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How to Repurpose Vintage Fabric for Gift Wrapping

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Happy December everyone!  

This month is all about the Holidays, decorating our home, the trees and wrapping the presents. All of these fun activities can take a toll on a person. Especially me!  Today I’m going to show you how I do my gift wrapping with vintage fabric.   

I love to see the presents all wrapped up and placed under the tree in time for Christmas.  I remember as a little kid anxiously waiting to open those presents.  And when my kids were young I’d sent them off to bed and stay up half the night wrapping boxes and adding embellishments.  It had become a therapeutic ritual for me after all of the rushing around and shopping. 

How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the

​This of course was when the kids were little.  As they grew older I tried to be frugal with the wrapping paper because it was a waste to throw all that paper away. And believe me with four kids, it was a LOT of paper. I even tried using it as a fire starter at one point but I think it was not the best paper for that idea.  

In my effort to reduce all of this paper waste I started to wrap gifts with fabric scraps  that I had at home – and not just for Christmas.  I have lots of pieces of fabric either from old clothes or from curtains that I don’t use anymore. You can use old tablecloths, old sheets anything really as long as you like the pattern and fabric. And I know you have them too, you just need to look at them from a different perspective.  

Fabric and lace, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
This is the perfect example of taking fabric from a dress that no longer fit me and was out of style.  I simply cut a square piece, gathered it at the top of the box and tied it together. Easy peasy!
 Vintage fabric repurposed from a dress and lace to wrap gift, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
And to top it off, you can add anything.  Because I’m super frugal, I save any ribbon that comes my way.  Any embellishment that is on a box or gift or even the department stores that put pieces of ribbon on their bags. I save them all!  I have a box full of these things that I’ve collected over the years.  

​Who says we have to throw everything away?  Many of these ribbons that are on the pastry box are so pretty… of course what’s inside the pastry box is also very good, but that’s another story. 

If you have a ribbon with writing on it, there is a way to get the ink off.  The solution was provided by L’Atelier de Marie-Anne over here.  Thank you Marie-Anne, now I can use up all of my pastry ribbons!  And they are aplenty!!

Using any leftover decor to add interest to the wrapping, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the

​The lace you see below was part of a dress my girls wore when they were little and sweet.  Well they are not little anymore and they don’t wear lace, and as for sweet, well, as a mama I have to say they are still sweet!
Lace repurposed from a child's dress, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
The pink ribbon is from a wedding favor.  The lilac ribbon was a strap of a blouse that no longer fits them.  I made the fabric into  pillows … of course!
Ribbon taken from wedding favors, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
This package was wrapped with fabric from a shirt.  And why not, if the recipient is a guy it is very appropriate and has a certain charm. 
Repurposed flannel shirt into gift wrapping, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
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​I made this tag by cutting a circle and then using an old hole punch I found to make this pattern. 
 Tag made with hole punch in L shape, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
In this case, I placed the fabric so that one end was longer than the other end and simply twisted it and then tied the two ends together on top. 
Wrapping a tall box, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
Of course this option is good for my pocketbook too. No need to spend money on paper that I will end up throwing out after a day. 
How to add color and fun to gift wrapping, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
But the most important reason I do all this is because I get to give the landfill a break. These fabrics have lived a full life as dresses, shirts, you name it.  If I can extend that life just a bit longer it makes my repurposing heart happy.  Once you open your present you can either save the fabric or toss it out, either way it has served two purposes already!
Using all types of fabrics with different patterns, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
Are you wondering why I called this project vintage?  Well the fabrics happen to be vintage, at least that’s what they look like to me. You of course, can use any fabric that grabs your fancy.  I just like this look a lot.  Plus I can get rid of my fabric stash…. shhh, it’s threatening to take over the house. 
Adding beads and white ribbon to a wrapping, How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
Now I know that my suggestion is not for everyone.  Not everyone has the time or the resources to do this, because let’s face it my fabric stash is almost as big as my basement.  But in the future, if you have some article of clothing that is pretty, keep it around because you just never know…

I hope you have enjoyed my ideas on how to repurpose vintage fabric (or any fabric for that matter) for gift wrapping. Have you ever wrapped your gifts in unusual ways?

Using fabric and left over embellishments to wrap gifts. How to Repurpose vintage fabric for gift wrapping, the
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Kathy A

Saturday 18th of January 2020

Loved your idea Mary. With 2 kids (now grown) we considered it a good Christmas when we filled the woodstove 4x with the wrapping paper. Is there ANYTHING green in that statement? My Depression-era mom saved and ironed paper and ribbon. I consider it a fire hazaard and buy the cheapest stuff I can find after Christmas! Well, I started sewing cloth bags with pretty ribbons/cord/lace set into the side seam for my church's bazaar and family. One friend and I sent it back and forth for 3 years! My kids could have cared less about keeping these bags so they'd come back home with me! Then I started using my cooky tins and vintage tins, too. I'm not above saving an oatmeal box either! This last year I wrapped cereal boxes (top cut off) in wrapped paper, added yarn/ribbon handles for gift box/bags and made toilet paper roll "pillow packs" for jewelry. Sold sets of 4 different sizes as a set at the bazaar for a measly $1. My town's transfer station does not recycle lightweight cardboard and THAT hurts my Scotch-Irish-Polish sense of thrift!


Monday 5th of December 2016

What a great idea. A nice twist.


Monday 5th of December 2016

Thank you Kellie. I try to go for the unexpected sometimes. Don't want to bore my readers (wink)!


Monday 5th of December 2016

Mary, I like your attention to frugality. In our house growing up, we had to cut wrapping paper off carefully, then put back in the box to be reused next year. Today when I see young folks ripping off the beautiful paper, I can't help but shudder at the waste. Old habits are hard to break. When I was grown, I told myself I wasn't continuing that tradition, but I feel guilty every time I tear paper off...LOL. I'm surprised to hear the paper doesn't burn very well.


Monday 5th of December 2016

Florence the frugality came out of the fact that we had the crisis upon us but even with four kids you are always watching your pennies. I used to do the same thing when I was a kid, learned it from my mom. We would carefully unwrap the presents and reuse the paper. The paper is not good for the fireplace because the colors are toxic when burned. It burns just fine but is not good for inhaling .


Monday 5th of December 2016

I love this idea Mary. We donate most of our old cloths to the hospice, but I have lots of fabric scraps that piling up in the craft cupboard waiting for some kind of inspiration and what better way to save the environment and some money than to use them to wrap Christmas presents


Monday 5th of December 2016

I usually just keep them around till the right project comes along but I had really overdone it lately. I needed to use them somewhere. Why not for Christmas?


Monday 5th of December 2016

I love it! I will steal this idea, actually the whole article. I hope you won't mind to quote your idea on my blog. :)


Monday 5th of December 2016

Gabi, I am glad to hear that you like it. It is an easy and eco-friendly way to celebrate without breaking the bank. I would be happy if you used a photo and a quote and even linked back, no problem at all.

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