It only takes a few minutes …
… for that pile of perfectly wrapped gifts to become a chaotic sea of crumpled wrapping paper on Christmas morning.
Even before I had my “crunchy” transformation, hauling garbage bag after garbage bag of wrapping paper out to the dumpster always kinda bugged me.
Not to mention the price of the stuff. Have you strolled down the wrapping paper aisle lately? It’s expensive! Especially for something that ultimately ends up in the trash.
I love those little reusable gift baggies–and I keep them in my rotation until they are pretty ragged. But in case you are looking for something a little more creative than the run-of-the-mill gift bag, check out this list of fun wrapping paper alternatives.
15 Alternatives to Wrapping Paper
1. Baskets. Everyone loves a gift basket–so instead of hiding your gift under wrapping paper, display it proudly in a coordinating basket. My local thrift shops usually have piles of baskets in all shapes and sizes, or check yard sales in the summer. Gift baskets are especially handy for packaging all those homemade essential oil gifts that you plan to make.
2. Wallpaper. You know those leftover wallpaper scraps you have hanging out in your garage? Put ’em to good use!
3. Newspaper. I recently asked The Prairie Homestead community on Facebook about their favorite alternatives to wrapping paper, and I think newspaper had to be the #1 answer. Use the black and white stuff–or grab the comic section for more colorful wrap.
4. Tissue Paper. Yeah, I’m one of those folks who likes to save the tissue paper that comes in the gift bags. If it’s not too crumbled, you use several layers to wrap a gift–and even decorate it with stamps or colored pencils.
5. Tins, Cans, or Jars. You all know about my love affair with mason jars–so in my mind, they make the ultimate gift container too. Or grab a reusable tin or can with a lid–they work especially well for food gifts.
6. Paper Grocery Bags. Most grocery stores seem to only offer plastic bags these days, but if your grocer still uses the brown paper bags, they can be cut up, and turned inside out to use as wrapping paper.
7. Reusable Fabric Bags. There are a ton of tutorials online that will show you how to whip up fabric gift bags of all sizes. Here are 15 free gift bag patterns to get you started. (Reason number 542 that I need to learn how to sew…)
8. Fabric Scraps. Not handy with a sewing machine? (I’m raising my hand–can you see it?) Then use fabric scraps instead. Gather the fabric around your gift, and then tie it off with a piece of ribbon. Burlap is especially rustic and charming.
9. Plain Brown Paper (or Butcher Paper, Freezer paper, or Newsprint Ends). OK, so I supposed it’s technically still “wrapping paper,” since it’s paper that you wrap with, BUT, using plain brown paper is much more budget-friendly that the sparkly stuff, plus it makes good fire starter afterward. I think a classic brown paper package tied with red and white baker’s twine just might be my most favorite way to wrap a gift. It’s classy and rustic, all at the same time.
Check with your local newspaper to see if they will let you purchase (or maybe even give you) the ends of the rolls of blank newspaper.
I bought this ginormous roll of brown paper for only $25–it should last for-ev-er. (affiliate link)
It’s especially charming when finished with red-and-white baker’s twine or jute twine works too. (affiliate link too)
10. Reusable Shopping Bags. They are everywhere these days and cuter than ever. It shouldn’t be hard to find one that fits your recipient’s style, and they can use it to pack their groceries around once they open the gift. Here’s a set of ten reusable bags on Amazon that I thought were pretty darn cute. (affiliate link)
11. Pillow Cases. Add a drawstring, or just tie ’em off with a ribbon.
12. Maps. Have a pile of old maps laying around? (Like the ones that come in National Geographic magazine?) Use them to wrap a gift for the world traveler on your list.
13. Towels, Blankets, or Scarves. If you are giving a kitchen-themed gift, wrap it up with a set of dish towels– or nestle baby gifts inside a soft, new, baby blanket. Vintage scarves from the thrift store also make a unique wrap.
14. Feed Sacks. Perfect wrapping for the homestead folks on your list.
15. Old Calendar Pages. It sure beats tossing them in the trash at the end of the year.
I’m not entirely against regular ol’ wrapping paper, and sometimes it’s still the best fit for the job (especially when you can get it for clearance prices). But, at least there are some other options for the crunchy folk out there, like me. 😉
Rustic Gift Embellishment Ideas:
- Dried orange slices
- Bits of greenery or tree trimmings
- Burlap bits or burlap ribbon
- Cinnamon sticks
- Wooden spoons or utensils (for kitchen-related gifts)
Cool Homemade Gift Ideas to go with Your Cool Wrapping Paper:
- Whipped Body Butter Recipe
- DIY Hand Lotion for Hard-Working Hands
- Peppermint Citrus Sugar Scrub Recipe
- 21+ Gifts You Can Make with Essential Oils
- Yummy Homemade Peppermint Patties
What are your favorite alternatives to wrapping paper? Share your ideas in the comment section below!