Running low on wrapping paper and need to finish packaging your Christmas gifts? I mentioned some ideas for green gift wrapping in last year's Christmas post http://tinyurl.com/yeekc32 , but this year I would like to elaborate on the idea of wrapping with cloth.
The Japanese have a tradition of wrapping gifts in cloth called Furoshiki. Some basic Furoshiki wrapping techniques can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/yd85x6y. You can buy beautiful Furoshiki cloths, but you can just as easily use your own material.
I like the idea of making the cloth wrap part of the gift, for instance, wrapping jewelry or gloves in a pretty scarf, pajamas in a pillowcase, a kitchen-related gift in a dish towel, or wrapping soap, skin-care items or a manicure set in a hand towel.
This would also be a good way to use well-worn clothing not quite good enough to donate to the thrift store. A plaid flannel, gingham check, or quilt-look fabric in Christmasy colors would work particularly well. I was thinking of buying some clothes cheap at yard sales for just this purpose. Old blankets or throws would work well too, particularly in wool or fleece. After Christmas, the fabric could be used in quilts, or rag rugs, to sew small heating pads or coasters, or simply folded and stored for next year.
Another option is to sew the fabric into bags. My mom made some cute quilted ones one year out of a bunch of scraps. You can either turn the fabric down and make a channel to insert a drawstring, or you can make a closure with a button and buttonhole, or you can simply tie it shut with a pretty ribbon or cord. These can be reused year after year. They are also great for storing fragile ornaments. You could embroider the recipient's name on the bag if you wanted to get fancy.
I hope this has given you some good ideas about how to adorn those holiday gifts. Soon you'll be crossing this chore off your list for another year and saying "it's a wrap!"