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Sustainable Fabric Gift Wrapping Ideas

Let´s go green this Holiday Season and wrap our gifts in fabric! Please, don´t tell me that fabric is an expensive alternative to paper. I am not going to encourage you to buy more fabric but rather recycle or reuse what you already have. Reusable fabric gift bags have been have been trendy for few years but wrapping in fabric hasn´t been that popular yet. May be because not everyone knows where to start. It is actually quite easy!

In this blog post I would like to share some simple ideas and my favorite free tutorials that hopefully inspire you to look differently at the fabric gift wrap and spark your creativity in gift wrapping.



Just few tips before we start...

- If using vintage fabric or items, launder and iron them in advance. It makes a huge difference to the wrapping process and perception of the wrapped gift.

- Once you cut fabric to size, simply zig zag the edges to prevent fraying, especially using linen fabrics.

- If doilies look yellowed, soak them in the water with baking soda and mild detergent for few hours or even overnight if needed. Make sure to change the water few times. It is also possible to boil the doilies in the same solution for half an hour. Rinse well, lay flat and air dry.

- If desired you can starch doilies by spraying a mix of corn or potato starch in water (1 cup of cold water and half of tablespoon of starch). Before each use be sure to shake the spray bottle well and then spray to your liking.

- If you have doilies with holes you can cut out the undamaged parts with scissors then dip them into the mix of PVA glue/water (1:1), lay flat and air dry. They will become stiff and won´t fray.


1. Vintage bed sheets with lace

I think quite many people have those bed sheets with hand crocheted lace edge. They are so beautiful but so out of fashion. They end up sitting in your linen cupboard for ages. Time to get them out and use!

Cut a piece from the bed sheet and wrap a box as we usually do with paper. Use pins or painter´s tape to hold the wrapping temporarily.

Once you tie it with a ribbon, remove the pins/tape.


You can adorn your package with a Christmas ornament. You can find the Birdhouse ornament tutorial by Larisa from Stitching Notes here .


2. Recycled bed linens

Old bed sheets or pillow cases are perfect for gift wrapping as they are soft and drape nicely. Just use only good parts without holes or stains. If fabric pieces are not large enough, simply sew them together. You can even create a patchwork version for the wrapping! In the photo below I used 2 pieces of fabric from an old IKEA pillow cover and added a vintage crocheted doily.


I tied the package with a jute twine and adorned with a tiny mitten and wooden bead. The pattern for the mitten is by @igravcvet (you can find the template for original size here , I shank mine to 69% so the finished mitten is only 2 1/4" x 2 "7/8")


3. Vintage doilies

If you followed me for a while you know how much I adore vintage doilies. Many people have those at home but don´t use any more. If you are gifting a book, journal or even a box of chocolate (nothing too thick though) you can create a beautiful fabric envelope with vintage vibe. Here is a simple tutorial by Larisa from Stitching Notes.




I am sure after it has been gifted the recipient would use it for years to come.

4. Vintage scarf

Over the years I have collected many neck scarves. I still use few of them but not all. I am sure you might have some too. You don´t need to do anything with scarves as they already have hemmed edges. Square scarves suit our purpose the best. First, tie two opposite corners, then the other two corners. The snowflake was cut from a damaged doily and stiffened in a glue.



5. Fabric you don´t use

Gift wrapping is a perfect opportunity to use all those pieces have been been sitting in your stash for ages. I bought that linen on-line 5 years ago. It is great quality but wrong color and weight for my projects. It drapes beautifully, so I simply gathered the ends at the top, twisted and wrapped in a knot and secured with a pin. Scandinavian Gnome (free tutorial here ) found his place on that package.

I tied him with a twine to the knot and secured with a metal button. He looks like a viking with a shield!😀


6. Buttons

Do you have a box with vintage buttons at home? I do! I remember as a kid I loved playing with them during long winter evenings. I still keep those buttons, occasionally add some to that box but rarely use any.

I enjoyed seeing them again and looking what I can use to embellish the gift wrapping.

The buttons with 2 holes suit our purpose the best.

Make a simple button garland by threading Perle Cotton or twine through the button holes and tie the package wrapped in fabric. I used a piece of white vintage bed sheet.


7. Denim gift tags

Of course, I could not leave denim behind! It is one of my favorite materials for recycling! Let´s use small pieces and make gift tags! You can find my tutorial here .

The shapes of the tags we inspired by Christmas cookie cutters.



A bit of hand stitching and more traditional shape...



These tags would look great on any package.



If you use a vintage bed sheet and would like the lace to stand out on your package, simply trace the lace edge onto a piece of denim and cut with scissors on the traced line.



It was fun to come up with all these gift wrapping ideas using only what I have found at home! I encourage you to check your stash and cupboards. I hope you are inspired to finally use what you have!


Please, share your sustainable gift wrapping ideas on Instagram and tag me @nordiccrafter so I can see them too! If using any of my free tutorials please use hashtag #nordiccrafterpatterns when sharing on social media.


Happy Holiday Season!❤

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