Green & Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas

I love seeing beautifully wrapped packages under our tree, but I don’t love the cost and waste of traditional gift wrap. I came across Gift it Green reusable gift boxes (with reusable “tissue paper” attached!) and loved them, but they are not exactly in my price range. A reader pointed out that the Japanese cloth wrapping, Furoshiki, is a great gift wrapping method. That got me thinking of ways to wrap gifts that are both frugal and green, and hopefully a little more creative than the way my hubby wrapped a frying pan in the photo above!


This is the most obvious of course! Have a dedicated, organized area for gift wrapping supplies. Flatten and store gift bags you’ve received, pretty ribbons or decorations that were on packages, and use them when you are giving a gift!

Get creative:

Craft paper, brown paper bags and butcher paper can be decorated & used as gift wrap. Often you will find that the paper that is sometimes used to cushion packages is perfect for this! Get out the paint, stamps, markers and crayons and let your kids go crazy. Or just wrap the package in plain paper and decorate it with glitter, photos, or anything else you can think of.


Now that most people have a GPS, you may have old maps laying around. Use them as gift wrap! You can even make it special by circling a landmark that had meaning to you and the recipient. Use the Sunday Comics, leftover wallpaper, or anything else that screams (or even whispers) “gift wrap.”

Go Cloth:

Use a pretty scarf, handkerchief, cloth napkin etc. as gift wrap! If you search Japanese gift wrapping, you can find lots of methods to use!

Make the wrap part of the gift:

Expanding on “go cloth,” consider wrapping a gift of a kitchen item in a pretty kitchen towel, a spa gift in a bath towel, a baby gift in a receiving blanket, flat or prefold diaper. Give a “movie night” gift in a popcorn bowl, or give college essentials in a pretty fabric storage tote!

Don’t forget to save pieces of pretty wrapping paper you receive, and use it to make cards, or decorate other packages!

I am sure none of the ideas I’ve listed here are new ones, how have you creatively wrapped a gift?


Fitteds and Pockets and Snappis, oh my!





  1. 1
    courtney b says:

    reuse is very important! this is my favorite tip! thanks for sharing!

  2. 2
    Jessica Beard says:

    Great ideas! We try to reuse gift bags as much as possible.

  3. 3
    Mary Beth Elderton says:

    These are such good ideas! The Sunday comics is one of my old standbys for wrapping any time of the year. I LOVE the idea of using cloth! I may keep my eyes open for pretty scarves to add to–and wrap!–a couple of gifts this year.

  4. 4
    Thomas Murphy says:

    Great ideas! I like the Go Cloth one

  5. 5
    Sonya Morris says:

    I love wrapping presents in brown paper. I remember my parents wrapping our presents in paper from the colorful Sunday Comics section of the newspaper.

  6. 6
    Amanda Alvarado says:

    These are great ideas! We already reuse tissue paper, bags and boxes the following year but never though to wrap up in brown paper. Another idea – if you get the Sunday paper, use the comics section to wrap with. My dad does this and has for years!

  7. 7

    I frequently use the comics to wrap kids gifts especially:)

  8. 8
    Janet W. says:

    We always reuse gift bags when we are exchanging gifts with close family. We all know the rule to not throw gift bags or bows away!

  9. 9

    Those are all great ideas. We have been reusing gift bags for years, but we will have to try some of these other ideas too…..

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