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Make your gift wrap beautiful but planet friendly


I sit here writing this as Sienna has a nap, on the most beautifully snowy winters afternoon. Christmas is less than 2 weeks away and I have almost completed my Christmas gift shopping, which means that my festive gift wrapping is imminent.

I adore gift wrapping! I love love love making gifts that I give people I love look beautiful. For me, it adds an extra special touch of thought to a present that I will have already put thought into, and I have to say, I love seeing presents under my tree looking as beautiful as the rest of my festive decor. And yes, I match up my wrapping with my yearly Christmas decoration theme! However, especially with the Christmas season, with gift wrap comes a lot of waste that predominantly will end up in landfill, so I've put together a list of a few ideas that I have, and do use, with my wrapping to avoid this waste, using materials that can either be reused or can be recycled or composted. No landfill waste around these parts!

1. Brown paper

I tend to use brown paper a lot when wrapping up presents. I personally, love the aesthetic of brown paper, but it is also completely recyclable. Many wrapping papers, as beautiful as they are, are covered in glitter and plastic coatings that are only able to be disposed of in landfill.

2. Use natural materials for decor

In place of plastic present bows I now opt for materials that are natural and can be composted. Particularly around Christmas, there is an abundance of different things you could use, many of which could be bought or foraged for free! Below are some of my favourites to use.

  • Cinnamon Sticks - aside from a pretty rustic appearance, they smell delicious too!

  • Off cuts from your Christmas tree

  • Dried citrus slices - these are so easy to make and can be used in decor as well and also smell gorgeous! Check out my quick Youtube tutorial of how to do it.

  • Sprigs of holly

  • Pussy willow

  • Dried lavender

  • Star Anise

3. Use jute or twine in place of ribbon

I often use natural jute or twine as ribbon which gives a pretty rustic look but is also decompostable.

4. Brown card labels or written names

Like my love of brown paper, I also love a good old brown card present tag, tied with some jute again or natural string. Another alternative I have recently begun doing is simply writing either the gift recipients name or initials on their gifts, eliminating labels completely. (See above image where I used a stencil to write on everyone's names or initials).

5. Reuse gift bags

I don't know about you, but I have a 'bag of bags' at home full of gift bags that people have given me gifts in. Now whilst these gift bags aren't always recyclable or decompostable, I still like to reuse them as there's nothing wrong with them and otherwise they would just be wasted.

6. Use proper fabric ribbon

Ok, so proper ribbon, depending on the fabric isn't compostable, however, by making use of real fabric ribbon instead of traditional plastic ribbon, not only will your gifts look even more beautiful but the ribbon can be used over and over again for so many different uses. The fabrics available can vary from stunning luxury satins to sumptuous velvets or hessian ribbons. One way to use ribbon right now that I'm loving right now is as bows in my hair, so its also not just limited to gifting.

7. Plastic free sellotape

The brand sellotape now have a 0% plastic version made using completely plant derived ingredients so it can be disposed of in your food or garden waste, the roll is biodegradable and the box is cardboard so can be easily recycled.

I hope these ideas provide some inspiration for your gift wrapping this Christmas. Here's to a season of fun and merriment, with a little less waste along the way.

Merry Christmas!!!

ZB x

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