Earth Friendly Ideas for Gift Wrapping

Earth Friendly Ideas for Gift Wrapping

‘Tis the season for presents, gift giving and well, the bane of  my existence – gift wrapping. While I LOVE watching others expertly gift wrap the presents, making them look so lovely and in most instances, so creatively done, mine usually looks like something a child might have done. Actually scrap that – even my kids do a better job of gift wrapping. I blame it on either the pressure of wanting the gift to look nice, or the fact that I normally use really cheap wrapping paper that always tears as I’m wrapping the gift up. I mean, the thought of paying more than $2 for a roll of wrapping paper, which you know would end up in the recycling bin anyway just puts me off buying something that is sturdier, that ends up in the bin anyway. You see, where I came from (Singapore for those who don’t know), we take a lot of pleasure in opening up the presents. We don’t tear up the wrapping, instead, carefully peeling off the sticky tape in the hopes of….re-using the wrapping paper for something or someone else. It’s something that I’ve been taught by my parents. Which was why I was quite taken aback when I had the pleasure of witnessing kids in Australia (at a birthday party), ripping off their wrapping paper. Such a waste! I’ve been finding other ways to minimise waste when it comes to gift wrapping – even for birthday presents – by using other methods. I thought I’d share it with you and some other ideas I recently picked up from the LUSH Cosmetics event.

  • Re-usable environmental friendly shopping bags

You know all those shopping bags that we can fold into a pouch? Like the ones from SAKitToMe? I’ve been using those for most of my kids’ friends as a gift wrapper. I simply tie a ribbon on the side to decorate the bag. That way, it looks cute, presentable AND it acts like another present that they can use too!

sakittome bag as gift bag

Using environmentally friendly shopping bags & adding a ribbon (the bag looks a little wrinkly because it came out of it’s pouch from being folded up)

There are stores that also offer you to purchase their environmentally friendly shopping bags, eg. Typo, Cotton On.  Purchase those instead of wrapping presents in wrapping paper. Again, you can add a bow or a ribbon on the strap to give it that extra special touch.


  • Re-decorating an old shopping paper bag

shopping bag gift bag

Miss 11 covered up the brand with old wrapping paper & a strip of ribbon, also a recycled piece. 

Miss 11 actually came up with this idea. She’s into recycling and so decided to use the old shopping bags you get from stores that are still in great condition (they usually are) and re-decorating them. She cut a strip of wrapping paper or decorative paper – you can use any sort of paper really – and pasted it over the bag’s logo and added a strip of ribbon (also recycled). That way, the recipient and re-use the bag again as well.


  • Using a scarf (Furoshiki)

lush knot wrap

1. Flower Knot-Wrap, 2, Drawstring Knot-Wrap, 3. Bow Knot-Wrap, 4. Two Bottle Knot-Wrap


Something I picked up at last Monday’s Lush Christmas event was the Knot-Wrap, inspired by the art of Furoshiki, by wrapping the gifts in a scarf. Lush sell’s these recycled scarves (yes, they’re made from recycled bottles!) and vintage scarves sourced from vintage clothing suppliers for only $5.50 each. But, you can use any scarf really. The thing with scarves is that not only is it a lot more pliable for those hard to wrap products and looks amazingly attractive but  they can then be re-used as neck scarves or head scarves!

I’ve shared four different ways that you can use the knot-wrap, via the LUSH How-To videos. There’s the:

  • Flower Knot-Wrap – where you can also create a flower and use as a headband or wrap presents with.

    • Drawstring Knot-Wrap – where you create a nice drawstring bag from just a square scarf – no sticky tape needed!

    • Bow Knot-Wrap – for a slightly more traditional look, with bow and all.

  • Two Bottle Knot-Wrap – for the hard to wrap bottles.


I hope I’ve somehow helped reduce the amount of packaging that’ll go into landfill this festive season with these easy and earth friendly gift wrapping ideas. Tell me, do you have any other ideas to share?




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A mum of 3 who loves writing, sharing tips, tricks and discoveries that covers styling, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, health and so much more!


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Who is Norlin?

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She's a mum of 3 who loves writing, sharing tips, tricks and discoveries that covers styling, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, health and so much more!  Find out more about Norlin here!

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