If you’re looking for ways to make Christmas more eco-friendly this year without losing any of the magic, let us inspire you with some planet (and wallet) friendlier alternatives.
Our desire for a pile of colourful gifts under the tree is sadly not very environmentally friendly. Much of the paper available in shops is glossy or contains foil or glitter and most people still use plastic sticky-tape - and none of these things can be recycled.
Fortunately there are many inventive and creative ways to wrap your gifts that are even more lovely and don’t end up in landfill. These three use brown recyclable paper as the base and brown paper tape to hold them together.
*Brown paper overlaid with newspaper snowflake. Cut a strip of newspaper with as much text on as possible. Fold in half and half again and then into triangle - and carefully snip out shapes (as many as you can fit). Open the paper to admire your snowflake. Wrap over the brown paper parcel and decorate with string and a sprig of ivy.
* Paint splatter. Wrap your parcel in brown paper. Mix up some slightly runny white water-based paint and flick the paint onto the wrapping from one corner. The idea is not to cover the whole parcel. We made a little Christmas tree from twigs and added a tiny ivy leaf as a star.
* Textured paper. We always hoard unusual packing materials as you never know when you might be able to put them to good crafty use. This ‘hive’ paper is used in our workshop and we painted one side lightly with white paint and left to dry. We then layered over the brown paper to give an interesting textured effect.
* Gift tags. We made ours using salt dough - they could also be used as tree decorations. You could make gingerbread shapes instead with iced names - but let’s face it, they probably wouldn’t last ‘till the big day…