Wrapping Paper Alternatives That Are Fun and Eco-Friendly

There are MANY reasons why looking for wrapping paper alternatives can by appealing.

First off, it’s more eco friendly and sustainable to not be constantly purchasing paper only to rip it up and throw it away. 

Second, pretty wrapping paper can be expensive. Many of these wrapping paper alternatives below have little to no cost. And many of them can be used over and over again.

Finally, they make your holiday special and unique. Don’t think your kids will miss tearing into wrapping paper for a second. These eco friendly wrapping ideas are just as much fun!

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Fun wrapping paper alternatives when using a potato chip bag

1 | Potato Chip Bag

Let’s start off with one of my favorite wrapping paper alternatives – potato chip bags!

I love it because it’s so simple, unique, and pretty.

Take any snack bag that’s lined with a shiny foil-like inside, turn it inside out, and wrap your present.

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Fun wrapping paper alternatives when using fabric

2 |  Fabric Gift Wrapping

Ah the wonderful world of furoshiki. Yes, the Japanese have really perfected the art of wrapping with fabric.

Of course you can use any fabric, but I always try to hit up the Christmas-pattern sales. I usually pay about $3 for a yard.

Check out YouTube for some gorgeous tutorials. If you want a quick summary, here are the 3 main techniques:

  1. The Knot.  This works best for square or rectangular boxes. Lay the fabric down with the “wrong” side up. Place the box in the middle of the fabric at a diagonal angle. Fold the opposite corners over the box. Tie the remaining two opposite corners on the top of the box like a bow.
  2. The Regular Wrap.  For this method, you simply wrap the gift just like you would normally with regular wrapping paper. Only instead of paper, use fabric. Instead of tape, use pins and ribbon to secure.
  3. The Irregular Gifts.  I LOVE this one for oddly shaped presents – things like toys, stuffed animals, or cylindrical shapes. Place your gift towards one side and just roll. Then secure the ends with ribbon. Bam, easy peasy.

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Mason jars can be a fun wrapping paper alternatives

3 |  Mason Jars

I loooove the look of mason jars with a ribbon or bow. So classy.

Mason jars are a great idea when you’re creating a gift kit. You could do something like a homemade brownie mix or an art kit for making your own decorative painted rocks.

Glass mason jars are the classic choice. However if you’re worried about them breaking, plastic jars are a great option.

And don’t worry about the fact that they’re clear. Kids are still super excited to open them up and explore everything inside.

Related  Festive Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids


4 |  Baskets

Displaying gifts in a basket with a big ribbon or bow is a classy idea for friends. Best part is that a nice basket is a gift in and of itself!

READ  How to Make Baby’s First Christmas Magical


5 |  Newspaper and Magazines

We’ve all seen newspapers used as wrapping paper alternatives, but don’t forget about colorful pictures from magazines!

Ask your family for those old National Geographics they’ve been holding onto. Or hit up a doctor’s office to ask for out-of-date magazines from their waiting room.


6 |  Brown Paper Bags or Filler

We save all of that brown paper that’s used as packing material in Amazon boxes. It’s great for crafts and wrapping presents! You can also achieve the same look using brown paper grocery bags.

Pro-Tip: Wrap the gift then let the kids decorate it. Originally the kids would decorate the paper then I would wrap a gift with it. But then a lot of their “art” is cut off.


7 |  Kid’s Art Work

Any other moms out there drowning in their child’s art work? It’s too much to save… but throwing it away just feels wrong.

Enter this idea for wrapping paper alternatives where you recycle their art and use it as wrapping paper! GREAT idea for grandparents and other family.


8 | Reusable Shopping Bags

Reusable grocery shopping bags are a super cute and practical option for gift bags! Get fun patterns for adults or character bags for kids.

They can be used later for shopping, library books, travel… the sky’s the limit.


9 | Maps

Do you have any old maps laying around in your car? Maybe one that came with a magazine or from AAA?

Use them as fun wrapping paper alternatives!


10 |  Pillow Cases

If you’re like me, you have a linen closet full of pillowcases in all colors and random patterns.

Pillow cases make great options for oddly-shaped gifts. Simply plop the item inside and tie it off with a ribbon.

Another similar and super fun idea is to get a special “Santa sack” for presents! Every year gifts from Santa mysteriously appear in the bag under the tree.

Related  How Many Presents Should be from Santa vs Parents?

What do you think of our list? Any ideas you would add?

About Author


Hi, I’m Jo!

I have two small children, Ry and Lily, only 19 months apart. It’s usually crazy around my house, but thankfully my wonderful husband is around a ton and helps keep the peace.

I also own my own business and work full-time. I’d love to list all these amazing hobbies I have, but honestly I can barely handle keeping the kids entertained, the house clean, and food on the table. Although on days I’m too tired to do housework, I love to pour a glass of wine and watch Supernatural or Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix.

My husband and I like to stay very busy and drag our kids everywhere with us. Weekends often include relaxing at wineries, festivals, exploring Washington D.C. and other short getaway trips.

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