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Eco-Friendly Christmas Gift-Wrap Ideas

Wrap holiday gifts creatively by choosing natural and recycled items and trimmings instead of the usual mass-produced alternatives.

Excerpted from A Greener Christmas

Recycled and Vintage Items:
Save brightly colored ribbon from product packaging or reuse vintage ribbon for embellishing gifts wrapped in recycled brown paper. Remove wrinkles by ironing ribbon with a cool iron or pulling it through a pair of heated hair straighteners. Sew or glue old beads and buttons onto the ribbon for a charming, detailed effect, or thread them onto string or twine and secure the ends in a knot.

Natural Raffia:
Raffia is made from mulberry tree bark, which regenerates, so no trees are cut down to produce it. Gather a few lengths of raffia together, or braid them then wrap around a gift and tie in an extravagant bow.

Found Materials:
Collect attractive natural materials and fresh foliage such as: pine cones, holly leaves, trailing ivy, sprigs of bright berries, dried leaves, sliced dried fruit and cinnamon sticks. Insert into a ribbon bow as a lovely final touch.

Gift Tags:

Cut festive motifs from recycled patterned paper, felt or fabric and stick or sew onto luggage labels or small pieces of card stock to make unique gift tags. Alternatively, stick on dried star anise and cardamom pods in simple patterns for delightfully aromatic gift tags.

Create a Gift Basket:
Use a recycled basket, or one made of willow or wicker from sustainable sources. Line it with plenty of natural material like excelsior or straw. Decorate jars and bottles of homemade treats with vintage fabric and ribbon. Fill small linen sacks with nuts, fresh herbs or cookies. Arrange the containers in basket so the labels are clearly visible. Cut a few lengths of holly or mistletoe and tuck them inside the rim of the basket around the gifts.

Excerpted from A Greener Christmas

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2008

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