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Reusable Gift Wrap for the Holidays

Hello! My name is Malorie and I’m excited to share my first project here on the Minerva blog! I mostly sew clothes for myself and love to find inspiration online in the sewing community. 

We all have that friend, the one that presents you a gift wrapped expertly with tape that doesn’t show. She wraps Christmas gifts with a theme. Buys real grosgrain ribbon. Adds a sprig of pine. Maybe even splurges on that expertly designed and very expensive paper that only comes in sheets! 

I am not that friend. I love and admire those who wrap their gifts with so much thought and attention, and I even think about those picture perfect gifts as I shove my present into a shopping bag with whatever random tissue paper I can find. I say that I am trying to be as green as possible by using my leftover large format calendar sheets, previously gifted bags and craft paper to wrap--and while that is true and a part of my wrapping philosophy--it is also easy. Fun washi tape, calendar sheet, and I’m done. The only problem is, I have three kids and between their birthdays and friend birthday parties and Christmas, I’m starting to run out of my stash. I don’t make a habit of buying rolls of wrapping paper, and I hit a new low when I wrapped a friend’s gift in crepe paper. 

I started researching reusable gift wrapping as a way to be environmentally conscious and to save time and energy wrapping gifts. I’ve spent too many Christmas Eve nights wrapping while watching multiple movies like Home Alone, Die Hard, and my personal favorite, You’ve Got Mail (It’s a Christmas movie if Christmas is in it), exhausted by the end and usually out of tape. My research led me to learn more about Furoshiki, which is a Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used for wrapping objects and gifts. The practice is hundreds of years old and there are many unique ways to wrap and tie anything from gifts to lunches and groceries. I fell in love with the idea of having something so practical and beautiful in my home. I had seen these cloths for sale in Japanese stores before but had not thought of making my own. They tick every box for me--reusable, easy to use and beautiful. For the first time, the idea of wrapping presents filled me with excitement!

Minerva has such a great selection of cotton printed fabric and I selected a print that was a little more fun and festive but also a color that would be opaque enough to cover a present from my kids’ prying eyes. I had consulted charts that had listed different sizes of Furoshiki and settled on two common sizes, 27 inches and 17 inches square. I also cut one extra large square of 38 inches and any smaller squares to use up the remaining yardage. These sizes are a great place to start but obviously you can make any size you need. Out of 4 yards I made 14 wraps. I used a rotary cutter and cutting mat which made for a fast job. While you could decide to serge the edges, or even leave them raw, I decided to fold and iron each edge ¼ inch twice to create a nice finished edge. Then I sewed each edge with matching thread. It took me about an hour to cut, two hours to iron and one hour to sew everything up. I spread the process out over several days (and tv shows) and it was a quick satisfying project. 

I love how these look together and am inspired to make more from my own stash or piece together from scraps. I made a point to try and wrap not just easy rectangles but ball shapes and stuffed animals, and I like how adaptable they are to whatever you need to wrap up. I’m just so excited about hemmed squares! Have I convinced you yet? I hope you have been as inspired as I have been to try something new this holiday season.

I can’t wait to share more projects with you! Until then, you can find me on Instagram at @maloriemakes

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