Eco-friendly Gift Wrap Sewn Paper Envelopes

How to Make Easy Upcycled Gift Envelopes


“I would like us all to make a serious commitment to respect and protect creation, to be attentive to every person, to counter the culture of waste and disposable, to promote a culture of solidarity and of encounter.” Pope Francis, General Audience 6/5/2013

 

Is Fancy Gift Wrap Good for the Environment?
There is no question that sparkling, glossy gift bags and gift wrap are beautiful and can make a gift feel special, but is it good? We want our gifts to be tokens of joy and care, not beautiful little environmental destroyers, right?

Going green gives us an opportunity to rethink gift giving and trying to not only give more thoughtful and eco-friendly gifts, but also to wrap them in more thoughtful and eco-friendly wrapping. With a little creativity, we can make our gifts beautiful and feel special, but also be reusable and compostable at the end of their usefulness!


Upcycling Shipping/Packing Paper
I live in an area where a lot of the eco-friendly items we use are impossible to find locally, so I order things like my personal care products and laundry soap online. The good news is that many companies (including Amazon and their partner sellers) are also trying to go green and are packing their products in uncoated kraft paper. Over the last few years, I have collected A LOT of crinkled, but perfectly usable, kraft paper, so this year I turned it into free, compostable gift wrap!

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Packing Paper

This packing paper from my last Amazon order is great for gift wrapping projects.


Upcycled Kraft Gift Envelopes

In my post, “Easy and Beautiful Eco-friendly Gift Wrap Ideas,” I included several of my upcycled gift wrap projects including these envelopes which are perfect for flat gifts like books and other small items. They are incredibly easy to make with basic straight line sewing — I am NOT a sewer. In fact I really, really don’t like sewing, but I was surprised at how fun and rewarding these gift wrap envelopes were to make!

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper

With straight line sewing, these envelopes were actually fun to make!


How to Make Easy Upcycled Gift Envelopes, Step by Step

Step 1 — Smooth the paper and tear or cut off any damaged paper ends to get clean lines for your project. To make them more durable, I used a double layer of paper. This paper had perforations that made it easy to fold on the perforation for perfect alignment.

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper

Kraft packaging paper is easy to smooth and use for projects.

Step 2 — To keep the layers together, fold and crease the paper for perfect edges.

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper

Since it’s paper, creasing and preparing it, is simple.

Step 3 — With simple straight line sewing in a large spaced stitch, sew the side and bottom edges.

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper

It sews easy too.

Step 4 — Sew the top and bottom edges. I chose a simple, but decorative stitch, still using straight-line sewing.

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper

Simple stitches can be pretty too!

Step 5 — Fold the envelope into shape and crease well.
Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper
Aligning the edges and creasing with a bone folder makes the sewing easier.

Step 6 — Choose your ribbon and pin it in place before attaching.

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper  
It’s OK to use what you have, eco-friendly or not.

Step 7 — Sew on the ribbon. This way it with both stay in place and be reused with the envelope.

Use What You Already Have, Eco-friendly or Not I have a lot of leftover, less-than-green things stored up, including ribbons and glossy wrapping paper and I chose to include them in these projects. Depending on where you started, going green can be a journey and rather than throwing new things out and polluting the environment in a truly wasteful way, we can use and reuse what we already have. The ribbons on my gift envelopes are very pretty, but made with poly-blend materials which are not good for the compost pile. So when my envelopes have lost their usefulness, I will remove the ribbons before composting the paper.

It’s easier to sew your ribbon on, before you sew the sides.

Step 8 — Refold your envelope and sew the sides to complete the project!

Easy Upcycled Gift Wrap from Kraft Paper

Your reusable envelope is complete!

Step 9 — Your upcycled, reusable gift envelope is ready for gifting!

Eco-friendly Gift Wrap Sewn Paper Envelopes

Add your own upcycled gift tag!


Use What You Already Have, Eco-friendly or Not
I have a lot of leftover, less-than-green things stored up, including ribbons and glossy wrapping paper and I chose to include them in these projects. Depending on where you started, going green can be a journey and rather than throwing new things out and polluting the environment in a truly wasteful way, we can use and reuse what we already have. The ribbons on my gift envelopes are very pretty, but made with poly-blend materials which are not good for the compost pile. So when my envelopes have lost their usefulness, I will remove the ribbons before composting the paper.

Blue Water Bento - Ocean-friendly bento lunch boxes by ECOlunchbox

 

Give Upcycled Gift Wrap a Try!
Upcycled gift envelopes are easy and simple to make with just straight line sewing. They give you an opportunity to put your creativity to work and make your gift wrap beautiful and special.

I hope you’ll share pictures of your creations in the comments. I will love to see them!

 

Easy Upcycled Gift Envelopes 

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