Megumi Inouye is a master gift wrapper. She’s literally been crowned one of the best in the world and can make any shaped object look too pretty to want to open.
But we didn’t invite her to our office to make us feel worse about our own gift wrapping shortcomings. There’s a lot more to Megumi’s art than just a pretty exterior.
She believes gift wrapping goes beyond concealing the item you’re about to give – it’s a way of communicating your love and appreciation for the receiver. With each fold and carefully selected decoration, she infuses her personal feelings for her loved ones, making each gift giving moment a special one.
“The way you wrap and present a gift can be just as impactful as the gift itself,” she says.
“For me, gifting is an art form and wrapping is the vehicle of expressing the intention, the feeling behind the gift and what will continue to remain in people’s hearts even after the gift itself loses its practical purpose.”
While she’s invested a lot in the art of wrapping, Megumi is also acutely aware of how wasteful it can be, especially at Christmas when our bins end up overloaded with single-use paper. In fact, Aussies collectively spend $512 million on wrapping paper for the festive season each year, and most of that is disposed of immediately after the gift is opened.
So, with sustainability and a personal touch in mind, here are Megumi’s three easy gift wrapping techniques that’ll change the way you think about giving (and paper for that matter).
1. Forget those pesky corners
This technique has both ease and sustainability at its heart. It works best on boxed gifts and involves creating a sleeve that wraps around the majority of the present, but leaves the two smallest sizes exposed.
For a beautiful finish, choose beautiful paper. For this wrap, Megumi has used a design from Australian artist Mulga. You can watch her put it together in the video at the top of the article.
⁃ Start with a piece of paper large enough to wrap around the largest side of the box
⁃ Fold the edges in so the paper is the exact width of the side you’re going to cover (folding it, as opposed to cutting, also gives you a clean edge to work with)
⁃ Wrap the paper around the box
⁃ Fold the two top corners in, creating a pointed edge, and secure with a small piece of tape
⁃ You can decorate this by adding a recyclable item like a button, or something special to the reciever
2. Use the gift itself as wrapping
This only works if you’re giving an item of clothing as part of your gift, but it involves zero waste. Megumi used the example of a his and hers gift, with a men’s hat wrapped in a lady’s scarf.
⁃ Lay out the item of clothing you’ve chosen to use as the wrapping medium
⁃ Place the remainder of the gift inside
⁃ Carefully fold the clothing to cover the gift
⁃ Tie off the ends with two knots, the first one going left over right and the second going right over left
⁃ Adjust the knot and tuck in any decorations you have
3. Make an envelope
This technique is all about care – care in creating a special package for your loved one’s gift, and care in the materials used, as once this is given, the gift can be taken out and the envelope used again by the receiver to wrap other gifts.
– Start with a square piece of paper
– Fold the paper in half, then open it up, and fold the bottom part in half again to make a quarter-way line
– Open the paper up again and fold the bottom part up to the quarter fold line, then fold that again so it finishes at the half-way line (this will make the pouch)
– Fold a small triangle in the bottom left and bottom right corners
– Then fold the sides of the paper over so it seals off the edges of the pouch
– At the top of the paper, create two triangles to make a point
– Fold the point over and tuck it into the bottom pouch to complete the envelope
– Finish by adding decorations of your choice
Watch the video above to see Megumi bring all three of those techniques to life.
Megumi’s passion for sustainability extends beyond the art of wrapping and last year she partnered with ING’s Dreamstarter campaign to champion sustainable gifts as well as sustainable wrapping.
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