Recycled Wrapping Paper Ideas

Category Reusing
Reusing gift wrap or wrapping gifts in recycled paper is a great way to not add more paper to the landfill. Share your ideas for using recycled or reusing gift wrap. This is a page about recycled gift wrap ideas.


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For free/cheap gift wrapping, save old red and green shirts or find them cheap at the thrift store or at yard sales throughout the year. Cut them up and use for wrapping gifts. Any buttons can be used to make cute package ties.

By Veronica from Boston, MA

Comment Was this helpful? 6

It's perhaps not always appropriate to give someone a gift wrapped in recycled materials. It can look a bit mean and thoughtless and can appear as if the recipient is worthless in your eyes. Some people would be offended.

However, if you do like to recycle and know people who are like minded you can enter into a pact with such friends, relatives, and work colleagues to always use recycled paper, ribbon, string, and bows when giving presents to each other.


This could include pre-used gift wrap, newspapers, pages from magazines, and tags cut from old envelopes or cereal packets.

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When it comes to wrapping presents/gifts, I try to recycle what I have before purchasing anything unnecessary. Don't throw away all those holiday toy catalogs you receive in the mail. I was able to recycle and wrap a couple of gifts with the Target catalog!

Yield: Over 20 sheets of paper


  • glue stick
  • tape
  • toy catalog
  • scissors
  • ribbon


  1. Use a staple remover or scissors and remove the staple from the catalog. After removing the staples, you will have over 20 sheets!
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  3. Figure out how many sheets of paper you'll need to wrap your gift. For the Play Doh, I needed just two sheets. I glued the seam of the papers together and reinforced the seam with a little bit of tape.
  4. Wrap gift in the center, leaving some room at the ends.
  5. Use your hand to squeeze the ends to create a candy wrapper resemblance. Secure the end with ribbon and tie a bow, cut bow edges for a cleaner look. Repeat on the other side.
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Comment Was this helpful? 2

Pretty gift wrap is very expensive. When I receive gifts, I carefully unwrap my present, fold the gift wrap it came in and put it away for later. Then I put my iron on DRY and COTTON setting.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

January 21, 2005

Save gift wrap; put it through your shredder. Place the shredded gift wrap in two separate bags: one for general gifts and one for Christmas time. These bags can hang on hooks most anywhere until needed for packing, separating items or whatever.

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November 25, 2013

When my UPS packages arrive, they have brown paper in large sheets for stuffing. I iron them and use colored ink and stamps to decorate the paper for wrapping paper.

Packing Paper for Gift Wrap

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If you have clear 2 litre plastic soda pop bottles, you can use them to hold a gift. Just cut an "H" on the side of the bottle, peel open the plastic, insert gift, be it a wrapped gift with ribbon, a teddy bear or doll, or a fresh baked treat.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Seeing as chip bags pile up fairly quickly, I decided several years ago to put them to good use and save money at the same time. I wash them good, let dry, cut off the top edge, and turn them inside out.

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Wrappings don't have to be wasteful. I love gift bags! It's become so much easier to wrap things and to put together the collections of little gifts I usually give.


What's more they can be recycled almost indefinitely if you are careful with them.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

October 14, 2004

Gift wrap can get expensive, plus it tears easily if you are wrapping an odd shaped, or sharp cornered gift. I used cloth remnants from sewing projects instead of wrapping paper and found they were oohed and aahed over as much as the gift was.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Ness - Lakeview, NY
December 18, 2000

More Christmas wrapping ideas. Small gifts like gift cards, small toys, jewelry items, etc. fit inside toilet paper rolls nicely, and then you just wrap overtop of that, twist the ends of the wrapping paper, and you have a cute little "Christmas cracker."

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September 29, 2017

Using recycled brown packing paper and paint, markers, etc. you can make unique gift wrap. The folds just lend character.


This is a page about how to make your own gift wrap from recycled packing paper.

Make Your Own Gift Wrapping Paper - hand holding the wrapped gift

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January 14, 2017

This is a page about recycled tin can gift wrap. Repurpose your cans into great little gift containers.

Can with gift wrap and a bow.

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December 14, 2007

Recycled Christmas Gift Bag

Recycled Christmas Gift Bag

Need a cute little Christmas gift bag? Crochet this bag from recycled plastic grocery bags. Here is the free pattern link too. By RecycleCindy from WA

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I like to give little presents at holidays like Easter to my neighbors and their children - and although they looked great, all the wrapping were recycled! The violet ribbon was saved from a gift, the yellow stripped cellophane around a bunny came from a bouquet, and the gift bags and tissue and the bows all had been around before. So be careful in unwrapping your gifts - you can use the ribbon/bows, even the paper again for someone else. It's ecological and thrifty, too. (And fabric ribbon, even the thin rayon kind can be ironed to make it look nice and fresh, too, My great aunt taught me that.)

By Pam from L.A.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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