3 Christmas gift wrapping ideas that are colourful and environmental

It can get to a point during Christmas prep, where everything begins to feel excessive and indulgent and when it does, it’s time to make a few small changes. One area where you can do this relatively easily now, is gift wrapping. Who hasn’t gathered together piles of cheap coloured paper at the end of the present opening frenzy and felt a bit ill at the sight of it? Often it’s not possible to recycle if it is dyed or contains glitter or plastics. There are ways to choose or reuse materials to wrap your gifts in that will lessen this feeling!

Here’s three of our favourites….

Reuse your wallpaper cuts

Beautiful Farrow & Ball wallpapers fashioned into stylish gift wrapping

I’ve had a box of beautiful wallpapers living in my loft, leftover from when I decorated my house a decade ago. Each roll is different and this year those papers are going to be delved into for present wrapping. Above, Farrow & Ball shows how you can use your offcuts to create beautiful gift wrap – and also, if you’re lucky enough to have more than one, how nice it will look grouped under your tree. Add colourful string or ribbon if you want to make it feel even more upscale but for eco points try to use something that the present receiver could re-use themselves.

Here’s a helpful video to show you how to do things neatly and beautifully…

Use fabric wrapping

Re-usable cloth wrapping from Happy Wrap with a Scandi folk-inspired design

The Japanese have a word for using cloth to wrap presents and it’s Furoshiki. You can buy a typically Japanese print here or buy the above folk-inspired cotton idea from Happy Wrap. However, you could also craft your own. My print designer friend always gives gifts wrapped in his leftovers, normally sewn into little bags that can easily be used again. Most recently, my son started carrying his nerf gun bullets around in one! The recipient of your cloth-wrapped gift will be far less likely to throw it away, and far more likely to re-use it.

Choosing paper? Go for recycled and recyclable

100% recycled paper made with vegetable dyes to make it recyclable after use too. From Happy Wrap

If it’s got to be paper for you, there are lots of recycled options out there including this rather fabulous looking design in graduated colours – colours that are very now, based on sunsets. This is from Happy Wrap, is 100% recycled and is made using vegetable-based inks making it recyclable after use too. Don’t forget your gift tags too when it comes to being environmental. Many designs like this one, are sold with recycled / recyclable cards so you can have a zero waste policy.

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

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