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Furoshiki – A Sustainable And Eco Friendly Way To Wrap Gifts

November 25, 2021

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furoshiki - a sustainable and eco friendly way to wrap gifts

Have you heard of Furoshiki? It’s a Japanese cloth wrapping technique which can be used to wrap gifts in an environmentally friendly way. If you’ve ever felt concerned about the amount of waste created from gift wrapping, then Furoshiki is for you!

Christmas is rapidly approaching and, if your house is anything like mine, you’ll spend Boxing Day cleaning up mountains of gift wrap that has been ripped or too badly damaged to be reused.

But, there is a sustainable and eco friendly way to wrap your Christmas gifts this year. I got the idea from this article about sustainable Christmas gift wrapping, but it got me thinking about other gift wrapping, not just Christmas.

There are so many ways to wrap a gift without wasting paper or other unrecyclable materials. Here’s what we came up with.

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Furoshiki Christmas Wrapping

Let’s begin with a Furoshiki Christmas wrapping idea because it’s nearly Christmas so chances are good you might be looking for eco friendly ways to wrap your Christmas gifts.

The original article from Elf By Stealth suggests using a Christmas tea towel to wrap up a gift. We gave it a try and it worked! I think it actually looks quite cute and will not look out of place sitting under our Christmas tree.

furoshiki christmas wrapping

One thing to note though is that it needs to be a fairly small gift for this type of wrapping to work.

A true Furoshiki technique would usually have you tie up tie ends of your wrapping fabric but, on this occasion, the fabric wasn’t quite big enough to have enough length left over to tie, so we actually cheated a little bit and secured the fabric with tape underneath.

Of course you could use any type of Christmas fabric to do this – you can no doubt buy it by the metre at places like Spotlight, but I happened to have an unused Christmas tea towel lying around so we gave it a go.

Using a tea towel also has the added bonus of your recipient receiving a second gift as they can go on to use the tea towel as well. You can often pick up relatively inexpensive Christmas tea towels at places like Kmart or $2 shop type stores.

Or, stock up on supplies straight after Christmas and keep them in the cupboard until next Christmas – suddenly the process becomes not only good for the environment but good for your hip pocket too!

If you’re looking for other fun, eco friendly ways to wrap Christmas gifts, check out their full article and video here, otherwise keep reading for my other Furoshiki inspired wrapping techniques.

Furoshiki – Wrapping Presents In Fabric

I wanted to give true Furoshiki a try so I purchased a Furoshiki wrapping cloth from Amazon. This is the one I used:

It’s a lovely piece of cloth and was easier to work with and wrap than the tea towel. However, it was still on the small side, so you are limited to wrapping fairly small gifts with this technique.

And, it was quite expensive adding around $20 to the cost of the gift you are giving. I have thought some more about this and I reckon if you ever see pretty fabric scarves around – ones that are more of a square shape, maybe even like a large bandanna – then it could be worth stocking up on them to use for sustainable gift wrapping.

That way, again, your recipient gets to enjoy a pretty scarf as well as the gift you are presenting them with.

Still, we were happy with how our gift looked when wrapped with this traditional Furoshiki wrapping cloth.

japanese fabric gift wrapping

DIY Furoshiki Cloth

OK, so this method is probably not technically Furoshiki at all, but learning about this gift wrapping technique got me thinking outside the box a bit and I tried to brainstorm other reusable types of fabric that could be used to wrap gifts.

In this day and age when we don’t use plastic bags for our grocery shopping anymore, I knew there were lots of options available in the reusable shopping bag market.

I was looking for something either bright and colourful or pretty as well as being reusable or useful.

Reusable shopping bags like this fit the bill perfectly!

They’re nice and large so it’s a simple matter of putting your gift into the bag and then tying up the handles to make a pretty bow! I have already used this DIY furoshiki idea for a couple of birthday presents and they have both been very well received.

Now they have a new shopping bag (which can fold up nice and small to fit in a handbag) as well as the gift I bought them. I think the cost of the bag added about $4 extra to the price of the gift which is perfectly reasonable for sustainable gift wrapping.

Here is one of my creations using this technique:

diy furoshiki cloth

So, whether it’s for Christmas, birthdays or some other gift giving occasion, it’s perfectly possible to wrap your gifts in an eco friendly way.

And there’s no fear of missing out, your recipient still gets the fun of unwrapping a gift and finding out what’s inside, but they also get the added bonus of a new tea towel, scarf, reusable shopping bag or whatever other type of fabric you’ve been clever enough to think of (I’m thinking brightly coloured pillow cases would also be great to work with).

And you get to feel virtuous and good that you’ve done the right thing by the environment by learning all about Furoshiki and sustainable gift wrapping and creating a zero waste gift giving event – go you!

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