Creative and Eco Friendly Ways to Gift Wrap a Book

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I have been gifted these personalised books from In The Book

We all know it’s what’s on the inside that matters but when giving a gift sometimes it’s nice to put a bit of extra effort in so that the outside looks good too. I always feel special if someone gives me a beautifully wrapped gift so I figure if I wrap a gift nicely the recipient will feel special too right?

We also know that each year thousands of tonnes of gift wrap just ends up in landfill. It would be nice to strike a balance, gift wrap that makes the recipient feel you have made an effort for them without using masses of the earth’s resources unnecessarily.

I love reading, I always have and so books are often a go to for me when I’m thinking of gift ideas. I know quite a few people do the 3 gifts idea for children: something to wear, something to play with and something to read. When our children were little they always had a book or 2 in their Christmas stockings and they were usually the first thing that Santa bought!

Some children just love books and devour them at every opportunity (our daughter even used to prop a book behind the taps so she could carry on reading whilst she brushed her teeth!) and some need a little more encouragement to find their love of reading. What could be more fun than finding yourself in a story? In The Book produce a whole range of personalisable books where you can add a name which will then appear throughout the story. You can add a message too and in some books a photo as well. In The Book sent me a couple of books to see what I thought and to come up with some creative ways of wrapping them.

I choose a selection of hard backed books, some of them came in lovely boxes so almost don’t need any more gift wrapping, they could just have a ribbon round and be all done!

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See how the name is not just on the front but mentioned all through the story too - how lovely is that? This is a bit of a spoiler for Matthew’s Christmas gift but luckily he is too young to read the blog so I think I’ll get away with it!

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To wrap Matthew’s book in a fun but environmentally conscious way I chose to upcycle some old comic book annuals and some packaging paper that came in sheets with some flat pack furniture. You could reuse parcel paper or old plain wrapping paper too.


Make a garland of circles punched from the old comics and wrap it around the plain parcel. The garland can be reused afterwards or strung up somewhere as a decoration too.

To make a Comic Book Garland wrapped present you will need:

  • Old comics or comic book annuals

  • A 1” circle punch

  • Scissors

  • A sewing machine and thread

  • Parcel or packaging paper

  • Alphabet stamps and ink

Start by punching a load of circles from the comic book pages.

These comic books look ok in the photo but they had lots of pages falling out, puzzles and colouring pages all done and had been scribbled on over the years. They have been well used and loved as books, it was time for them to have a new purpose.

To get the punch where the pictures were I had to trim the white borders. Then you can punch circles all around the edge of the page. You’ll have to trim the holey edges off again so you can get your punch into the centre.

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I didn’t count, I just punched a heap of circles! This is only 2 pages worth and is enough for 2 long wrapping garlands.


Now you need to break out your sewing machine. I guess you could do this by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine, but it would take a lot longer. On the machine this really is a 5 minute craft.

I took this as a chance to use some of my older threads, the ones I’ve inherited and I’m not sure about how strong they still are. They seem perfectly good but I’m just not confident to use them for clothing. A project like this is a ideal way to use them up. You can just you ordinary thread of course, I just like to use what I have!

Pull a nice long end of thread to start and then just start sewing straight across the circles. Once you’ve done one, just line up the next one under the foot. If you do the same thing each time the gap between the circles will be fairly even.


You can make the garland as long as you like. To go round Matthew’s book I used 43 circles and the garland was about 4 foot or just over 1.25 metres. Truth time: It’s actually this long because my bobbin ran out of green thread but as luck would have it that was perfect!

* Just a quick note about your sewing machine needle. I’d really recommend keeping one just for sewing on paper. Swap it with the one that you’re using for fabric when sewing with paper or card and then switch it back. I don’t know for sure if it matters but if paper blunts scissors then I’m sure it can’t be good for needles either!

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I wrapped the book in the packaging paper and then wrapped the garland round 3 times, securing it with tape on the back. I like these little tape circles from Bostik, apparently they are recyclable which is a bonus.

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To finish I stamped Matthew’s name in the bottom corner. You could write it or add a gift tag if you prefer.


For the next idea I thought it would be nice to utilise the fact that the book came in such a lovely box and just add a paper ‘wrap’.

This Nursery Rhyme book have the personalised name on the front and inside pages but the name doesn’t appear throughout the book in the same way as the story book. The nursery rhymes themselves are in their traditional format, the words we all know and learnt ourselves as children. There is a space in this one to add a photo, but as Olivia is not my child I’m not showing you that here of course.


This time I upcycled an old book. You can see quite how “falling apart” the book was!

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This is super simple.

Take a few pages, trim the edge and glue them together to make a long strip. Just a simple paper glue like Pritt Stick is ideal.

Cut a strip of packaging paper a little wider than the book pages and wrap it around the box. Secure on the back with a little tape. Then wrap the book page strip around over the top and secure that too.

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I finished the gift wrap with some twine and a little gift tag. You can find the tutorial on making the gift tag here.

upcycled book gift wrap

There you have it, two fun and creative upcycling ways to wrap a book. You could use these ideas for other gifts of course, not just books! Don’t forget to check out In The Book too, if you are looking for personalised books. They have a selection of books for adults as well as their lovely children’s books and ship to most countries (but with a few restrictions due to the current pandemic situation at the moment)

In the Book are currently running a competition on their Instagram, it’s all about coming up with creative ways to wrap a book and you could win a year of Disney + ! How exciting, you have until 20th December to enter.


I’ll be sharing these ideas at these link ups