Upcycled Gift Wrapping Ideas

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Cool and Creative Upcycled Gift Wrapping Ideas

I’m a big promoter of upcycling trash to treasure. This time of year (any time, really) is a great time to reduce, reuse, and upcycle trash into something new, useful, and beautiful. A simple way to do that this is through gift wrapping. I’m no stranger to doing this, so I have a lot of upcycled gift wrapping ideas below to hopefully help inspire you!

Cardboard Tube Gift Wrapping Idea

First, let’s start with a fun tutorial on reusing a paper towel roll or gift wrapping tube. The ones shown here I made for my daughters for Valentine’s Day.

Heart Butterfly Candy Tube

Watch the Video

Here’s a quick YouTube tutorial. Scroll down for the materials list and instructions. Keep scrolling for more creative upcycled gift wrapping ideas!


  • Cardboard Tube
  • Scissors
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Ruler and/or Paper Cutter
  • Tissue Paper
  • Ribbon
  • Candy
  • Heart Shaped Craft Punch
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun


  1. Cut the tube in the desired length and cover it with scrapbook paper.
  2. Use one piece of tissue paper folded in half to roll the candy and insert into the tube. Tie each end with ribbon and trim excess if necessary.
  3. Decorate the outside of the tube with heart shaped butterflies. To make these, simply punch out paper hearts and fold them in half. Glue them onto the tube wit hot glue.

Reusable Ideas

All of the following examples were done with reusable items such as:

  • Brown paper bags
  • Paper towel or gift wrapping rolls
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Food containers and food boxes
  • Medicine boxes
  • Scrap paper
  • Coffee filters

Other Upcycled Gift Wrapping Ideas

Recycle Small Boxes for Gift Wrapping – Small medicine boxes and the like are perfect for small gift giving.

Recycle small boxes for gift wrapping


Washi Tape Gift Wrapping – Brown grocery bags or packing paper work nicely for gift wrapping. Just add pops of color with decorative tape.

Washi-tape-gift-wrapping-with brown bags


Recycled Food Containers & Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers – Cracker boxes and cereal boxes are the perfect size for many gifts.

Recycled gift wrap with food boxes and coffee filters


Brown Paper Bag with Neon Color Gift Wrapping – You can also use colorful paper to embellish small gifts wrapped in brown paper bags.

Paper bags as wrapping paper


DIY Repurposed Gift Card Holder – A regular sized brown shopping bags will make four gift card holders.



Recycled Box Gift Bags – Cut the top off a food box and add a ribbon handle for an instant sturdy gift bag.

Recycled food box for gift bags


Border Punch Gift Wrapping Embellishments – As a Crafter, I keep a bin of scrap paper. Use a craft punch and glue them on gifts for embellishment.

Embellish gifts with paper scraps


Recycled Gift Wrapping Idea: Pop Top Cans – Thoroughly washed tuna cans make fun and unique gift wrapping for small gifts.



Toilet Paper Roll Gift Wrapping – Another version of the above, wrap toilet paper rolls in pretty paper and slide a gift wrapped in tissue paper inside.



Themed Recycled Food Box Gift Bags – Make your gift match the party theme, like this Hello Kitty gift bag made out of a food box.

Themed recycled gift wrapping


Pringle’s Can “Pull Me” Gift Kits – Pringles cans are a fun shape and size for anything from nail polish kits to t-shirts.


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Upcycled Gift Wrapping Ideas

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