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How to make furoshiki from old t-shirts

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diy upcycled tshirt wrapping paper

Trying to generate less trash this holiday season? Looking at a stack of stained, hole-y, or worn out t-shirts? I have a great tutorial for how to make furoshiki that will solve both those problems! This is day 2 of 12 Days of (upcycled) Christmas tutorials! Furoshiki gift wrapping allows you to wrap up your upcycled gift in upcycled gift wrap and reuse it year after year. Plaid Crafts gave me the fabric paint for free after I attended SNAP Conference, but all opinions are my own and this post isn’t sponsored.

I am very drawn to furoshiki, the practice of wrapping things in cloth instead of plastic or disposable paper. It is a symbol of traditional Japanese culture, which puts a focus on avoiding generating trash (read more here on the Japanese Ministry of the Environment).

If you like this project, you need to check out these posts too!

gift wrap to make with kids

You could use cute prints, special stamps, or iron-on to personalize each wrap for its recipient. I went traditional Christmas colors & prints, but will definitely be experimenting before I have to wrap gifts!
furoshiki gift wrapping
Would you use these under your tree? Let me know what you think!

Pin this tutorial for how to make furoshiki from old t-shirts with this link and photo:

Upcycle a stack of old t-shirts into eco-friendly gift wrapping! Photo tutorial & video for how to make furoshiki from old t-shirts. Three different decoration methods shared, too! #upcycle #christmas #ecofriendly #crafts

How to make furoshiki from old t-shirts



The furoshiki size dimensions I used for my three upcycled gift wraps were:

  • Small (green)- 13.5″ square
  • Medium (red)- 15.5″ square
  • Large(grey)- 19.5″ square
Step 1- Lay your t-shirt out flat and use the rotary cutter & ruler to cut straight across right under the armpit seams.
Step 2- Use your scissors and cut up the side hems; this will make it easier to lay flat and cut straight without sacrificing any extra fabric!
Step 3- Cut the three other sides straight, including chopping off the t-shirt hem. Evaluate what your shortest side is (probably the width) and then cut the other side to match it, so you have a square measuring X” long and X”wide as the same numbers.
Step 4- Time to decorate! Slide some cardboard under your t-shirt and get crafty. I used fabric paint so they would be easily washable, but I bet acrylic craft paint would work just fine.

Here I used a nice fat foam stamp (little paper stamps don’t distribute the paint very well, I tried!)

Here I used a cookie cutter as a stamp, this worked well and would be great to do with kids since it can’t collect a ton of paint.

fabric stencil freezer paper

Last, I used freezer paper to make stencils too. A Cricut cut my stars out (see the review of my Cricut here) but you can use a craft knife easily too (full tutorial here).

Step 5- Follow paint instructions for drying/finishing with an iron, and you’re ready to wrap!

How to tie furoshiki

Step 1- Lay your gift in the middle of the cloth spread out.

Step 2- Take diagonal corners and tie them in a knot, pulling tight.

Step 3- Pull the remaining two corners over top, and tie in a knot. You’re done! What do you think of furoshiki gift wrapping?

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Friday 4th of December 2020

Sharing this with my crafty friends! I have been to Japan. This definitely a funky twist on what they do but the concept is the same...

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 10th of December 2020

Thanks for reading and sharing Peggy! I hope I get to visit Japan someday :)


Monday 27th of April 2020

I think I would like to take it just one step further. I would like to give the gift of the T Shirt and buy/make a new shirt, (not cut it up) and tie it carefully and gently.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 12th of July 2020

great idea!

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