping bags
- purse
- make-up bag
- picnic basket
- sewing basket
- old metal lunch box
- old tins
- cigar boxes
- hat boxes
- decorated altiod tins for small items or gift cards (they fit perfectly!)
- photo boxes
- jewelry box
- recipe box
- old suitcase

You could buy these items new but I prefer vintage! :) Check thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets and garage sales.

I also knitted a few bags out of cotton and wool yarn. I got the directions from this book.

Finally, here are some more great ideas:

Top 10 Green Gift Wrap Ideas

Green Package Wrap Ideas

Eco-Wrap Your Holiday Gifts

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