Is anyone else bothered by mountains of wrapping paper that get thrown away right after the holidays? Buying decorative paper bags gives some options of reusing, but the bags get damaged after a while. Have you thought about using furoshiki?
Furoshiki (pronounced f-ROHSH-kee) are square pieces of fabric that are traditionally used by the Japanese to tie up bundles, and work beautifully to wrap presents. The picture shows two that I have made: a book wrapped in red, with the furoshiki tied to itself, and a jar wrapped in black, tied with a ribbon. I've used these to give gifts within the family (with the stipulation that they be re-used within the family!) and it's fun to get them back. Since my sewing machine embroiders, I put my initials and the year on each one I make.
Ready to try it? The library is ready for you!
Furoshiki Fabric Wraps has several different options for wrapping presents, as well as other options for using furoshiki, such as a hand-carry wrap and a pillow. A useful table gives different objects you might want to wrap, and the size furoshiki you would need. The various knots have been summed up on cards at the back, so you can photocopy one to give along with the gift so the furoshiki can be reused. There are also several suggestions on how to decorate your own.
Furoshiki, the art of wrapping with fabric, by Kumiko Nakayama-Geraerts, shows nine folds for carrying and nine for wrapping, as well as four knots. She has included a few embroidery and applique designs, including one sashiko pattern, if you want to decorate your furoshiki.
Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin, only has one furoshiki in it, but it has been stamped with a floral design. Full directions are given for creating the stamp from a foam sheet, and then printing on the fabric.