Think Outside the (Gift)box: 3 Ways to Wrap Gifts With Fabric

Using fabric to wrap gifts is not a new idea, but there are always new creative ways to do it. One method we love is the Japanese Furoshiki method, which uses a silk scarf to wrap up a gift. The Furoshiki method is not only beautiful, but it also result is two gifts: the scarf and the gift wrapped in it.

gift wrapped in fabric

Of course, as quilters, we all have fabric we’re eager to use. If you don’t have a scarf, you can wrap the gift in your fabric scraps. If you’re giving the gift to another crafter, they’ll be glad to get the fabric as a present!

Here are a few ideas for pretty, fabric-wrapped gifts inspired by the Japanese method.

Supplies needed:

  • The gift inside a box (mine is 4″ x 6″ x 14″)
  • One yard of fabric (adjust as needed for your size box)
  • Safety pins (optional)

The Simple Knot

Step 1:

Prepare the fabric by pressing it and making sure all creases and folds have been ironed out.

Lay the fabric flat on a table or large surface with the right side down. Place the box in the center of the fabric and rotate it so that it is on a diagonal to the fabric sides.

Step 2:

Japanese Fabric Wrapping

Take the right corner of the fabric and fold it toward the box. Now take the folded edge of the fabric and place it on top of the box as shown above. 

the second fold

Repeat with the left side of the fabric: Fold the corner of the fabric toward the box, then fold it again so that the folded edge is on top of the box. Notice the the entire top of the box is now covered. Adjust the folds if needed to make sure your box top is also completely covered.

Step 3:

folding the corners

Next, loosely gather the corners of the fabric nearest you and away from you and tie them together. Use enough force to securely enclose the box, but not enough to make the fabric look distorted or stretched. At this point, it should look like the photo above.

Step 4:

tying the knot

Take the two loose ends and tie them again into a knot. Pull the knot tight enough so that it won’t loosen. Then adjust the knot so that the fabric looks nice. Notice how the fabric is now securely tied but doesn’t look too tight.

Step 5:

tuck the loose ends under

Fold the loose ends of the fabric under the top and bottom sides of the knotted fabric. The fabric should slide into place and stay secure with minimal adjusting. The gift box is now wrapped and ready to be given!

The Tailored Knot

This is a variation on the first method, with a slightly more tailored look.

Step 1:

place the box diagonally on the fabric

Like in the first method, place the gift box on the center of the fabric at a diagonal. Fold the corner closest to you (the bottom corner) toward the box so that the point touches the box as shown. Then fold it again, draping the fabric it over the box. Smooth it into place

fold the bottom triangle over the box

Repeat this process with the corner on the opposite side of the box, folding the fabric point to the box, then folding again to smooth the fabric over the top of the box. Make adjustments to the first fold if the fabric doesn’t cover the box completely. 

repeat with the top triangle

The result will be a nice, flat fold going along the entire length of the box top. The sides of the fabric will still be loose on the left and the right of the box.

Step 2:

fold the sides together neatly

Fold the sides of the loose ends into a nice, flat tail or long triangle, as you would if wrapping with paper. 

secure with a safety pin

Secure the loose ends that have been folded with a safety pin to keep things tidy and prevent shifting of the fabric. This will help create a more tailored look in the final step.

Step 3:

gather the ends together on top of the box

Gather both sides with the long loose ends that have been safety pinned. Adjust as need, pulling the ends secure with one hand in the center of the top of the box.

Step 4:

secure with an elastic band

Fasten the ends with a rubber band. This will make the wrapped box look tidy while holding the fabric in place securely.

Step 5:

knot the ends and tuck them in place

Tie the ends in a knot, looping them loosely and tucking the tails under the fabric that has been secured by the elastic band. You may want to advise your gift recipient that there are safety pins hidden in the ends. While they shouldn’t come undone, unexpected pin pricks would not be pleasant!

The Decorative Safety Pins

In this final method, you’ll use fabric just as you would use wrapping paper. Plus, stylish safety pins give your gift a decorative closure.

Step 1:

Cut the fabric to fit the size and shape of the box (exactly in the same manner as gift wrapping with paper). Since you have to cut the fabric, you might not want to use a scarf. How about something from your stash?

Step 2:

secure with safety pins

Fold the fabric around the box and tuck the edges under for a tidy finish. Secure the closure with pins instead of tape that would be used on paper.

Step 3:

saftey pin the endsClose the ends of the fabric with simple folds, starting with the top, then the sides, then the bottom. Secure with a pin, just as you would with tape on paper.

the finished gift with pins

If you want to add a little more embellishment, add some rickrack, ribbon or strips of fabric to tie a bow around the box. 

In all three methods, the fabric is undamaged and can be reused. Re-purpose the fabric for another gift, or better yet, add it to your next quilting project!

If you liked this tutorial, make sure to checkout A Quilter’s Holiday Hangout for even more great seasonal content!

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