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MANILA, Philippines – The holidays are officially here – and with that, a ton of gift-giving (and gift-preparing) is about to commence!
While a lot of us are fine going the traditional holiday-themed wrapping paper route, others are seeking more creative and sustainable alternatives. After all, a lot of these gift-wrapping materials, some of which are coated in plastic or covered in glitter, are non-recyclable. (READ: Dreaming of a green Christmas? Here are 5 ways to make it more sustainable)
So whether you’re looking to cut down on waste or are simply tired of the same generic holiday designs, we’ve listed several alternatives to ordinary wrapping paper that can help you level up your gift-wrapping game for this year:
Furoshiki is a traditional way of fabric wrapping that originated in Japan.
Using a piece of beautifully printed cloth, one can wrap gifts by simply placing them at the center of the fabric, folding the fabric around them, and tying it all up with a few clever knots! In just seconds, you’ve created an eye-catching package without using tape or scissors!
For a sustainable option, you can even make use of the fabric that you already have – old shirts, pillow cases, tablecloths, or handkerchiefs – as your own wraps. What also makes it a better option is that gift receivers can always reuse these fabrics. Think of them as a gift within a gift!
Or, you can buy a brand-new hand-knit scarf or bedding and use that as both the wrapper and a part of your gift!
Unused papers, documents
If you really enjoy wrapping gifts with paper, see what you have around the house. It’s common for every household to have old papers and documents, like calendars, maps, school readings, and newspapers, lying around.
Instead of throwing them away, recycle them as an alternative gift wrapper that you can customize with your own designs.
Compared to the traditional holiday-themed designs of wrapping papers, these old, recyclable documents also give off that beautiful vintage aesthetic that we can flex on social media!
Manila paper or those brown paper takeout bags are perfect canvases if you opt to decorate your wrapping papers.
If you want to add some character to your wrapping papers, you can choose to use the comics section or the word hunt puzzles in broadsheets! You can also use old maps as your wrappers, too! To customize, you can use washi tape instead of plastic tape, and spare fabric as ribbons!
You can also choose to skip the wrapping paper altogether and just put your gift in an alternative form of packaging – such as reusable containers like bags, baskets, boxes, or jars!
They do the job of hiding the gift from view and giving the receiver the feeling of anticipation, plus, the containers can be also reused in different ways. They’re easily customizable too, so your gifts won’t have to look basic or boring.
You can DIY beautiful gift bags from materials found around your house, but even store-bought drawstring bags from your local thrift stops can do the trick!
A basket is also a beautiful way to wrap a present! Bonus point? They become part of the actual gift, too, since receivers can reuse it as home decor or containers for their items. And since they’re woven from natural materials like bamboo and rattan, we’re sure that they’re are eco-friendly! After putting the presents in a basket, you can hide them by simply covering everything with spare fabric.
Several Instagram shops like Magayon Handmade and Vinta.phl offer a wide variety of baskets that you can choose from. We’re pretty sure that you can choose a design and size that will fit any of your gifts.
Don’t underestimate what a humble box can do, either. With the amount of online shopping most of us did these past months, it’s likely that there’s a stash of boxes stored somewhere around the house. Reuse and customize them to store gifts.
You can also make your own box! A quick YouTube search will give you several video tutorials for how to create your own box. Or if you want to go the extra-extra mile, you can also choose to have someone make a box for you. Visual Edge and Cr8tive Boxes + Labels accept custom orders for packaging products so you can give them your design and other requests for your own container.
Don’t be a Grinch to Mother Nature! There’s a lot of ways to make your gifts pretty and presentable without creating waste! – Rappler.com