I have been experimenting with reusable gift wrap for a few years. I tried sewing cloth bags that I tied closed with ribbons and cutting out rectangles of fabric with pinking shears. But this year I decided to do something a little fancier but still reusable. The nice thing about this technique is that each holiday you can add a few new wraps to your collection until you have a full set for different holidays.
To make them you need:
large squares of fabric (I used 24 inch squares of fabric.)
a sewing machine or hand sewing needle
a matching or contrasting color of thread depending on your preference
an iron and ironing board
Step 1: Ironing the Fabric
Before beginning carefully iron the entire square of fabric. I choose cotton quilting fabric. Gift wrapping is a great excuse to use those really cool fabrics you see that just don't fit into any other project. These came from my holiday fabric drawer and were pieces that were too small for clothing or table settings.
Depending on the type of fabric you choose you may need to use a damp pressing cloth for the ironing. A pressing cloth is just a washcloth or other small cloth that you dampen (not soaking wet, ring it out well) and lay on top of the item to be ironed while ironing. After ironing with the pressing cloth be sure to remove the cloth and iron the project cloth dry. If you are using a stiffer cloth you may need to use this technique when pressing the seams.
Step 2: Pressing the Seams
For the way I want to fold my fabric when wrapping I need to have a square so I folded the fabric piece diagonally across to make sure it was a square.
Lay the fabric right side down on the ironing board and fold down one half inch along one edge. Iron down that half inch.
Fold down a triangle at each corner and iron it flat.
Rotate the piece 90 degrees and repeat until you have finished all four sides.
Step 3: Sewing the Seams
Once you have ironed down all four seams, carefully sew along the edge of each fold. When you get to the corner be careful to sew to the intersection, put the needle down, lift up the foot, and rotate the fabric 90 degrees.
Step 4: Wrap a Box
Wrap a present!
To wrap a box, put the box on the fabric so that its centered with the long axis between two corners.
Bring the corners in towards the center along the skinnier side of the box and tie them.
Bring the corners in towards the center along the long side of the box and tie them.
Arrange the ties so they are attractive and conceal the item inside the wrapper.
Step 5: Wrapping Books
Lay two books out by the corners. Roll each book towards the center. Bring the other corners towards the center, cross to the other side and lift up the books by these ends. Tie together.
Now go deliver your gifts!