22 Jul 2014

paper free wrapping

The Japanese art of tsutsumi or gift wrapping is both inspiring and incredibly beautiful. Typically large cloths are intricately folded to create simple, yet elegant packages.  But inspiration needn't take the form of replication. To translate this time honoured art into every day gift giving, simply replace the delicate shibori with a vintage pillowcase and the fine pleating with some slightly more crude tucks and folds held tight with a torn fabric bow.

Sometimes the contents of the parcel in their muted tones and subtle patterns are best left as is. The gift of a beautiful printed tea towel or tiny hand knitted garments needs nothing more than a piece of jute twine and a wisp of nature to adorn it. Why conceal the loveliness beneath swathes of paper?

And the jumble of op shop baskets often yield delicate treasures, rattan or wicker and filled with home made biscuits in a large glass jar (also second hand).  Or some jam and a loaf of artisan bread tucked into a woven vessel would be received with pleasure and gratitude.

Gift giving on a simple scale is a great joy of life. And when it's packaging impacts gently on the earth , the pleasure is heightened. Presents with much heart and little burden.

A small change; paper free wrapping.

Steph x

Other small changes we've made:
reusable coffee cups


  1. oh my! such a lovely idea :)

  2. i dread the xmas paper cost (both in $ and to the earth) - for birthdays we use the kids artworks - everyone loves them - no sticky tape, just held together with twine! but thinking that might give something away should santa leave a gift wrapped in their own paintings under the tree!! would love to know your thoughts on this steph? flick x

    1. The kid's artwork is a lovely way to wrap a gift! As for Christmas, a few years ago I made a whole assortment of simple bags (basically a whole lot of different sized sacks) out of some old chrissie fabric I'd found at op shops and we put some of these out with Santa's snack on Christmas Eve. We've had lovely chats about how Santa loves that there's no waste with the wrapping. If you're not someone who sews you could just collect cute pillowcases over the year from oppies perhaps. I've done the same for birthdays with an old sesame street birthday doona cover I found once. Our birthday bags are always such a treat to pull out. So lovely to have kindred spirits like you thinking about their daily footsteps. Much love and light to you xxxx

  3. I've been trying to switch to this more and more. We keep receiving rolls of wrap, funny enough, so I feel odd not using it, but am trying to use it in art instead.


Your words brighten my day! Thank-you so much for joining me on my adventure. x