12 Reusable Gift Wrap Ideas

Sustainable gift wrapping is possible by using vintage items or fabric.

We hand-pick antiques for our readers and may earn a small commission if you buy something featured on this page.
sustainable gift wrapping ideas

Reusable gift wrap isn’t always about saving money. In theory, these gift-wrapping ideas could save you some cash if you ask the recipient to return the packaging for you to reuse over and over again. However, the concept is more about sustainability and reducing consumption.

In most cases, these gift boxes and wraps can be part of the overall gift that the recipient can enjoy. And this eco-friendly gift wrap concept is especially doable if your loved one prefers vintage gifts. Here are some clever ideas you could recreate with items you have in your house.

Furoshiki Gift Wrap Linens

Furoshiki Reusable Gift Wrap Linen
$43.37, etsy.com

The easiest way to get into fabric wrapping (also known as Furoshiki in Japan) is to get fabric that is specifically designed for it. Then, once you get the hang of the folding process, you can utilize scrap fabrics or other vintage linens.

This set includes three French flax napkins (approx. 19.5×19.5″ that are:

  • Made from 100% Natural French flax
  • Stone washed for maximum softness
  • OEKO-TEX certified product (absent of harmful chemicals)

Vintage Lidded Baskets

10 Inch Shanghai Handicrafts Lidded Basket
$47, etsy.com

A gift basket is even more remarkable when the basket is also a keepsake. This vintage basket measures 10 inches wide, and 7 inches tall and is potentially made by Shanghai Handicrafts in the Mid-century.

Eco-friendly Fabric Gift Bags

Christmas Fabric Gift Bag with Snowflake Pattern
$19.50+, etsy.com

If you want to support a small business, consider a set of reusable gift bags that can get decades worth of use. Then, start a tradition where the whole family re-gifts the bags for special occasions. The bags themselves become an heirloom filled with all kinds of unique treasures.

This cotton reusable gift wrap set comes in three sizes:

  • S – 10x8x4 inches
  • M – 12x10x5 inches
  • L – 14x11x6 inches

Vintage Pillow Cases Turned Into Drawstring Bags

Shabby Vintage Pink Roses Pillowcase Drawstring Laundry Bag
$25, etsy.com

You can make this drawstring pillowcase gift bag yourself or order a shabby vintage option on Etsy. This style of gift bag works great as Santa’s bag or for large, awkward items.

Blackthorn William Morris Art Nouveau Fabrics

Blackthorn Gold PWWM055 William Morris, Free Spirit Fabrics, Quilt Fabric, Art Nouveau, Cotton Fabric, Botanical Fabric, Fabric By The Yard
$12.95, etsy.com

Once you learn how to wrap gifts using fabric, really any material under the sun will work. Some people have cut up old t-shirts or used linens from their scrap pile. Consider this 100% Premium Cotton Art Nouveau fabric for an especially antique-inspired wrap. Order some extra and make a quilt or handbag while you’re at it.

Antique Art Deco Lithograph Tin Boxes

Vintage Antique old French 1920/1930 Art déco lithograph tin box biscuits box
$36.15, etsy.com

An antique tin box can be both a gift and a gift wrap. For example, you could fill this antique French lithograph tin box from the 1920s with jewelry, a gift card, or candy for an extra special gift.

Recycled Silk Ribbons

NEW RECYCLED Silk Ribbon - 10 YARD Rolls (Limited Stock)
$12, etsy.com

If you wrap your present in an antique tin box like the one you see above, it might not be evident that it’s a gift at first. Make it extra special with some reusable gift wrap ribbon. Silk is a durable ribbon fabric that can withstand being tied and untied multiple times. In this case, you’ll have to ask for the bows back.

Vintage Linen Tea Towels

Large French antic , linen fabric dishtowel, from the 1950s
$12.41, etsy.com

Modern tea towels can be too thick to wrap effectively around gifts. However, vintage linen tea towels are thin and large enough to do some gift wrapping. Consider this option to wrap up small kitchen gadgets. This set features high-quality linen fabric that measures 31 x 24 inches.

Vintage Wooden Soap Crates

$34, etsy.com

A vintage wooden advertisement crate is perfect for all kinds of gifts. If shipping is too high, check out local thrift stores for some wooden crates to pack up gifts in. The best part? The box can be reused in the home as a storage box.

Vintage Embroidered Drawstring Bags

1900s Embroidery Pouch Handbag | Red Silk Trimmed Drawstring Bag
$65, etsy.com

This vintage drawstring hand-embroidered pouch is a unique gift option that could also work as a vessel for another small gift. The option seen here is more expensive due to the hand detailing, but several less costly alternatives are available. Buy vintage when you can.

Large Antique Handkerchiefs

$12.50, etsy.com

Large vintage handkerchiefs are another pretty reusable gift wrap option. This beautiful late Victorian cotton handkerchief has pink roses in the four corners. After using it to give a gift, this linen could be made into decorative pillows for the Victorian bedroom.

Vintage Milk Glass Baskets

vintage milk glass baskets
$13+, etsy.com

Milk glass bride’s baskets are a fun alternative for gift baskets if you think the recipient would display the basket in their home. This collection of miniature baskets could fit flowers, trinkets, or a candle.

To explore more vintage and handmade gifts and wrapping options, check out the Etsy Gift guide.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By clicking “Accept“, you agree to our website's cookie use as described in our Cookie Policy. Accept Read More