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Gift Wrapping With Newspaper: Creative Eco Friendly Ideas

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.


The next time that you're going to wrap presents, reach for a recycled option such as newspaper. It is inexpensive, is readily available, and will save traditional wrapping paper from heading right to the garbage. In addition to wrapping items in newspaper, there are a variety of creative ways to embellish packages with newspaper such as flowers and bows. This article also includes a number of other materials and ideas for eco friendly gift wrapping.


How To Identify Eco-Friendly Products

Why seek out eco friendly gift wrap options?

  • It can be cost effective. While making your own eco friendly wrapping can be more time consuming than purchasing ready made wrapping, it is often cheaper. Many eco friendly options are simple and primarily involve materials that most people would throw away or have on hand already.
  • It creates less waste. The reason that I started exploring alternative gift wrapping myself was because I didn't like all of the waste that regular wrapping paper creates. Why buy something that will be used for such a short amount of time and then thrown away? Most eco friendly choices can be recycled or re-used.
  • It pairs well with eco friendly gifts. if you're giving any type of eco friendly gift, it is natural to use eco friendly wrapping for it.
  • Homemade wrapping adds a personal touch to a gift. Any type of homemade wrapping, whether it is eco friendly or not, will give a gift a personal touch. I frequently use small leftover scrapbook paper pieces to create gift tags, and people are always impressed. Including a small newspaper flower on top of each newspaper wrapped gift will wow your family and friends.

Tip: Save gift bows and ribbons from previous gifts and use them with your newspaper wrapped and/or embellished gifts.

8 Eco-Friendly Ways to Wrap Gifts With Newspaper

Newspaper wrapping ideas and tutorials

  • The classic newspaper wrapping. There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple and wrapping your gifts in a sheet or two of newspaper. You don't have to add any kind of embellishment.
  • Rolled flower gift topper. This tutorial is where I got the idea for my newspaper flowers that I used in the header photo. There are tutorials out there for rolled flowers made out of just about every kind of fabric and paper. Why not use newspaper? It is a little messy getting ink on your fingers, but it is so inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing. I cut and rolled several sheets for each newspaper flower instead of using single sheets as you would for thicker paper or for fabric.
  • Layered flower gift topper. Another popular flower craft idea is layered flowers. You can create flowers with just newspaper layers or you can layer newspaper with scrapbook paper or fabric scraps, magazine or book pages, and more. There are many more layered flower tutorials out there if you're looking for something different.
  • Recycled paper bow. After finding a couple great tutorials for homemade bows like this one, I will never buy a gift bow again. The bow making process is so simple. Check out this great variation using the yellow pages from a phone book.
  • Paper gift bag. I save all of my gift bags that can get at least one more use. This stash has kept me going for years. Hopefully if you're in the eco gift wrapping mode already, you're doing this as well and won't need to make your own bags any time soon. However, if you need bags and/or want to make something customized, you can make your own. Jessica of How About Orange has a tutorial for a newspaper gift bag. These tutorials for junk mail gift bags and paper gift bags will also work well with newspaper.
Just a Few Possibilities

Paper Bags

Plastic Grocery Bags

Re-Use Tissue Paper

Re-Use Gift Bags


Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Tubes

Re-Use Gift Boxes

Old Wallpaper



There are lots of other great choices for eco friendly gift wrapping. Check out these neat tutorials.


Shop Eco Friendly

A Few More Eco Gift Wrapping Ideas

Etsy : eco-friendly wrapping paper

More great eco friendly resources from the author.


Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 17, 2012:

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Thanks, Cyndi! That's awesome.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on October 17, 2012:

I love the flower idea and you just inspired me to do some cool "experiments" with gift wrapping this year. Thanks. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 16, 2012:

Thanks, RTalloni! That's a great thought.

RTalloni on October 16, 2012:

Once again, you offer neat, neat stuff. These ideas would be especially nice for gifts given to writers. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 10, 2012:

Thanks, Pinkchic! That's great. :)

Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on September 10, 2012:

Neat ideas! I love frugal ways to wrap gifts :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 31, 2012:

Thanks so much, Glimmer Twin Fan! You're right that this is a perfect option whether or not you planned it.

Claudia Porter on August 31, 2012:

Your crafts are always awesome and this is a great idea. Whether planned or unplanned (forgot to get wrapping paper for someone's birthday gift) I love this idea. Thanks! Awesome hub!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 30, 2012:

Yes, for sure! Thanks, Jamie. :)

Jamie Brock from Texas on August 30, 2012:

I love newspaper, there's so many neat things you can do with it! Great hub as always.. voting up!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 29, 2012:

That's awesome!

Blurter of Indiscretions from Clinton CT on August 29, 2012:

My sister wraps all her Christmas presents in newspaper with pretty bows. It looks so nice!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 29, 2012:

That's awesome! I'm sure that looked great.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on August 29, 2012:

Last Christmas I wrapped most of my presents in old maps and pages from an old atlas. It looked really good. I most likely will do something like that again this year, so I'm pinning this for later.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 29, 2012:

That's perfect. :) I hope that you find some ways to use these suggestions.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on August 29, 2012:

I love recycling and reusing materials in new ways, and some of your newspaper gift wrapping ideas really fit the bill. The newspaper roses are so attractive! Good suggestions for upcoming gift giving occasions! Voted up and useful!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 29, 2012:

That's awesome, Linda. :) Thanks!

Linda Chechar from Arizona on August 29, 2012:

I also had a friend that used to use the Sunday comics as gift wrap! I love the gift topper and bow ideas. What a great way to recycle and save money! Thanks for sharing these super ideas! Voted up and useful.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 29, 2012:

Thanks so much, Carol!

carol stanley from Arizona on August 29, 2012:

Great ideas and I love the idea of recycling paper. Great hub and voted up.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 28, 2012:

That's awesome, Vicki! I have just started to explore recycled gift wrapping options the past couple years. I kind of swore off traditional wrapping paper last Christmas and am determined to make gift wrapping fun and festive with cheaper options that can be recycled. You're right that recycled wrapping has become more trendy. I'm not too concerned with what people think either, though. :)

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 28, 2012:

Awesome! I'm like Janine. I've been wrapping gifts, particularly birthday, in the Sunday comics. Sometimes I add ribbon, but often it is just plain. I got the idea back in college when someone did that for a baby shower. There was a time I would have thought some people would look down on it, but, as I get older, I realize that many people think that recycling is smart--and who cares what people think, anyway. haha.

I haven't bought wrapping paper or bags in years, except for the bags of bags I have picked up for pennies at garage sales!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 28, 2012:

That's awesome, Janine! Way to go, Grandma. :)

Robie, thanks! At least that newspaper is getting recycled. Pulling favorite pages to add to your gift-wrapping supply stash is a great idea.

Robie Benve from Ohio on August 28, 2012:

I love this eco-friendly and fun idea. If I only think of the piles of newspaper I have thrown in the recycle bin throughout the years! I need to start saving the best pages with my gift-wrapping supplies. :)

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on August 28, 2012:

Wow, my grandmother was so ahead of her time. She used to wrap our gifts in the Sunday comics section no joke. And many of what you said in her was exactly what she said too when asked about suing this paper to wrap our gifts. Nicely done and brought back some good memories from my childhood here. Have voted up and shared too!

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