Tape-free Gift Wrapping with Brown Paperbags

image: hautestock.co

image: hautestock.co

Last Christmas I started reusing brown paperbags and even shopping bags for gift wrapping, because I realized that the holiday season creates a lot of waste, and I would love to be part of a movement that I reduces the waste we create during Christmas.

How can I wrap in a more sustainable, less wasteful manner?

  1. By gift wrapping in ways that reuse materials I already have in my home, so I don’t have to buy more. Hello upcycled brown paperbags and shopping bags!

  2. Avoid using staplers. They are tiny, but don’t get recycled and reused.

  3. By wrapping in such a way that enables the recipients of the gift to reuse all the materials:

    • #TapeFreeGiftwrapping - so papers don’t get torn when opening, and can be reused as packaging for pouches that I send in the future

    • By using the #ThoughtfulBow when wrapping so that the string doesn’t get knotted and need to be cut up. This way recipients can also reuse the string!

  4. And if I really must use tape, then I have this #3TapeGiftwrapping method, to limit the amount of plastic tape used because tape is not recyclable. Of course whenever possible I still encourage using paper tape or washi tape for wrapping.

  5. Remind recipients that they can reuse the paper for packing things in the future.

I will do separate posts on the The Thoughtful Bow and the 3-Tape Giftwrapping Method, but today I’d like to show you a super simple way to reuse brown paperbags and wrap TAPE-FREE!



  1. Brown paper bag with base that is about as large as what you are wrapping

  2. Any ribbon or string that you already have at home. You can reuse old ribbons, or in my case I still have Twine that I’m finishing off.

  3. Scissors

  4. Gift Card or, in this case I am using extra flaglets from this diaper cake I made for a friend a while ago.

  5. And your gift of course


STEP 1: Place the gift flat in the very bottom of the bag


STEP 2: Follow the old folds of the bag to flatten the portion above the gift.


STEP 3: Roll the paper around the gift (this protects if if you plan to send via courier) and fold in the ends, to have a clean edge.


STEP 4: Flip to the clean side, and then cut a piece of string/ribbon so it’s enough to tie off with a bow.


STEP 5: String the gift card or flaglet. Be sure to write a heartfelt message first.


STEP 6: Finish off with a bow!


This year is really really tight for us, because we are still have to paying off loans for my hubby’s cancer operation. But in my mind, even the simplest of gifts, if mindfully chosen (these are my favorite essential oil-based, super gentle hand soaps from here), then lovingly and sustainably wrapped, will surely be appreciated by loved ones.

I like to send my gifts via courier in November, so that the gifts are safely under my loved ones trees. This way I don’t have to bring a lot of things during our December meet up. This way of wrapping, helps give it a little bit of cushion, to protect the package.



Another way to wrap tape free is by using a puncher and ribbon/bows to close your gift.


1. Brown paper bag Take out bag with sticker removed carefully
2. Twill From Pottery barn, too pretty not to reuse
3. Puncher
4. Gift tag I love fancy all-occasion tags
5. Pre-made bow
6. Paper Doily You can do without, if you have a big fat bow

Press > to see the next steps


  • Shop all year round, to take adavantage of good deals, and finish gift-wrapping by September or October.

  • Wrap the gifts in a away that they can easily be stacked and stored in a box after they are all wrapped, so they don’t get dusty.

  • Ship out gifts by November so that you can go to parties without bringing all your gifts. This prevents you from forgetting a gift, and it keeps your hands free for your baby/toddler or to help hubby get around.

  • Always remember, there is NO NEED TO OVERWRAP presents. A pretty bow and handwritten note goes a long way.

  • Upcycle or reuse what you already have. I haven’t bought wrappers for years and can barely finish whatever I have left over from Berlin, just because of my love for reused/upcycled wrapping. It has saved me so much money!


It's not how perfectly the gift is wrapped that counts, so don't fret about imperfections. the recipients wont even notice them. Instead enjoy the process of creating and styling. The receiver will feel the time and care you spent wrapping the gift, that you so carefully chose. 


I hope you liked our Three Tape Gift-wrapping Method, and please stay tuned for another sustainable gift-wrapping posts:

  • How To Do The Thoughtful Bow

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