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Furoshiki: Upcycling How-To

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Recently, it's occurred to me that this is a blog about upcycling and sustainability. We've covered a wide range of sustainability topics, but we've done very little on actual upcycling. So, in order to right that wrong, this will be the first post featuring an upcycling how-to guide!

This guide will cover furoshiki, a Japanese form of gift-wrapping using fabric scraps. Furoshiki has been mentioned before on our blog as a way to make Christmas more sustainable, since it is much more eco-friendly than wrapping paper. It also has an interesting history.


Furoshiki is very simple to prepare. All you need is some fabric, ideally square or rectangular, and a pair of scissors. An old t-shirt would make great material for this!

Common dimensions for furoshiki fabric are 17in x 17in, or 28in x 28in. You can play around with the dimensions as you see fit. For the sake of this guide, I will be using an 18in x 18in old cloth to wrap a small box.

First, lay your fabric out like a diamond and place your box in the middle of it.

Bring one corner over top of the box.

Do the same with the corner across from the one from the previous step.

I wasn't able to photograph the next step (sorry, I only have two hands) but next you will need to smooth down the fabric around the uncovered sides. Grab the corners of the fabric and bring them up, and then tie them together. Your finished product should look like the image below.

Voila! You've now just wrapped a gift in a sustainable and reusable manner!

For more ideas on how to wrap furoshiki, check out this article!


The word furoshiki means "bath spread" and has been practiced in Japan since ancient times. The name furoshiki was applied during the Muromachi period of Japan, 1136 to 1573, when a shogun built a large bath house on his residence. He invited other lords to visit and use the bath house, and they would wrap their clothing in ornamental cloth to distinguish them from one another, and to carry them back and forth.

Furoshiki has seen an increase in popularity in recent times due to more environmental awareness. It is a great alternative to single use wrapping papers made out of plastic, and this method can also make a gift more personable.

Interested in what you can now do with cloth and fabric scraps? Try doing some furoshiki yourself and let us know how it goes by leaving a comment!


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