Art + Design

5 Fun and simple Christmas gift-wrapping ideas anyone can do

Next-level wrap skills


By Marissa Chin

5 Fun and simple Christmas gift-wrapping ideas anyone can do

Can you hear the sleigh bells ringing? Christmas is arriving in just a few days! If that’s setting off alarms in your head because you still haven’t got around to wrapping your gifts, we’re here to help you save the holiday. Whether it’s because you’re afraid of your lack of art skills or just got bored of the same old cut-and-fold, we’ve compiled some creative and easy ideas on how to show off your gifts


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But before we start, did you know that wrapping paper takes a huge toll on the environment? We don’t mean to be a downer but according to Earth911, approximately 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper end up in landfills every year. With that in mind, we’re going to let you in on some practical tips on how you achieve zero waste with your gift-wrapping.


How to be sustainable with your gift-wrapping


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If you think all paper can be recycled, think again! The short answer is: maybe. It depends on the type of wrapping paper you go for, which can also be difficult for us to discern. Generally, fancy wrapping paper that contains glitter, foil and the like is harder to recycle. 

One easy way to determine it is by scrunching one up into a ball shape. If it stays in shape, it’s made of pure paper and is recyclable. If the shape starts to unravel and go flat, the wrapping paper is most probably not recyclable and best to be avoided. 

With that, here are some ways you can achieve eco-friendly gift wrapping:

1. Go for more plain or muted wrapping paper. We know it may not look as exciting but it’s quite the opposite! With the minimalist aesthetic that’s been on trend in recent years, it’s actually super timely and subtle details add an overall chic look to your gifts. Plus, the more minimal it is, the more occasions you can use them in beyond Christmas!

2. Avoid using sticky tape or foil ribbons. As those can’t be recycled, opt for brown packaging tape and string made from natural materials such as garden twine which are recyclable. 

3. Avoid decorating with foil bows, glitter, plastic pieces and the like. Sometimes, people tend to top off their wrapping with an extra decorative piece but these can’t be recycled. Instead, consider natural materials such as dried flowers and other sprigs of plants.

4. Explore non-paper alternatives. Gift wrapping doesn’t always have to do with paper! For example, try adopting the Japanese technique called Furoshiki, which uses cloth to wrap gifts. Not only do they act as beautiful gifts themselves, but they can be reused in a variety of ways—score! Batik, scarves, linen cloths, towels, and even tote bags are good options.

5. Start collecting materials for gift-wrapping early on. Throughout the year, you can start getting ready for the holiday season by keeping any scrap paper, shipment boxes, shopping bags, newspapers, and padding for your gifts.

Psst: here’s the trick to tying a nice-looking bow. You can thank us later!


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Now, let’s get wrapping!


Pretty pockets


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If your gift has a sturdy and boxy shape such as a book or an iPhone (one can dream, right?), this simple pleats wrapping idea adds an extra wow factor to the simple shape! Plus, the pleats act as slits that are perfect for slipping in a Christmas card and some dried flowers such as Baby’s Breath to complete the look. 


Doodles daydream 


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Reuse old paper bags by giving them new life with some cute doodles! This is one idea that people who are not artistically inclined can attempt because even simple shapes will look adorable. One example is to draw some houses and dot the used paper bag with little asterisks to represent stars. Stick on a label tag or top it off with a sprig of plants (fresh rosemary is great) and you’re all done. 

Here’s another way to sustainably decorate your paper bags if doodles aren’t your thing. Use plants to create a Christmas tree shape or bend it to create mini wreaths. We also love how this creator uses dried oranges and a DIY paper ornament!


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Furoshiki folds

As mentioned before, the Japanese technique, Furoshiki, is a great way to achieve zero-waste gift wrapping. For this, you can go fancy with any pattern or colour because the cloths can be used in various ways. Not only that, folding your present with cloth is also easy and achieves an effortlessly elegant look. They’re also versatile for pretty much any shape. 


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The good ol’ paper bag trick


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Speaking of oddly shaped items, this idea will take away all your worries! If you don’t have any usable paper bags lying around, here’s how you can make your own. The paper bag technique is an oldie but a goodie because it’s simple and you can make it as big as you want to wrap your gift. You can also be creative and adorn it with a Christmas ornament (another way to reuse these items!) and a fabric bow. 


Handle with care


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To elevate the paper bag idea, give it an actual handle! The trick is to fold your ribbon in layers at the top of your present to give it a handle. Below, here’s how to make it look like an actual hand bag for more rectangular items. We guarantee this idea will impress all your guests because of how deceivingly complicated it looks!

For our definitive guide to Christmas, visit BURO’s Holiday Cruise here.

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