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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PB + J Monday...er Tuesday

A day late....

I was having a terrible time trying to get blogger to work yesterday!  I have something really fun to share for PB+J Monday and I couldn't share it!  Anyway, I think I figured it out and here we are.  Hoorah!

Yesterday morning, I realized that I hadn't prepared anything for PB+J Monday and decided that I'd just browse the internet to see if I could find something interesting to share.  But first I wanted to relax a bit and read my Canadian Living Magazine.  I've had it for over a week but haven't have the time to crack it open.  I had a spare minute yesterday so I casually flipped through some of the pages.

They always have some great and simple crafts and green tips.  I wasn't expecting to find this week's post...b ut I did!  I am so excited about this.  I have finished my custom orders for Christmas and am taking a break from burning to enjoy the holidays, so now I am at the stage of planning holiday baking and wrapping gifts.

This is not the one I made
At the beginning of the year I had vowed to try to find greener ways to give gifts, instead of the usual wrapping paper or gift bags.  I managed to come up with a few ideas through out the year but I confess I didn't always try really hard when I was in a mad rush and running late.  The one I'm proudest of was a gift presented in a hollowed out book that I hollowed myself.  It was a lot of work but really fun to make!!  And the gift receiver, my brother, seemed to enjoy it too.  If you're interested you can learn how to do it here.

Anyway, back to this post.

I have been trying to come up with a fun way to wrap our gifts for our nephews.  I thought about wrapping them up with a crazy carpet and twine.  That way they can use the "wrapping" on the snow hills later.  They are really inexpensive and bend easily and they come in fun colours!  I may still do that so don't tell them!!

But what to do for everyone else??

Well, this is where my Canadian Living magazine came in.  It reintroduced me to wrapping with fabric.  This is not new, I know that, but, for whatever reason I had forgotten about it.  What a simple and ridiculously "green" way to wrap just about anything!!!  And fun!!!  The fabric possibilities are endless!  And then receiver can use it again for just about anything after wards.  It's a win-win all the way around!

Furoshiki originated in Japan as a way for people to carry their items from one place to another.  They are just simple squares of cloth that can be folded to wrap and carry just about any object.

I'm not the greatest sewer but my creative juices are really flowing and now I am on the hunt (looking through my fabric bins and maybe a fabric store or two) to find fun fabric to make into furoshiki wrapping cloths.  The magazine's website had a quick tutorial (see below) on how to make the cloths and a video. I also found another video online that shows ways to wrap a variety of gifts and even make a bag.  The music is fun and upbeat too.  And scroll down to see beautiful images of furoshiki at work.

Click here to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn6zdyCAwJs
Canadian Living video:  http://video.canadianliving.com/1907679901001/How_to_wrap_gifts_in_fabric_using_Japanese_furoshiki_techniques

You can learn more about the cloths on this website:  www.furoshiki.com or there are lots of shops on Etsy that sell the cloths aswell.  Just do a search for furoshiki and you'll be delighted with what comes up.

Here is the tutorial (as described in the Canadian Living magazine) for making your own reversible wrapping furoshiki cloth:

2 pieces of lightweight quilting cotton in contrasting colours (1x1.1m/40x4.4inches to 1.2x1.1m/48x44inches)
Thread to match
Rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and self-healing cutting mat
Knitting needle or chopstick
wash-out fabric marker or pencil

1. Prepare fabric: Using rotary cutter and acrylic ruler and working on self-healing mat, cut fabric squares.
2. Make furoshiki: Place squares, right sides together, on work surface, smoothing out wrinkles and aligning edges.
3. Pin together along each edge, leaving 8cm (3inch) gap at centre of 1 edge.  Mark beginning and end of gap with extra pins.
4. Starting and stopping at either side of the gap and using 1 cm (1/2inch) seam allowance, stitch squares together, removing pins as you stitch and back-stitching at beginning and end.
5. With scissors, trim seam allowances at each corner.
6. Turn right side out through gap.  Use knitting needle to poke out corners. Press raw edges inside and pin.
7. Press remaining edges and pin layers together along each edge.  Measure 1 cm (1/2inch) in from each edge; with fabric marker, mark where measurements intersect to create pivot points.
8. Topstitch square, 1 cm (1/2inch) from edges pivoting at each pivot point.  Press.

Isn't this pretty?  It's a dishtowel.  From http://www.thekitchn.com

Bag ideas from http://myfuroshiki.blogspot.ca
Quilted furoshiki from http://www.instructables.com

Showing the versatility! From http://ohjoy.blogs.com

Happy Wrapping!!!


  1. What a great way to wrap! Really neat and versatile. Thanks for sharing.
    New follower here from PCF team. =0)

  2. Following you now!


    1. Thanks Angie! I am following your blog too. :)

  3. What does PB + J Monday mean? I'm assuming it's not peanut butter and jelly.

    1. Hi Megan,
      It stands for polar bears and jellyfish. On Mondays I try to post about something "green" and friendly for the environment. :)

    2. That is wonderful. Love the concept :)

    3. Thanks. :)
      I like your "Neverland" sign! That's such a great idea! I haven't tried doing a portrait yet. I'm too scared. I've done a couple of pets and they turned out alright but people, like you said, it's a lot of pressure to capture them just right. Keep up the great work! :)

  4. What a terrific idea! I love that one that you can just use it as a scarf later!

  5. That is soooo funny I have been wrapping gift forever in towels Glad to see it's finally in to do it :)

    I LOVE THE HOLLOWED OUT BOOK!!!!!! I wanna do that too!

    Thanks Maya I always love your work! I'm waiting to fill that amazing Photo Album given to me as a gift from your store :)

    1. One of my bridal shower gifts was wrapped in a towel and it made such great sense to me. But I've never remembered to do it myself.

      So glad you like the album. Take your time filling it and enjoy looking at your pictures from your special day. : )