Tenugui cloth, similar to furoshiki but
rectangular instead of square, can also be used
as an alternative to traditional gift wrapping.
As with origami, there are books showing how
to wrap gifts in cloth, a gift-wrapping solution
in Japan for centuries. Furoshiki come in various
sizes, fabrics and patterns.
For unusually large gifts — and an easier
wrapping job — decorative pillowcases are a
good option, says Panos.
“Overall, the trend is definitely away from
throwaway options and toward a more eco-
minded approach,” says Tanya Graff, style editor
at Martha Stewart Living.
Pretty boxes are another great and reusable way
to present a gift, says Graff.
“You could try decorating a box with decoupage,
so that the box is a part of the gift itself. Or cover
a stack of hatboxes in marbleized paper. You
can put gifts inside,” she says. “Boxes can also be
embellished with stick-on rhinestones.”
As much thought should go into the gift
wrapping as into the gift itself, she explains.
“That way, the wrapping can be a part of the gift
or can be reused,” she says.
Many people still prefer paper of course, but
Panos and Graff say the aesthetic is changing.
“One thing we’re seeing is a very Scandinavian
look, with lots of browns and reds and naturals,”
Panos agrees. “Brown Kraft paper, like the kind of
paper grocery bags are made of, is fantastic. It’s
multipurpose, inexpensive, and looks great with
any kind of ribbon or bow. It’s also easy to dress
up with colorful ribbon or sprigs of greenery,”
Image: Max Flatow