The first wrapping technique in this Holiday Edition series of blog posts involves using fabric wrapping instead of paper. This could mean using cotton fabric from your stash if you are an avid sewer like me, or using an old sweater, t-shirt, or pillowcase you don’t mind cutting it up and transforming it into something new. The benefit to using fabric as wrapping is that it can be reused gift after gift, and year after year. It can also be quite beautiful in gift presentation, using different knotting and finishing techniques. Below, I have an example with instructions on how to create a beautiful knotted gift wrap, perfect for any occasion, and also tape free!
To wrap a gift using fabric, first you will need to start with a piece of fabric cut into a square. Make sure that the square is large enough to fit your gift item, but not too much bigger than twice the width of your item. I cut my fabric with pinking shears to make an edge that won’t fray, but you can use regular fabric scissors too.
Set your gift item in the center of the fabric square, so the box sides are parallel to the fabric corners. Fold the first corner over the long side, tucking the corner under the edge of the box.
Fold the opposite fabric edge over the long side of the gift and fold the corner under, making a smooth and clean looking crease. Folding the corner under is important because later on you will be able to see a bit of this edge.
Next, you will need to fold the other sides you have not folded yet. Starting on one end, fold each edge towards the center point at about 45 degrees. The idea here is that you are making a thinner point than you had before, just like wrapping with regular paper. I like to use an iron here to make sure the point stays in position. This isn’t super necessary if you do not have an iron handy, however it does make it easier to manipulate in the next couple of steps due to not having to hold it down yourself.
Repeat the 45 degree corner folding on the opposing side, and iron again as well. The point on the left of this photo has been folded and ironed, so your’s should also look similar to this general shape.
Once both the thinner points have been made, try your best to gently tuck the fabric close to the sides of the gift. The next part will involve simultaneously lifting both points up and over the sides of the gift towards the middle to tie.
Pull the points in opposite directions across the gift, and twist the two points in the same direction, so they end up being across from each other.
Once you have twisted the points, the fabric should have created a bit of tension and tightened the fabric wrapping around the gift. If it is not tight enough, just simply try this part again by untwisting and re-lifting the points up, tucking them closer to the gift edges and pulling the points across as tight as you can.
Once the twist is fairly tight, tuck one of the points underneath the twist and out towards the same side the other point is currently on.
Starting with the point on the top (the one that didn’t just loop under the twist), loop the two points into a knot and pull the fabric points in opposite directions. Tucking one point underneath the twist first before looping it into a knot will help the fabric points lay flat on the top of the gift. The last step is simply fixing the corners of the gift to make sure the fabric is folding nicely.
And there you have it! Easy fabric wrapping that can be reused continuously. If you fail at this the first time you try, don’t get discouraged. It took me a couple of tries to get used to the folds and twisting of the fabric, but once you give it a little practice, you’ll pick it up in no time and be a wrapping pro! You can decorate the top of the gift with a few smaller branches of pine or a homemade/remade gift tag.
Stay tuned for more ways to greener gift wrapping and gift ideas next Sunday!