How to wrap gifts without gift wrap

There are lots of ways to wrap gifts using wrapping paper alternatives, and we’ve used lots of them in my family for years. We know not to trust the box that a gift comes in: my brother-in-law received once something in a glove box from the bay with the year 1973 written on it! RB and my brother in law gawked at how we all meticulously peeled off the tape on presents so we could re-use the paper. So it wasn’t a stretch for me to start using fabric wrapping, and I haven’t looked back!

Gift Bags

Even though we had a few in the house (from who knows when), I sewed some bags using my drawstring bag pattern about five years ago using some Christmas fabric I bought. These are made with rectangular pieces of fabric, so it’s easy to make sure there’s no waste fabric while sewing.

Wrapping Paper Alternative - Gift Bags

Gift bags can also be easily made from leftover fabric from other sewing projects, clothes that are no longer repairable, or material from second-hand shop finds. I love this wrapping paper alternative using an old cable knit sweater!

Furoshiki Wraps

My interest in using scarfs for wrapping started when RB gave me some solid shampoo and conditioner in a knot wrap. I still have the wrap he gave me, but I also augmented it with some square scarves that I found at my local second-hand shop. You could also use just about any rectangular fabric, like a bandana, (clean) handkerchief, tea towel or bath towel

Wrapping Paper Alternatives - Scarf

There are about a million ways to wrap a gift using a square piece of fabric!  I mostly use the basic wrap, but there are tonnes more at

Clothespin Tags

Every year after Christmas, my mom gathers all of her Christmas cards and cuts them to make gift tags for subsequent years. While I think this is an excellent way to extend the life of cards, most of the cards I get have pictures of my friends’ families, which would be weird to use as a gift tag. So instead, I grabbed some old clothespins and painted the names of my family on them. They’re easy to clamp onto a gift bag or wrap, and can be used for years and years!

Wrapping Paper Alternative

What wrapping paper alternatives do you use?

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