Wrap, rip, recycle! DIY recycled and recyclable gift wrap for pets, including custom stamped wrapping paper, pillow boxes, and Christmas crackers. Just for fun! My dogs LOVE tearing into boxes, paper, cardboard rolls, you name it. They’re avid recyclers, always happy to help break things down for the bin! This post shares how to prettify some common everyday recyclables into pawesome holiday or party gift wrap and pressie packaging for pets (or anyone you please).
DIY Stamped Wrapping Paper
To make your own custom wrapping papers, simply stamp away with homemade and/or favourite pre-fab stamps and some non-toxic ink (or paint). See how the easy homemade custom bone, paw, and word stamps shown in this post were created in our post on making custom stamps. You can use salvaged or bought paper to create your wrapping. This simple stamping DIY works great to dress up normal paper, butchers paper, packing paper, kraft paper, and other plain packaging.
- Non-toxic ink
Yes, wrapping is indulgent, but our dogs love ripping. It’s part of the excitement and fun. I think Oli loves it more than the gifts inside. In the past, I’ve used newspaper (our local paper is free and you can’t currently opt out) for wrapping pet presents. It works great, they have lots of fun, and it goes into the recycling afterwards; however, it can be messy due to ink transfer. Easy enough to clean up, but still messy. Especially on the faces and paws of my two very happy not-so-white dogs. Oh my. I’ve been hording used packing paper for Christmas this year instead. I also keep a roll of both kraft and butchers paper in my creative supplies. Dressing them up with stamps is just a little extra cuteness.
DIY Pillow Boxes
Reusing Cardboard Tubes to Make Pillow Boxes
To make your own pillow boxes, you’ll just need to save a few cardboard tubes. Easy and free! Toilet paper rolls are great for small boxes, while paper towels, kitchen wraps, and other larger roll items are handy for bigger sizes. If you don’t use anything that would yield a large roll but really want to make some big tubes, ask a friend or your workplace if they can save you a few.
To fold the ends but keep the body round, I like to lightly squeeze the working end of the tube to create opposing points, then fold down the sides to close the tube. If you prefer a flat traditional pillow shape, flatten the whole tube to point and crease the sides instead of just squeezing the working end. You can reopen and close the ends of either style of pillow box with care.
Adding a Wrapper to the Pillow Boxes
Your pets won’t care, but often these tubes have residue or marks on them from whatever was once attached. If you want to pretty things up, you can add a wrapper. Since these are for our dogs, we don’t want to use any ribbons, string, plastic tapes, or other riskier items for traditional wrapping. You could wrap in tissue paper to make a crack-less cracker or stick a little wrapper around the tube with a touch of non-toxic glue, like we did for these cuties. They are very very quick to make. Which is great because they aren’t meant to last long! Use with care and recycle the shredded remains.
Creating our Wrapped Pillow Boxes for Pets
Small Pet Pillow Boxes
The paw and bone stamped wrappers were created, as shown above, using small strips of stamped butchers paper just slightly longer than the circumference of the tube (overlap at the seam) and approximately the width of the tube less folded ends. The tube pinch points (see above for how to close) are opposite the wrapper seam for looks, giving a nice clear top/sides with seam mid bottom.
Large Pet Pillow Boxes (Crack-less Christmas Crackers)
The larger WOOF and MEOW wrappers were created using coloured paper and stamps to create wrappers to cover the whole tube. The paper is cut just slightly longer than the circumference of the tube (overlap at the seam) and approximately the width of the tube. Mine are a touch shy as the roll was ever so slightly bigger than my paper, so you can see a bit of exposed cardboard on my end folds. For best looks, if using a single word like this, you will want to stamp so that it sits opposite the closure seam of your wrap. The tube pinch points (see above for how to close) are opposite the wrapper seam for looks, giving a nice clear top/sides with seam mid bottom.
My paper-ripping pets would enjoy opening the rolls as-is, but these are pawesome for tucking a little treat or two, a few ratting bickies inside, or perhaps even a toy for a small pet. The finished tubes hold closed without any need for gluing or taping the ends if you aren’t using heavy fillers. Rigidity varies with different cardboard rolls.
🚨 Safety first, furfriends! Remember, playtime is always safer (and more fun!) together. Know what is and isn’t suitable for your specific pet, take care, and supervise. Any type of wrapping that you may use for pets, whether bought or homemade, is strictly for ripping open, not for eating! Wrapping may not be suitable for some pets. Celebrate safe.