Low-Waste Gift Baskets Are Beautiful And Functional!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Low-waste gift baskets can be low-waste and functional too. Make a food basket with reusable jars of homemade food and arrange it all in a handy tub. Brown paper can be composted or used in their fireplace. 

Our gift baskets are jars of homemade food in reusable jars in a handy tub. Brown paper can be composted or used in their fireplace. #TexasHomesteader

Awareness Of Trash Produced At Christmas

Years ago I became aware of the massive amounts of trash caused by gift wrapping. I hated that purchased wrapping paper, although beautiful, was simply trash seconds after that gift was opened. 

There used to be mountains of it after our family Christmas celebration, all destined for our local landfill. Right then & there I began to search for lower-waste gift wrapping options. 

Wrapping Gifts In Reusable Cloth

I’ve previously shared with you my method of using colorful bandannas and other festive cloth for our smaller gifts.

Cloth bandanas make a great reusable gift wrap option for smaller gifts. #TexasHomesteader

That cloth was either folded creatively or tied with ribbon.

My family knows these are my reusable wrappings & they happily return them to me after the gift is opened. I’m able to reuse this cloth to be used year after year.

And along the cloth-wrapping line of thinking is using the Japanese art of Furoshiki. Don’t worry, it’s EASY enough for a child to do. Just wrap & tie!

Gifts wrapped in cloth Furoshiki Style don’t even need ribbons and such since the fabric is decoratively wrapped and tied instead.

Eco friendly zero waste gift wrapping using cloth and furoshiki tying. #TexasHomesteader

Low-Waste Gift Basket

But today I’m going to share with you our low-waste basket presentation.

RancherMan & I almost always make all of our gifts ourselves for Christmas. We often bundle those special homemade gifts into gift baskets. 

One year we gifted all kinds of edible goodies from our kitchen. That year I included in our homemade gift basket:

Sometimes we’ll add some kind of home-baked goodie too. (but we’ll wait until the last minute to bake it to maintain freshness.)

Choosing The Container To Hold Our Gifts

For our baskets RancherMan & I picked up inexpensive colorful tubs to hold our gifts. We chose them knowing our kids could use them afterward in their homes.

Those small storage tubs can be used for our grandbabies’ toys, DVD movies, kitchen storage – almost anything!

Now even though our simple gift from the heart involves several hours of labor for both myself & RancherMan, my mama always told me “Presentation Is Half The Gift”And of course she is absolutely correct!

So after the gift was assembled I looked for the prettiest way to present the basket.

In past years I used those large plastic basket wraps tied with a ribbon. But as you know, I absolutely hate disposable plastic items.

For the past several years I’ve pushed back against disposable plastic and Christmas is no exception!

So this year I wanted to present our gift baskets without additional wrapping. (which of course speaks to my crunchy-green heart.)

Repurposed Paper Filler For Gift Baskets

After pulling out the small gift tubs and figuring out what kind of space I needed to tuck in our gifts, I asked RancherMan to bring me a couple of completely shaken-out paper cattle feed bags.

I tore away the printed layer and was left with two large pieces of plain brown paper – LOVE IT!

I took one of the sheets and tore it down to size, wadded it up and used it to give an elevated bottom to the bucket, allowing for a prettier and raised display of our gift.

Then I cut another largish-sheet of brown paper and fan-folded it, careful not to overly crease it. Then I cut strips to make a cool-looking cover over the wadded-paper bottom.  (some people could accomplish this with a shredder but we don’t own one)

Our gift baskets are jars of homemade food in reusable jars in a handy tub. Brown paper can be composted or used in their fireplace. #TexasHomesteader

Our gift baskets were not only thoughtful gifts, but eco wins as well. They were primarily consumable food in reusable jars placed in a handy reusable tub.

And they were presented using only plain brown paper that can either be composted or used as a fire-starter in their own fireplace.

I really like the way the baskets turned out and our kids loved them too!

Merry Christmas, Y’all!


This post categorized in  

Tagged in Our best holiday tips. #TexasHomesteader  Our favorite gift ideas in one place. #TexasHomesteader  A list of all our eco-friendly posts. #TexasHomesteader   

Other Christmas Posts You Might Like:

Gift Ideas

Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas:

Low-Waste Gift Ideas #TexasHomesteader

See All Our Eco-Friendly Posts

Low-Waste Gift Wrapping & Presentation

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11 thoughts on “Low-Waste Gift Baskets Are Beautiful And Functional!

  1. candace

    Reading about the feed bag liner paper made me think – you live on a ranch, you are ranchers, why not snip up the outer feed bag part as well for your baskets. It seems so logical to me. I have given up most wrapped gifts and don’t exchange many gifts among friends – the gift there is making time to spend together, but for son and daughter-in-law I find some largish basket or tub and fill it with useable things. Son is a building contractor so screw drivers and pliers and such are never a bad choice (he never did learn to put his stuff away bless his heart and he’s building our barn now) as are good will coffee mugs which he seems to systematically leave wherever he goes, never to be seen again. The things for the daughter-in-law and grand children are more youth centered and go in a big stocking or recycled gift bag. I’m a lifelong Presbyterian so Christmas and Thanksgiving are important celebrations for me.

  2. Mary-the boondocks blog

    Tammy this is such a smart idea. I think reusing the paper as a fire starter is brilliant. I agree with you 100% that it is such a waste to use paper to wrap gifts and then throw it out a few hours later. I just posted about another way you can be eco-friendly and that is by using scraps of fabric to wrap your gifts. We all have pieces of fabric that we don’t know what to do with. So why not reuse them to wrap gifts with? Pinning your great idea.

  3. Grandmas House DIY

    My sister in law gave us four jars of homemade jelly she and her mom made over thanksgiving. Your gift baskets are such wonderful, usable gifts! Thanks so much for sharing with us at the To grandma’s house we go link party! Hope to see you tomorrow morning when the next party starts!

  4. Helene

    My green-crunchy heart is happy too!!! I’ll have to think about those gift baskets myself!

  5. Terri Presser

    This is great, this year we are giving little home made gifts to family. I bought some cheap planter pots ($2) and am putting in soap, home made cheddar cheese, liquid soap, sweets etc. I really enjoy gifts like this, it really represents who we are and that we love to give. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings.

  6. Terry

    Where did you find your bins? I, too, give homemade gifts every year and I am always looking for creative storage ideas.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Terry, I like to search thrift stores first for baskets, casserole dishes and the like (depending upon what I’m looking for to complete the gift) If I don’t find what I need there I’ll search Dollar stores or even home improvement places. ~TxH~

  7. ColleenB.

    Our oldest daughter enjoys bathroom soaps, lotions, bubble bath, etc so one year I had made her a gift basket with all sorts of bath items, wrapped in large towel and used a wash cloth and made into bow.

  8. ColleenB.

    Great presentation and nice thing about it; Nothing is wasted. Fugal is my kind of language. I feel homemade gifts are always the best

  9. gina

    Wonderful idea! I LOVE your tips.


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