by Joanne Gilbert of Drawn To Letters
If you are like me you have received invitations to a few holiday gatherings by now and are probably looking forward to making time to relax and share food or a glass of wine with friends. I thought this would be a good time to remind or introduce you to a quick elegant no waste method of presenting hard to wrap gifts or goodies to the hostess. I hope you will like it so much that you consider it for all the gifts you wrap this season!
I love this “East meets West” solution to gift wrapping. I learned about it in recent years because the Japanese government has been promoting it to reduce the plastic bag refuse and other gift packaging in Japan. It is perfect for western holiday gifts too. A bottle of wine or sparkling fruit juice is easy to wrap. I love the idea of presenting even the most humble gift in a way that celebrates the season.
Called Furoshiki by the Japanese, this ancient method of carrying and exchanging gifts is incredibly easy as it requires just a few folds and square knots–no sewing or specially sized shiny bags with handles to transport your breakable gift! It was practiced for centuries by Chinese and Korean cultures before modern packaging was invented. I have been doing this soft wrapping for the past few seasons and it is amazing how easy it is after everyone unwraps their gifts! (Nothing to crush, separate or put into the trash except the tags.) Two bottles of wine are even easier to wrap and carry by the”bunny ears”.
I have attached easy downloadable diagrams for you to wrap a 1 bottle or 2 bottles of wine using a 36 inch square (91 cm) of cloth. A smaller 18 inch square (46 cm) will wrap jam/salsa etc. Choose a fabric that is pretty but not limited to the holiday season so your friends or you can reuse it for year round gifting or a home décor project. I choose to leave the raw edges and I don’t think they detract. If you want to hem or zig zag fabric edges you can.
Finish by tying on one of my Drawn to Letters “Be Merry” gift tags downloadable here. You can wrap a few bottles and just write your host a personal wish as you head out the door to celebrate.
If you are inspired to do more, here is a whole group of “hard to wrap” fabric tied gifts.
Instructions for all these and more are in the diagrams here courtesy of the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, or you can see demonstrations online. Several businesses sell beautiful hand painted and formal Furoshiki cloths in silk too.
I hope your holiday gatherings leave behind nothing but good feelings and the promise of more good times ahead. Thanks for letting me share with you. Next month we’ll be writing those post-holiday thank you notes and I’ll share some card designs from Drawn to Letters. Until then, wrap drink and be merry!