5 Stylish Low-Waste Gift Wrap Ideas

These almost free gift wrap ideas will give you and your wallet a double dose of Christmas cheer.

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5 Low-Waste Gift Wrap Ideas 02:49

Learn how to create stylish yet sustainable gift wrap out of grocery bags and more!
Show: HGTV Happy

Every year, thousands of beautiful wrapping papers and gift bags hit the stores, making it so tempting to load up on them. Instead of blowing your Christmas gift budget on wrapping that will just be torn off and thrown away, here are a few ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose your way to gorgeous gift wrap.

Grocery Bag Gingerbread House

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Materials Needed

  • paper grocery bag
  • scissors
  • tape
  • paint pen
  • miniature wreath
  • hot glue gun + sticks

If you’re anything like us, you have a stack of paper grocery bags that you planned on eventually reusing for something. Here’s the perfect something! To turn paper grocery bags into gift wrap, start by cutting along the crease of one side and the bottom with scissors and laying the bag out flat (Image 1). If the bag has handles, cut them off with scissors. Place the gift on the bag with the bag’s design facing inward, and wrap as you would with gift wrap (Images 2 & 3). Once wrapped, turn the gift over and use a white paint pen to draw gingerbread house details on the front (Image 4). Finish off this adorable look by hot-gluing a miniature wreath above the front door in place of a bow (Image 5).

Colorful Newspaper Bow

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Materials Needed

  • newspaper
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun + sticks

Looking for an easy way to handcraft an adorable Christmas bow? Look no further than today’s paper. First off, sift through the pages until you find one with colorful details. Once located, use a ruler and scissors to cut out nine 1-inch strips (Image 1). Next, use hot glue to make seven equal-sized loops (Images 2 & 3). Stack the loops together in a crisscross manner, securing with hot glue, then top the stack off with a smaller loop in the center (Image 4). Use the final newspaper strip to create the tail. Simply fold in a “V” shape, glue to the bottom of the bow, and cut decorative notches out of the ends (Image 5).

Dish Towel Double Gift

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Technically, this low-waste wrapping method could be used for a variety of gifts, but we think it works best for cookbooks. Simply place the book on a decorative dish towel and fold the towel over on each side (Images 1-3). Secure the towel by tying the side folds together in a knot at the center, then finish off the gift by sliding a beautiful wooden spoon beneath the knot (Images 4 & 5). Wrapping and gift in one!

Upcycled Shopping Bag

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Materials Needed

  • shopping bag
  • colorful card stock
  • pinking sheers
  • magic marker
  • watercolor paint
  • pen
  • clear glue stick

If you have a shopping bag that doesn’t quite fit the season’s aesthetic, this can easily be remedied. First, cover any undesirable logos using colorful card stock cut to size using pinking shears (Image 1). Attach to the bag using a clear glue stick, then use this surface to write your to-and-from message (Image 2). On the other side of the bag, use watercolor paints to create the pattern of your choice. We chose to paint on green triangles, then added Christmas tree detailing to each using a pen once dry (Images 3 & 4).

Easy and Protective Egg Carton

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Materials Needed

  • egg carton
  • yarn
  • scissors

Having trouble wrapping fragile, oddly shaped items such as bath bombs? Look no further than a recycled egg carton. These are perfect for creatively packing small, breakable items in a convenient, protective manner. Simply place the items in the carton, then top it off with a colorful ribbon (Image 1). We chose to layer multiple strands of pink yarn in various shades and then tie them off in a chunky knot (Images 2 & 3). To finish, simply cut off any excess to create a clean look (Image 4).

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