How to Wrap Gifts Sustainably and Beautifully

This blog post is written in collaboration with FOLDS.wrap, a company that shares the same values as me and with whom I connected with on Instagram.

Tips on wrapping gifts with minimal impact on the environment

For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed the process of wrapping gifts. I used to wrap my mums presents for her at Christmas and I remember the satisfaction I got out of seeing them all perfectly wrapped under the tree. I’m also a little ashamed to admit that I can be judgemental of the way others wrap presents! Ed, my husband, now takes so much care over how he wraps my presents because he knows that for me the wrapping is half the joy of receiving. 

Dried flower wreath

Over the past few years, I have become more conscious of the unnecessary waste that comes with wrapping gifts. More recently, I stopped buying wrapping paper and instead started to reuse tissue paper and brown paper from Amazon and other deliveries. I saved all the ribbons and strings that purchases came wrapped in and have a huge stash that I raid every time I need to wrap a gift. And whilst that is good for the environment, I will be honest and say that I struggle with the imperfect nature of my gift wrapping now a days, there are no clean lines when it come to reusing crumpled tissue paper and there is no amount of dried flower wreaths that can make brown paper look pretty.

Furoshiki Japanese gift wrapping art

Then earlier this year, I came across Sarah’s business FOLDS.wrap and became intrigued by furoshiki —the Japanese art of fabric gift wrapping. Sarah and I started chatting on Instagram and she kindly gifted me a few of her linen wraps to try out. When they arrived I was surprised by how soft the material was, I think I was expecting something stronger given it’s linen. But soft it is and as a result it’s such a pleasure to work with and because it’s so soft its really easy to work with giving you beautiful results every time. Perhaps most importantly all Sarah’s fabrics are responsibly sourced and sustainable and you can read more about that on her website here if you’re interested.

I’ve spent the last week trying out the linen wraps with some really good results. Here’s a few ways that I styled my gifts with FOLD.wraps:

Oh so simple

One of the simplest folds is called a “Otsuki Tsutsumi“ and is often used to wrap books or similar sized gifts. After I had wrapped the gift and tied my knots, I tucked a few sprigs of Eucalyptus in the top. Eucalyptus is a personal favourite of mine and I love the scent that comes with it.

Otsuki Tsutsumi simple japanese fabric fold

A gift on a gift

I’ve been using wreaths to decorate my gifts for a long time and so I wanted to see how they look on top of fabric and I wasn’t disappointed. I adore the textures and folds that the wraps bring to a gift and with the addition of a wreath fastened to the top, its almost too good to take apart! The wreath on this can be hung on a wall after the gift has been open, an extra bonus for the recipient. 

textured gift wrapping

Bold and striking

A real show stopper, this would be stunning as a gift at a dinner party. I used the navy blue fabric to wrap a bottle of wine, using a fold called “bin”, tucking in a stem of proteus dried flower head to the side. 

Gift wrapping bottles

Which is your favourite? Its too hard for me to choose! One thing is for sure, I would definitely struggle to hand these wraps over as they are so beautiful. Of course, it would be perfectly acceptable to ask for them back after the gift has been opened, right?!

And in case you aren’t in a position to invest in wraps, here are some other ways you could wrap your gifts more sustainably:

  1. Save paper bags, store them flat and use stamps to decorate them before slipping your gift inside

  2. Reuse packaging from online deliveries such as tissue paper and brown paper, wrapping twine or ribbon round and finishing with a sprig of dried flowers

  3. Save your children’s artwork and use this to wrap gifts for family members

  4. Reuse magazine and newspapers by wrapping smaller items in them and securing with string (I avoid sellotape at all costs!)

Here’s to wrapping joyfully and with minimal impact on our gorgeous planet!