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A Wrap on Waste: Alternatives for Traditional Gift Wrap

There are plenty of creative, affordable (if not free!) alternatives for seniors who want to add a touch of beauty to their Christmas gifts without using traditional wrapping paper.


  1. Fabric Wraps: Use festive fabrics like old scarves, handkerchiefs, or even repurpose old clothing to wrap your gifts. Learn the art of Furoshiki, a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth. It's an eco-friendly way to wrap gifts using a square piece of fabric and various folding techniques. Learn more about it here.

  2. Reusable Gift Bags: Invest in reusable fabric or jute gift bags that can be used year after year. They come in various sizes and patterns, and they're eco-friendly too! Don't forget to save bags you receive this year, to reuse next year, instead of recycling them.

  3. Newspaper or Maps: Wrap your gifts in old newspaper or colorful maps for a unique and vintage vibe. Do you have a collection of brain puzzles books, like crosswords or word searches? This would be an interesting, and engaging, way to add some personalization and share a hobby with your recipient.

  4. Decorative Tins or Boxes: Place your gifts in decorative tins or sturdy boxes. You can find them in various shapes and sizes at the dollar store or even in your own home, and they can be reused for storage or decoration after they are unwrapped.

  5. Brown Kraft Paper: If you prefer a simple look, opt for brown kraft paper. You can decorate it with stamps, doodles, or even hand-written messages. Embellish with natural elements such as greenery, branches, or even pinecones for a classic look.

  6. Cotton Bags: Use reusable cotton bags in festive colors. They're not only practical but also add a cozy touch to your gifts. Don't have any brightly coloured bags? Use a neutral colour (or whatever you may have around the home) and add a pop with a brightly coloured bow or ribbon.

  7. Mason Jars: For smaller gifts, consider placing them in mason jars and decorating the lids with ribbons or fabric. Mason jars are the perfect packaging, as they can be used for drinking glasses, storage or decoration afterwards!

  8. Toilet Paper Rolls: An everyday item reimagined to hold gift cards or small items. Place the item in the center and fold in the ends to create flaps to encase the gift. Finish with ribbons and a name tag!



Remember, the joy of giving comes from not only the gift itself, but from how you personalize the gift wrapping. Simple, heavily embellished, or reusable, your family and friends will love receiving any of these alternatives to traditional ways of wrapping.

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