Zero waste wrapping and other ideas for the festive season

diy low- and zero-waste Dec 10, 2020

Each year I try to minimize the amount of waste I create at Christmas by recycling and reusing where possible.

Aiming towards a sustainable Christmas doesn’t mean Christmas has to lose its beauty and delight, in fact, in it can make it even more enjoyable and rewarding.

These are a few ideas to help us reduce our waste.


Have you heard about furoshiki, a Japanese art and tradition when gifts are wrapped in fabric instead of paper?

There are many different ways to wrap a present using fabric, and this YouTube video has a great tutorial.

This is a fabulous way to repurpose beautiful fabrics, or embelish some plain fabric with some sashiko stitching.

I love this idea, because the wrapping becomes part of the gift too.

(According to ZerowasteCanada In Canada 545,000 tonnes of waste is generated from gift- wrapping and shopping bags each year!)

Via Atelier Corbet


Why not make something for the tree this year from scraps in your sewing room. These simple shapes below would be perfect to add some sashiko stitching to take them to the next level.


Via: Bugs and Fishes

Or how about a no-stitch patchwork decoration. Beneath the fabric is a polystyrene ball, which doesn’t really fit in with my desire to work with materials that will compost over time, so here’s a link on how to make a paper ball alternative.

Via: Shabby Fabrics

And these are super cute decorations made from old wool sweaters that have been felted in the washing machine.

Via: Cucicucicoo


Decorate plain brown paper or newspaper wrapped parcels with a little bit of nature.

Holly or pine cones look good if these are growing where you are. Cinnamon sticks smell Christmassy and are easy to find at bulk stores, rosemary can be an easy find that looks (and smells) good too. Or, add a sprig of eucalyptus if you are in the Southern Hemisphere. (plus they can be used for natural dyeing purposes too)

Via: Treading my own path

My latest decorating fun is hanging up slices of orange. They smell wonderful, and are like little stained glass windows when hung in front of a light source. Most websites specify you oven dry the orange slices first, but I just hung them up, with a cloth under them to collect any drips.

Via: Feather and Nest

Well, that is a few of the things I will be doing this Christmas to help reduce waste and spread cheer at the same time.

I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions for a zero waste Christmas.

Hi, I'm Kate!

I am a strong believer in starting where you are and using what you have, wherever and whatever that may be.

Everyone should get to experience the joy of connecting to others through learning, experimenting, and creating.

Creativity doesn’t have to be expensive or wasteful. Whether we’re using natural materials, reusing materials, or shopping our own stashes first, creating mindfully goes beyond being present in the moment - it extends to being mindful of our environment and the other communities around us, too.