Sustainable Wrap: 3 Ways to wrap your presents with Christine Leech

We have teamed up with Christine Leech of @sewyeah, and author of the brilliant book Zero Waste Gift Wrap, to show you three crafty ways to wrap your presents this Christmas. These all make use of items you may already have at home and are a resourceful way to give something unique and be kind to the planet.


Add a pop of colour to gifts wrapped in brown paper with these recyclable paper napkin pompom flowers.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 paper napkin per flower

  • Thin wire

  • Scissors

How to make:

  1. Cut the two napkins into quarters following the fold lines and stack the quarters on top of each other, pattern side uppermost

  2. Concertina the stack creating about 5 folds.

  3. Wind wire around the centre of the concertina to secure.

  4. Use the scissors to trim a curve at each end.

  5. Carefully tease each layer of the napkin away from the next, turning the concertina into a 3D flower.

  6. Secure to the top of your wrap.


Furoshiki is the traditional Japanese art of wrapping gifts in fabric squares. While thin fabrics like silk scarves are the perfect material to use to wrap medium to larger gifts, linen napkins are a great alternatives for smaller items.

What you’ll need:

  • Linen Napkins

  • Decorative items as desired (baubles, foliage etc)

How to make:

To wrap a book:

The Otsukai Tsutsumi is a wrap often used for wrapping books or other rectangular objects.

  1. With the napkin set at a diagonal, place the gift just below the centre point.

  2. Bring the bottom corner of the napkin over the gift, tucking he corner under. Bring the opposite corner over the gift to cover it.

  3. Lift the left and right napkin corners

  4. Tie a knot (double if possible) to secure. Add a few baubles or pieces of foliage to decorate.

To wrap a mug:

  1. Place the mug in the centre of a napkin

  2. Bring the four corners up to the middle and gather.

  3. Use some elastic or a hair band to secure the napkin close to the top of the mug.

  4. Cover the elastic with some pretty ribbon tied in a bow.


Rescue old jumpers from the back of your wardrobe or charity shop and use them to make soft and cuddly gift bags, perfect for wrapping items such as mugs, jugs and bottles.

What you’ll need:

  • Old knitted jumper, thin knit or aran both work well

  • Scissors

  • Embroidery thread or strong cotton

  • Large needle

  • Thin ribbon

  • Small decorations (optional)

How to make:

  1. Measure the height of your gift and add approximately 15cm. Use this measurement and cut one sleeve away from the jumper.

  2. Turn the sleeve inside out and sew a running stitch around 1cm in from the raw edge.

  3. Pull the two ends of the thread tight and tie a double knot to secure.

  4. Sew a second running stitch, this time using ribbon around 10 cm from the top (or whatever measurement suits your gift)

  5. Place your gift inside the sleeve bag.

  6. Tie the ribbon with a bow and add a couple of decorative baubles or leaves.

You can make several of these bags from the jumper. After you have used the sleeves, cut rectangles from the body (using the bottom hem edge as the top of the bags.) Fold each rectangle in half, stitch up the back to create a cylinder & continue from step 3.