Recycled Wrapping Paper – Fun, Free and Environmentally Friendly!

recycle newspaperI just did an experiment! It took an average of 17 seconds for Miss Possum to unwrap some pretend presents I prepared for her. So, if it takes only that amount to rip off pieces of paper, then why are we, firstly, wasting our money and secondly, wasting paper? I know some of us like our wrapped presents looking spectacular (like me) but here’s a way to make your own wrapping paper, recycle your newspapers and still have them looking stunning!

Making recycled wrapping paper

It’s so easy! We used recycled cardboard to make a stamp first. All you need to do is draw or copy a shape onto some thick cardboard and then cut it out. Using another little piece of cardboard, bend it in half and then stick it onto the shape to make a handle. You can use old sponges for this activity too.

how to make a chisrtmas stamp

Newspaper Stamping

Just lay the newspaper on a flat surface, add some paint to the stamp and firmly press the stamp down on the newspaper. Do this all over the newspaper and then dry it on the clothes line.

decorate newspaper


stamping newspaper


Recycled wrapping paper decorating ideas

We like to use real ribbons on our recycle-wrapped gifts. These ribbons can be used again, whereas the disposable ribbons usually get thrown away with the wrapping paper. We also decorated the gift with our wildlife Christmas gift tags. They made a nice addition to the gift.

Christmas recycled paper

Here are some other examples of recycled newspaper gift decorations:

Giving the Gift

We’ve tried this activity before for birthday present wrapping paper and it was a real hit with the receiver. The child tore through her presents, ripping open her gifts at full speed, but when she came to our recycle-wrapped gift she had a good look at it first and then took her time to unwrap it.

This is such a nice activity for children. They get to make something special for family or friends, learn about recycling and have a fun activity to keep them occupied for the afternoon, plus you’re saving money and reducing waste to help the environment!


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    • Penny says

      Thanks so much for your support Susan. I’m really trying to be a lot more conscious of my environmental impact this year.

  1. says

    I absolutely love homemade wrapping paper with a pretty ribbon wrapped around it. For some reason it means so much more. Cute idea with the homemade stamps….adding this to my list of ideas for future activities. :)

    • Penny says

      I agree Janice! It does mean more! The only thing I’m concerned about is the newspaper being ripped by the twinkles. It is a little more easily ripped. I ended up wrapping the pressies twice and that solved the problems. It’s a bit like pass the parcel now!

  2. says

    I love when we can recycle anything and give something new life. I think your wrapping is heaps better than what you can ever buy at the shops. I’m going to be doing this. Thanks/

    • Penny says

      I love it too Kate. I just can’t believe I’ve wasted so much paper and money on wrapping paper that takes so little time to unwrap. It’s laughable. The tree is actually looking really nice with the recycled gift wrapped pressies under it. It also makes me feel good because I’m helping the environment.

  3. says

    Love it! It’s nice that it’s so different that even the kids who receive the presents in the wrapping take their time to look at it before ripping through the paper. I’ve been thinking of ways to recycle too so thanks for the fab idea, Pen! And I still have time to get my act together with the twinlets :)

    • Penny says

      Gracie, you’re my little apprentice. :p I’ve just found an easier way to do this. I wrap the pressies in newspaper first and then take them outside to use the painted stamps or the girls also just use their hands with red and green paint. They loved it, it was way easier and made the pressies even prettier!

    • Penny says

      Thanks Ness. The stamp worked really well, considering I didn’t have any old sponges to use. Also I found I got a better shape with the cardboard too.

  4. says

    I love my presents looking just perfect too 😀 My hubby likes to make fun of me. These do look very sweet though. We haven’t made wrapping paper (well not for Christmas), but these look quite nice and I think I can still jazz them with a ribbon. Nice, cheap idea Penny 😀

    • Penny says

      You’re welcome Kate. I’m yet to buy the ribbon. I wonder if it’s rude to ask for the ribbon back after everyone has unwrapped them. I can just use them over and over again then.

    • Penny says

      he he he. I really am wildlife mad aren’t I! I love the apron too. I’ve never had any problems getting them to put their art smocks on. In fact the twinkles will wear them any time of day!

    • Penny says

      Thank so much Pauline, that would be wonderful. I’ve almost finished wrapping all our pressies and I must say it looks stunning under the tree. Miss Poss and the twinkles also used their hands to put pain on the Christmas paper too. It came out lovely!

  5. says

    I love it!
    Also in Christmas I use all paper, including gift wrap and cardboard, and commingled products like glass containers and aluminum and steel cans to make some funny things. It is so interesting.


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