Sustainable school activity – make your own Christmas wrapping

Blog Post by Dan McDermott 12 December 2014

Try an environmental art activity that helps the planet and saves money for parents.

Looking for some Christmas themed craft activities for your pupils?  We’ve got a great idea for something you can do with your groups in school - why not help them make their own gift wrapping?  It’s creative, will be truly appreciated when they take it home and, best of all, it’s environmentally friendly! 

Paper Wrapping


Homemade wrapping paper is a gift that keeps on giving - literally!  It might sound silly at first, but it will save parents some much needed cash that they don’t want to spend and it can be used to wrap presents for the whole family!  If you’d like to give it a try, we’ve got some great sustainable ideas which are easily accessible in the classroom:

Comic Gift

Use old magazines or comics.  My son loves presents wrapped up in his old comics.  He doesn’t even realise that they’re his comics I’ve used!  Ask your class to bring in old magazines or comics and then sellotape sheets together to make wrapping paper sheets.

Christmas cards as tags.  This is a classic - cut the back off your old Christmas cards and stick it on a present as a gift tag.  Cut them into an ornate shape and use your hole punch for the finishing touch.

Use an old shoe box.  Decorate the box by letting the kids paint their own design on it.  Or you can cover it by sticking pages from an old book or magazine.  This idea looks great and also disguises the shape of the present.

Use old scrap paper to make bows.  This is totally easy and there’s a step by step guide on this article on  

Folding -map -360382_1280

Use an old map.   Most of us love a good map and old maps can be beautiful (so be careful what you use).  If there’s an old atlas or map in school that you have no use for, then it can look very eye-catching as wrapping paper.

Reuse envelopes.  Collect all the poly envelopes which supplies are delivered to school in.  It’s no secret these robust envelopes can be used again and again.  You could use decorative ink stamps to decorate the envelope or get your pupils to draw on them. You could even add some bows (see above) to cover old postage marks or addresses.

natural gift tag

Use natural materials to decorate.  Making a natural tag is fun and it will set gifts apart from the rest.  Gather 3 or 5 natural items; pine needles, small cones, evergreen leaves, catkins, seeds, flower heads and even blades of grass can look lovely bound together with a bit of cotton.  Parents will love this one so much they may go into buttonholes instead of being used on gifts!

Make a gift bag.  Turn a shopping bag into a gift bag by adding the bows mentioned above or by making some badges out of natural materials.

There you go - your pupils' parents will never need to utter “Ooohhhhh that’s lovely dear” without complete sincerity ever again.  A perfect Christmas activity to give and give!


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