And That’s a Wrap! Creative (Paperless) Gift Wrapping Ideas by Carol Ross

Posted on Posted in December 2018 Newsletter

It’s a joke in my family how terrible I am at wrapping presents. There was a time when it was not unheard of for me to hand over my offering in a plastic bag, knotted at the top, recipients name scribbled on the side with a Sharpie. I’m not sure what it is I dislike about wrapping so much. I’m not a crafty person and I think, in my mind, it falls in that realm with the scissors and tape and ribbons and bows. Then there’s the fact that I have a problem cutting the paper straight. (Seriously, major frustration!)

I’ve come a ways since those days, thanks in large part to the creativity of others. (Thank you, fancy gift-bag-making people.) I use these often. Even better are the reusable shopping bags folded over and tied with a bow or a piece of ribbon. But I also like to mix it up. This year, I’m trying some of these clever, eco-friendly options. No more wasted paper. Or plastic bags 😉

Make the wrapping part of your gift like a scarf, blanket, or even a tea towel. Socks and gloves work for smaller items, too. I love this scarf idea from The Heathered Nest.

Or you can just use a beautiful piece of fabric. The quilters, seamstresses, and crafters in your life will love it. The Japanese have elevated this fabric wrapping to an art form called furoshiki. It’s awesome. Search for it on Pinterest or learn about it here:


Here’s a lovely sample of furoshiki from

This Starbucks coffee cup from is a fun idea! Place a gift card or coffee-related gadget inside. This would work with a reusable coffee mug or water bottle, too.

Mason jars are a really popular decorating item these days – useful and reusable. You can find the vintage ones at garage sales and thrift shops in shades of blue and green. So pretty! This one is from has Santa Hat Chex Mix inside. Here’s a link in case you want the recipe:

Here are some more super creative options from

I don’t think you need to keep the contents edible. I’m going to “wrap” fuzzy socks and gloves inside of one. Take this a step further with other types of containers – cookie jars, cannisters, tins, the opportunities are endless. Fill a pot or pan with cooking utensils for the chef, newlywed, or college student on your list. Even a plastic tub for kids’ gifts that contain lots of pieces (think Legos) can serve as “wrapping.”

The point is, when it comes to creative wrapping just go nuts! Seriously, aren’t these walnut shells from the cutest? This would be fun for jewelry, charms, or even cash gifts. Fold up a bill or two and stuff them inside.

Happy (un)wrapping!