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Gift wrapping with fabric or furoshiki

Wrapping paper is designed for a single use, and the dyes and synthetic additives used to produce it render most types unrecyclable. Make your gift giving more eco-friendly with these methods inspired by the Japanese furoshiki, a traditional way to wrap with fabric.

You can buy scraps from a fabric store or repurpose a bandanna, tea towel, or a thin tablecloth. Select a piece of lightweight cloth that is about three times the size of the gift. If you are cutting from a larger piece of fabric, use pinking shears or hem the edges to prevent fraying.

You can offer the cloth as part of your gift or reclaim it to wrap future presents.

Method 1

This method is ideal for wrapping books and other square objects.

furoshiki (japanese) fabric gift wrapping for a square object

Method 2

This method works well for gifts that include several small items.

furoshiki christmas wrapping for multiple gifts

Method 3

This method is best for wrapping wine, olive oil, or other bottled goods.

furoshiki christmas wrapping for bottles


This article originally appeared as “Zero-Waste Gift Wrapping.”

Photography by: John Mowers; Illustrations by Colin Hayes

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