Fabric Gift Wrap

Image: Gifts wrapped furoshiki-style in fabric. Text: Fabric Wrap.

Fabric Gift Wrap

Post by Iris Carden

Right now, a lot of us are looking to save money. One of my favourite ways to do that is to reuse things as much as possible. Cutting down waste cuts costs and is better for the planet.

As Easter is coming up, and many of us are going to be giving gifts to family and friends, I thought I’d share with you one way I’ve discovered to cut down on single-use stuff (in this case gift wrapping paper.)

I’ve started wrapping gifts in fabric. I first discovered it with a YouTube video. (I would give you the link if I could find it again, but I can’t.) A woman showed the various ways her Japanese mother would wrap gifts using the Japanese art of furoshiki. My first thought was, “Of course the country that invented origami would also have cool ways of folding fabric.” Watching, I realised it wasn’t actually that complicated. I just needed to find an easy guide

The guide below, was released by the Japanese Department of the Environment. It gives simple instructions for how to wrap a number of different shaped objects. I printed it off and keep a laminated copy stuck on the fridge.

Chart depicting a number of alternative ways of wrapping objects with fabric.
Image from the Japanese Department for the Environment

I began by buying some fairly cheap satin scarves to wrap things in. You can get scarves cheap on eBay or similar sites, or, even better, buy second hand from a charity op shop. They just have to be square. Because I sew I have recently started making wrapping cloths out of leftover fabric scraps (step-by-step instructions will follow if you want to try it.)

It’s handy to keep a collection of wraps (scarves or home-made ones, or proper furoshiki cloths if you can get them), in a variety of sizes.

I have started wrapping all my gifts in fabric. If the person who receives the gift has a use for the scarf or wrap, they keep it as an extra gift. If they don’t want to reuse it, I collect it back and wrap another gift in it later.

You might notice on the photo on top of the page, I may have gone a bit overboard this time. I used my embroidery machine and some scrap calico to make reusable name tags for gifts for my family.

My family have another money-saving and stomach-saving tradition for Easter. Instead of everyone buying chocolate eggs for everyone else, and us all having far too much chocolate and too much expense, we all give some money to one person who goes out and buys one gift each for everyone. Everyone gets a nice treat, but no-one gets too much or spends too much.

Making Your Own Double Sided Fabric Wraps

1. Cut two squares of fabric. (Image demonstrates.)
2. Sew right sides together, leaving a 10cm gap for turning. (Image demonstrates.)
3. Clip the corners, near the seam. (Image demonstrates).
4 Turn right sides out. (Image demonstrates.)

5. Use a fancy stitch to sew around the edge. (Image demonstrates.)
6. Your double sided fabric wrap is finished.

Note: for podcast listeners, the post includes an image of how to wrap items in furoshiki cloths, and step-by-step photographic instructions as to how to make double-sided wrapping cloths.

By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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