More and more consumers are making the switch from wasteful paper gift wrap to sustainable, reusable fabric wrap. Shiki Wrap is soft, stretchy and super easy to pull around gifts for a sleek look. Still, if you’re new to the world of reusable gift wrap, wrapping can present challenges. Here are some tips for making the process of wrapping gifts an easy and fun experience.
1. Make Sure You Have the Right Sized Gift Wrap
One of the best things about eco-friendly wrapping paper is that you don’t need to hunt down the scissors or the tape because the fabric is simply tied around the gift, but you do need to ensure you have the right size wrap for the present you are wrapping. Unlike paper gift wrap where you only need enough paper to cover the gift, with fabric gift wrap you will need enough fabric to tie with – typically a simple knot tie at the top for a ribbon-like effect. Most gift-givers who are new to sustainable gift wrap tend to pick a size that is too small for their gift and quickly learn that they need a larger wrap.
A simple way to see if you have the right size gift wrap is to center your gift in the middle of the wrap and pull the corners over the object. If the corner covers over half of the object, you have the right size wrap. This tip works even with gifts that are asymmetrical or oddly-shaped.
2. The Easiest Sustainable Gift Wrap Methods Start with a Diamond Shape
Gift givers who are used to using paper gift wrap are in the habit of centering their gift on a square wrap. The trick to achieving a beautiful wrap with ecofriendly fabric gift wrap is to start by laying your wrap out in a diamond shape. Then, you simply center the gift and bring the corners up for the wrap. The simplest fabric gift wrap method is to first tie the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock corners together in a simple square knot. Then bring the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock corners together to tie and tidy.
For many presents, the bottom knot adds a little height to the top knot for a ribbon-like effect, but for others, you might prefer just one knot. In that case, instead of tying the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock corners, simply fold those corners under the gift and use one knot only.
Simplest Furoshiki Knot: Step 1
Simplest Furoshiki Knot: Step 2
Simplest Furoshiki Knot: Step 3
How to Use Furoshiki
credit: Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan
Once you master the simplest wraps, you may want to graduate to more intricate, and beautiful, wraps for gifts. A terrific resource on this topic is Chizuko Morita’s Gift Wrapping with Textiles: Stylish Ideas from Japan.
Chizuko Morita on the joy of wrapping gifts with fabric: “When you wrap something in cloth, the person unwrapping it is left with that single piece of fabric, which can form part of the gift. Not only is it fun to choose material to match the gift, but, when you hand someone a gift wrapped in cloth, you are also showing just how satisfying wrapping in cloth can be.”
3. Avoid Bulky Fabrics When Wrapping Gifts
Eco-conscious gift givers sometimes try to reuse fabrics they have on hand around the house or in their closets for sustainably wrapping gifts, but the process can sometimes create more waste than necessary or intended and result in an uninviting present. Most recyclable fabrics around the house are worn or stained sheets and bedding, clothing that has fallen out of fashion, worn socks, towels, etc. Most of these fabrics are too thick to work with effectively as gift wrap.
Even some fabrics that are currently sold as sustainable fabric gift wrap (also known as furoshiki) are not ideal for the purposes of gift wrapping. Whether making or purchasing sustainable fabric gift wrap, remember that the point is to encourage reuse of the fabric while also sparking joy on the occasion.
Reusable gift wraps like Shiki Wrap come in various sizes ideal for gift wrapping with an ample amount of softness and stretch, available in designs that fit various occasions.