Make Your Own Reusable Wrapping Paper

Reusable Gift Wrap

Who has finished their Christmas shopping? Or are you a ‘leave to the last minute’ type? I am not as organised as I normally am at this time of year, so I have a lot of catching up to do this week!

If you’re super organised, you might be thinking about wrapping your gifts ready for placing under the tree. If this is you, then I have the post for you.

According to Wrag Wrap, we send around five million tonnes of wrapping paper to landfill every year in the UK. Plus, each year a forest the size of Wales is required to provide all the paper used in Britain.

Lots of cheaper Christmas paper in the shops contain fibres which are not strong enough to recycle. Coupled with dyed, laminated varieties as well as those containing non-paper additives such as glitter and plastic, it often leads to paper going to landfill.
With sustainability and the environment now taking centre stage, it’s essential we play our part in protecting the planet. So, what can we do to reduce the amount of paper going to landfill?


Have you heard about the art of Furoshiki? This ancient technique is the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth. The term, which literally translates to “bath (furo) spread (shiki)”, was first used in the Nara period (710 -794 B.C.). It was primarily used to transport important goods and treasures found in Japanese temples.

Since then, this practice as evolved into a popular practice in cultures around the world as a versatile and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional wrapping paper. Not only is the fabric pretty, but it can be re-used by the recipient too.​​​​​​

How to use Furoshiki

It’s easy to get started with Furoshiki, you just need some colourful cloth and you’re good to go. The two most common sizes you can buy are 45 x 45 centimetres (17 x 17 inches) and 70 x 70 centimetres (28 x 28 inches). The only stipulation is that the cloth needs to be square. Why not have a look around your local shops or online to find your ideal pattern?

With so many patterns and colours to choose from it can be hard to decide on just one design. If you can’t find cloth that meets your tastes, you could always make your own instead? Coordinate with your existing colour scheme or go wild with some outrageous, or even funny, themes. The choice is yours!

To start making your own, firstly you’ll need a plain coloured cloth or material, making sure it is square. A bandana is ideal for this. The edges on a bandana are already finished so there’s no sewing involved, bonus! Of course, you could always sew your own wrapping cloth should you be a sewing wizard.​​​

​​​​​​​Next, decide on the theme or design you want your wrapping ‘paper’ to be. You could use a stencil and stencil brushes to print onto your cloth. Acrylic paint is the recommended medium for this too.
Tip: Be sure to place some newspaper and wax paper underneath the cloth so the paint doesn’t stick to it as it dries.

If you’re feeling creative, then you could also freehand designs onto the surface with paint brushes.

Another thing to note is that bandana material tends to be quite thin, making it a little see through. It’s ideal for all those plain boxes though. You could always buy darker coloured material - gold and silver on black cloth would look amazing under the tree!

Once you have completed your design, let it dry and then you’re ready to wrap your gifts.​​​

Tying your Gift

You can get started by using the simple method below:
  1. Place the fabric onto a flat surface with the pattern facing down
  2. Place the gift in the middle at an angle (if you’re wrapping a box, you want the corners of the box to point towards the edge of the fabric rather than parallel)
  3. Grab two opposite corners and knot them over the gift
  4. Do the same with the remaining two corners
  5. Add your own finishing touches such as tags, labels, twine, and other decorations. You’re done!
​​​​​​​There are a few methods to tie your gifts, even ones for those bottles or oddly shaped items. There’s plenty of books on the various techniques if you’re interested.
Why not have a go yourself? It’s a lovely activity for both adults and children - you could even make it a family tradition every year.​​​

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