The most thoughtful gifts begin with setting an intention to spark joy. From selecting the perfect item to writing a special note in the accompanying card, every part of a gift is a chance to express love and gratitude. But it’s the final step, wrapping it with care, that adds an element of wonder.
One of the most beautiful ways to wrap gifts is with furoshiki. In Japan, these traditional wrapping cloths offer a sustainable alternative to single-use wrapping paper. Made from silk or cotton, furoshiki feature rich colors and intricate patterns that feel both festive and timeless. After unwrapping, they can be repurposed as home decor, a tote for carrying lunch to work or even a neck scarf. What better way to spark joy than with a gift that keeps giving?
Using furoshiki requires only a few knots and twists. There are different wrapping techniques to accommodate goods of all types and sizes — even those oddly-shaped items that feel impossible to wrap! Here are three simple methods for hard-to-wrap shapes so that you can finish every gift with a tidy bow — or knot! — this holiday season.
For Many Items: Tesage Bukuro
Ideal for: A hand-curated set of sustainable self-care products, a selection of hand-baked holiday treats or a household gift of different types of Japanese incense.
Step 1: Group your collection of gifts in the center of the cloth.
Step 2: In one hand, lift corners A and B. Tie them together to form a tidy knot.
Step 3: Repeat with corners C and D.
Step 4: Use the knotted sides as handles for easy carrying and delivery.
For Round Objects: Suika Tsutsumi
Ideal for: Round bud vases, a spherical incense holder or artisanal globe soap.
Step 1: Place your item in the center of the cloth.
Step 2: Lift corners A and B. Tie them together. Repeat with corners C and D.
Step 3: Slip corners C and D through the opening formed by A and B.
Step 4: Lift corners C and D to form a carrying handle, adjusting the knot formed by A and B to center it.
For Bottles or Gift Sets: Bin Tsutsumi
Ideal for: A host gift of red and white wines for a holiday dinner, a gift for the home cook of Japanese shoyu and rice vinegar or a couple’s set of porcelain ceramic cups
Step 1: Lay the bottles on their sides in the middle of the cloth. The top of the bottles should face out.
Step 2: Lift corner D, then wrap it over both bottles toward corner B.
Step 3: Roll the fabric and bottles toward corner B, forming a baguette.
Step 4: Lift corners A and C, then tie them into a tidy knot. The bottom of the bottles will form a flat surface, making it easy to keep them upright under a tree or set them on a loved one’s front porch!