Fun and Eco-friendly gift wrapping!

Are you looking for a different way to wrap gifts, without the waste, and perhaps a change from gift bags?  Here’s something creative and beautiful to do with kids!  It’s a little like origami, but easier.  It’s super strong for carrying, reusable in so many ways, and can be cheaper than gift bags!  It’s the ancient Japanese art of gift wrapping using a scarf, called Furoshiki!

Step 1:
Obtain square scarves in as many colours and patterns as you like.  The bigger the better.  Any material is fine, including silk, nylon, polyester and cotton.  They may need a quick ironing.  If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can find them at thrift stores for only a dollar or two.

Step 2:
Lay out your scarf on a table or the floor, with the nicest side facing down.  Place gift in the centre of the scarf.

Step 3:
Take two opposite corners up to the centre, and tie them in a double knot.  You should have two “ears” popping out of the knot snugly on top of the gift.

Step 4:
Take the other two corners, and tie them in the same way, a double knot right on top of the gift.  You should now see four “ears” popping out of the top of the knots.  Arrange those corners so they pop out to the sides like a four-pointed star.

Voilà!  You have a colourfully wrapped gift to give.  And the receiver has a scarf to use again for other gifts, or to keep warm, or to tie up again as a bag or purse!

There are many ways to tie gifts and things.  Do an online search for a neat way to wrap books or bottles.  There are videos to guide you, too!
Here are some sites:
http://furoshiki.com/techniques
http://bristolandbrooks.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/environmentally-friendly-gift-wrapping/

Happy gift wrapping!

Tara Beninger lives in Victoria and likes playing in nature and playing with children.