I love to use StumbleUpon. With one click it brings up a website in a topic you are interested in and exposes you to lots of creativity. Last night I stumbled onto a YouTube Video on how to wrap gifts using the art of Furoshiki – an ancient Japanese way of folding cloth, a lot like origami but with a LOT of creative and practical uses.
The video piqued my interest enough to do some more research. I came across a great website at: Furoshiki.com
It shows you hold to fold a square piece of material into wrapping paper, a back pack, handbag, fashion accessories and even home items.
They do have Furoshiki for sale on the website but you can make your own out of a fabric you love such as cotton, silk, rayon or nylon. You can make it ay size to fit what you want to wrap, the sizes I have come across are 17inches square (about the size of a man’s handkerchief) or 35inces for the larger bags and wrapping. You can also re-purpose both men’s and woman’s handkerchiefs and scarves to be used as a Furoshiki, especially as inexpensive and eco-friendly gift wrap. The thrift store would be a great place to get a great deal.
For added strength you should hem your Furoshiki if you are making your own. – this would be an EXCELLENT beginners sewing project for the creative teen in your family!
There are lots of creative things you could do with Furoshiki here are a few that popped into my head as I was looking it up.
A class or family project – Learning how to fold Furoshiki into reusable gift wrap or shopping bags would be a great addition to any lessons on recycling, or Japanese culture.
Party Favors – As a creative kids birthday activity have children create their own Furoshiki party favors. Teach them to fold little bags to keep their favors in, to reduce waste, and have something useful in the end. You could also use the Furoshiki itself as the favor. Make sure to print off some simple directions for the kids to take home with them.
Reusable Gift Wrap – Using Furoshiki as gift wrap is a great way to show environmental responsibility, and that you have put extra thought and attention into your gifts. Include instructions on how to reuse the Furoshiki.
Furoshiki Fundraiser – Making Furoshiki reusable bags would be a great way for any group to raise money and awareness about the destructive nature of plastic bags. You could fund-raise to protect the rainforest, a favorite animal species or whatever cause you would like to support (again include directions to bays can be retied if needed).
Craft Fairs and Creative Kids Business – Setting up a Furoshiki booth at a craft fair would be a great way to earn some money as a family, If you have a crafty kid who loves to sew, or hunt through thrift shops, making and selling unique Furoshiki would be a low-cost and fun first business venture!
If you want to know more about Furoshiki, Chizuko Morita’s book is a great place to start:
Anyone in the Growing Creative Kids community involved with making Furoshiki? Please share your experiences below!