DIY & Crafts

How to wrap gifts with eco-friendly fabric

By: Tina Anson Mine

Photography by Ryan Brook/TC Media Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Ryan Brook/TC Media

DIY & Crafts

How to wrap gifts with eco-friendly fabric

By: Tina Anson Mine
Furoshiki have been used for centuries in Japan. These simple squares of cloth can be tied in many different ways to carry all kinds of objects: gifts, schoolbooks, bottles and more.

They’re the original eco-friendly totes, and the Japanese government and environmental groups are encouraging citizens to return to this ancient way of carrying around daily necessities. For a visual guide to dozens of ways to fold your furoshiki, visit

You need:
  • 2 pieces lightweight quilting cotton in contrasting colours (1 x 1.1 m / 40 x 44 inches to 1.2 x 1.1 m / 48 x 44 inches)
  • Thread to match
  • Rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and self-healing cutting mat
  • Pins and scissors
  • Knitting needle or chopstick
  • Wash-out fabric marker or pencil

Take a look at a large image of this eco-friendly gift wrapping idea.

To make:
1. Prepare fabric: Using rotary cutter and acrylic ruler and working on self-healing cutting mat, cut fabric squares. For medium furoshiki, cut one 94 cm (37-inch) square from each fabric piece; for large furoshiki, cut one 110 cm (44-inch) square from each fabric piece.

2. Make furoshiki: Place squares, right sides together, on work surface, smoothing out wrinkles and aligning edges.

3. Pin together along each edge, leaving 8 cm (3-inch) gap at centre of 1 edge. Mark beginning and end of gap with extra pins.

4. Starting and stopping at either side of gap and using 1 cm (1/2-inch) seam allowance, stitch squares together, removing pins as you stitch and back-stitching at beginning and end.

5. With scissors, trim seam allowances at each corner.

6. Turn right side out through gap. Use knitting needle to poke out corners. Press raw edges inside and pin.

7. Press remaining edges and pin layers together along each edge. Measure 1 cm (1/2 inch) in from each edge; with fabric marker, mark where measurements intersect to create pivot points.

8. Topstitch square, 1 cm (1/2 inch) from edges, pivoting at each pivot point. Press.

Watch as executive editor Tina Anson-Mine wraps a gift box and a couple bottles of wine easily and expertly using furoshiki techniques.

This story was originally titled "That's A Wrap" in the January 2013 issue.

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DIY & Crafts

How to wrap gifts with eco-friendly fabric