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Unwrapping the Art of Sustainable Gift Wrapping: From Passion to Purpose

Wrapping Christmas Gifts Could be Considered a Sustainable Passion

Sustainable gift wrapping - burlap and satin green ribbon - Parade Handmade

Many people say they hate gift wrapping but if I were the betting kind I’d gamble that if they had the time and the materials along with a little knowledge they would hate it a little less and even begin to enjoy it.

If you are the kind that would do anything else but gift wrapping then this blog post is for you and if you are the kind that loves nothing better than to gift wrap and could gift wrap for Ireland as a sport like I would or indeed gift wrap for wherever you are from then this post is for you too.

Incidentally, should you like to avail of my ‘Gift Wrapping Made Easy’ PDF printable download, it comes FREE to anyone who subscribes to my Parade Handmade email list. You can do that here. Parade Handmade Newsletter

Changing Times for Gift Wrapping

Sustainable gift wrapping of pleated pink tissue paper and grey ribbon - Parade Handmae

I love to enthuse about coloured paper, bow and ribbon, pleats, folds and flourishes. I am passionate about it. Nonetheless, I have been moving away more and more from non-sustainable methods of gift wrapping, decoration and packaging both in my personal life and in Parade Handmade.

While I accept that there is already plenty of plastics and other non sustainable decor out there and it is sometimes hard to avoid, I seriously resist purchasing new plastics, glitter or tape and seek to find other methods of decoration. At times, frustratingly, it’s unavoidable but usually there is an alternative and arguably prettier choice to make. It simply means changing our habits which can be tricky but by no means impossible.

Another way to wrap more sustainably is to reuse packaging where possible and to repurpose things to wrap with. For example old tablecloths, runners, cushion covers or other pretty fabric items of decor can come in very handy even after they are worn out for their prime purpose. These are perfect items to be cut into long strips by going in a spiral from the outside or the inside to make a long ball of ribbon for securing gifts in a beautiful and imaginative way. 
A pretty blouse that no longer fits or better still since that can be sent to charity for someone else to wear it, a pretty blouse with moth holes or tears can easily be made into a cloth gift bag or a collection of delightful smaller bags for dainty gifts.

Alternative Ways to Secure Gifts without Plastic Tape

Seasonal gnome tubs holding seasonal festive paper gnome stickers - Parade Handmade 
Mini Seasonal Secret Gnomes by Ditsy Designs containing seasonal paper gnome stickers - (Paper stickers are a great falternative to plastic tape for Sticking Eco Friendly Gifts)

A great way to secure gift wrap on a gift is to create a page of colour matching paper stickers for the purpose. You don’t even need a printer. One or two pages of separate stickers/labels would suffice for most purposes. (you can buy packets cheaply in stationery shops or office supply shops). You can then colour in the whole page as you please in the colours that match your papers with or without imagery or doodles. Simply let your inner toddler go to work for a half an hour and I promise you it will turn into much longer because it really is such fun to colour in with no rules as such! These will work wonderfully to enhance your gifts, enhancing their appearance with little coloured swatches instead of clear tape. You could have great fun with this by switching up the colours and you could also use contrasting colours if you choose in order to make a statement.

Depending on your gifts you can also use a thick paste made from flour and water. While this takes a while to dry it can be used for certain items especially if they can be secured with a peg while the mixture dries, preferably overnight. It can also be used to create decorations but that’s for another time.

My main aim here is to encourage us all to gift wrap with gusto whether we are beginners or seasoned enthusiasts but to be gentle with our beloved, wonderful, weird and fantastic world.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments or tell me about other great sustainable gift wrapping ideas! I would love to mention them in another blog post. There are tonnes of great ideas out there.

Until Soon, Amanda

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