Cranking the Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, sipping hot cocoa and wrapping gifts is a favorite holiday pastime for many of us. But traditional gift wrapping (paper, bows and bags, oh my!) can be incredibly wasteful.

There are so many ways to beautifully wrap a gift by using found, recycled or all-natural and compostable materials that Santa would surely approve of. Here are some ideas for materials you can most likely find around your house, or purchase at a craft store.

For wrapping:

For tying:

  • Twine
  • Hemp
  • Leather cord
  • Strips of scrap fabric
  • Metal wire

For embellishment:

  • Real plants
  • Vintage jewelry
  • Palo Santo sticks
  • A card written on recycled paper or cardboard

Idea #1: recycled paper + twine + plants + Palo Santo + paper tape

To wrap up a set of Gneiss Spice refillable spice containers, we used recycle paper for the wrapping, paper tape to seal it (you can get paper tape here), black and white twine wrapped around the gift multiple times to create a “grid” look, and finished it off with a bundle of seasonal plants and a stick of Palo Santo. We wrapped the Palo Santo first in some leather cord for an extra pop of red.

Idea #2: men’s shirt + leather cord + vintage earrings + plants

To wrap up this wooden amplifier (you stick your phone in the top and it acts as a speaker!), we cut up an old striped men’s button down, wrapped the speaker up with the fabric like a giant piece of candy, secured the ends by wrapping them with leather cord, and then added a little sparkle by clipping some vintage earrings onto the cord. We finished it off with two small sprigs of pine for a natural touch. 

Idea #3: cotton produce sack + scrap fabric + wooden clothes pin + plants + a note

Lastly, to wrap up this reusable water bottle, we used part of the gift (a cotton produce sack) as the wrapping. We placed the bottle in the bag, wrapped the top with a piece of scrap fabric from the shirt, and used a clothes pin to clip on a sprig of greenery and a note.

Share your zero waste wrapping with us on Instagram by tagging @trashisfortossers and hashtagging #zerowasteholidays in your photos!



  1. Another decoration idea for the top of the gift is a cute little gingerbread cookie…you can even write the person’s name in icing :).

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