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All About Furoshiki: The Japanese Art of Gift Wrapping

Furoshiki gift wrap

If you’re anything like us, you’ll understand when we say our love language is gift giving and gift wrapping. It’s an art form that we get to fully express on special occasions.


With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to flex our craft and try a new, sustainable approach: furoshiki Japanese gift wrapping.

What is furoshiki wrapping? We’re so happy you asked! Furoshiki gift wrapping is a tradition that originated in Japan 1,200 years ago that utilizes fabric to wrap and protect objects. Instead of using wrapping paper that ends up in landfills, furoshiki Japanese gift wrapping is a beautiful, eco-friendly and cost-effective way to wrap presents.

Woman wrapping gifts using furoshiki gift wrapping technique
Getty Images

Now you may be thinking, how do I furoshiki gift wrap? Well there are many ways to furoshiki gift wrap but everyone has to start somewhere so we’ll start with wrapping simple objects. In Japaneses gift wrapping tradition, this is called otsukai tsutsumi.

Related: How to Gift Wrap Like a Pro

Step 1: Gather Material for Your Furoshiki Gift Wrap

Since we’re starting with the otsukai tsutsumi method, find yourself a square furoshiki gift wrapping cloth. This can be any cotton, silk, polyester or even chiffon cloth as long as there is some stretch to afford you flexibility when it comes time to wrap. Repurposing or thrifting vintage scarves or table cloths (depending on the size of your gift) for your furoshiki gift wrapping is a great first step and you’re guaranteed to find one of a kind patterns.

Step 2: Check the Size of Your Fabric

Once you’ve found the right cloth, lay it down on a flat surface diagonally and place the item in the center. Make sure to double check the size of the cloth, by pulling up the corners to meet, to ensure it covers the item!

Related: Try This Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap For a Zero-Waste Christmas


Step 3: Cross Opposing Corners Over Your Gift

Once you’re sure the furoshiki gift wrapping cloth is the right size, position the item so the flat edges correspond to the cloth’s corners. Take the corner closest to you and lay it over the gift, tucking the extra fabric under the gift. Do the same with the corner across from you (don’t worry about tucking in the extra fabric on this side).

Step 4: Tie the Remaining Corners of Fabric Into a Decorative Knot

You’ll notice most of the gift is covered at this point, leaving two ends of fabric on either side, which is perfect — you’re in the home stretch! Take those pieces and narrow them to line up with the gift. Hold the corners and pull them over to the middle and tie them in a knot. Now tie it again in either another knot or a lovely bow.

Various presents are wrapped using furoshiki gift wrap
“IMG_9162” by insatiablemunch is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

And that’s it! It’s that simple. You can recreate this technique easily with any size square or rectangular gift. It can even be applied to tricky-to-wrap round objects.

So before you reach for paper gift wrap, look around your home for fabric or scarves to repurpose and try furoshiki Japanese gift wrap this holiday season!

Related: Make Gift Wrapping a Breeze with Tiffany Pratt’s DIY Takeout Containers

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