The Gifted Blog

May 17, 2010

Wrap Story: A Baker's Birthday

This Wrap Story is part of a mini-series, documenting every present I’ve wrapped since the launch of The Gifted Blog. Click here for the whole series!

It drizzled much of the time we were in Kyoto. Walking up a steep, zig-zagging street to Kiyomizu temple, I was glad to find shelter in a beautifully curated shop. I was struck by the happy, modern print on this furoshiki and bought it.

I later learned that the name of the brand (Kotoima) means "old-new," and indeed, many of their designs are whimsical takes on traditional themes.

With an important birthday approaching for a friend, G., N. and I ventured out to buy her an oven thermometer. She is a baker of many things, but most importantly, these ridiculously rich brownies. (I tried to replicate them at home and completely bombed. Should've used an oven thermometer.)

My technique here was quite similar to the last gift I blogged about.

Just rolled the gift tightly on the diagonal, and knotted the ends in the center.

I didn't buy many large furoshiki in Japan, but I wish I had sized up a bit. With a larger square of cloth, there is more flexibility in how you wrap, and you can be more decorative with the knotting, etc.

Still, I thought this turned out quite feminine and pretty. I didn't get a shot of it, but we tucked a small card in a dark purple envelope under the knot. I liked how everything was neat and secured.

Do you wrap gifts with cloth? If not, what's the biggest reason you don't? I can see how this is an appealing idea in theory, but going out to get the actual cloth (or hem it yourself) might be a hassle. I'd love to know what you think!


  1. if only cloth is as cheap as paper...

  2. Sam - Ah, yes. That totally makes sense. I was excited to buy furoshiki in Japan, but otherwise I would prefer that my money go toward the gift! You can also find scrap paper anywhere, but free fabric is harder to come by.

  3. The thing that I wonder about is this: do you give the furoshiki away each time or do you watch them unwrap it and then ask for it back?

  4. Hanna - Good question. Traditionally, furoshiki were returned to the gift-giver after the recipient opened the gift. But since that's not the case anymore, I assume the cloth is a part of the gift! I don't think I'd be bold enough to ask for it back.

    If you're not crazy about the added cost but want to try wrapping with cloth, you can start with a single furoshiki to be given back and forth between a pair of friends or lovers.

    G. and I picked out a couple in Kyoto that I hope we'll use to wrap many Christmas and birthday gifts to come... : ) What do you think? Is the cost too prohibitive otherwise??


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