How to Wrap a Gift Japanese Style

Shopping at a Japanese store is always a delight in large part because of the beautiful manner they wrap their items. Many people across the world admire this peculiar form of Japanese gift wrapping. As such we have created this article to help you learn how to wrap your gifts just like the Japanese department stores do and impress all your friends and relatives in the process.

The Japanese style has evolved over the years through the primary tenets have remained the same. You can have the wrapping done in a traditional style or you could embrace the modern style and add flair that is unique to you. In addition to impressing your friends, it is bound to give them joy.

How to Wrap a Gift Japanese Style

Here is how you go around wrapping a gift in the Japanese style.

Japanese Paper Wrapping

Modern Japanese gift wrapping techniques are very closely related to origami in the sense that it follows a precise prescribed sequence of folds. This luckily means that once you have the basic design down, you can incorporate a lot of your design to really make it your own.

What you will need:

  • High-quality wrapping paper
  • Tape, be it clear or decorative
  • Scissors
  • Ribbons

Take a piece of wrapping paper about three times the size of your present

The wrapping paper should be able to cover the entire four sides of the present. You should do a rough estimation and proceed to use your scissors on the wrapping paper.

If the gift is in a square box, proceed to cut the paper in a square shape; if the gift is rectangular you should cut a rectangular shape. If your measuring skills are not as good, you should opt to use a larger piece of wrapping paper and cut it off later.

This method works best for gifts that are square or rectangular.

Align the box so that it is as close to one corner as possible

Place the wrapping paper spread out on a table and place the gift at the center. With the gift at the center of the wrapping paper push it diagonally to the nearest corner. Make sure you leave about 2 inches of space at the edge of the paper.

Should you push the gift past the 2-inch mark, you will not be left with any paper to work with, which means you will not have paper left for all sides of your gift box.

Fold the corner over the present and proceed to hold it in place

With the corner closest to you, push it over the present. Hold down the creases with your finger and hold the corner using one hand.

Hold the left edge of the wrapping paper over the other edge

While holding the edge from the previous step, use your other hand to fold the paper over the fold from the previous step. Make sure you press in with your finger to make sure the fold is along the edge of your gift.

To ensure the crease holds make sure you press on it as hard as you can.

Bind the left side of the paper with tape

You should use clear tape to make sure it is not as visible; alternatively, you could use decorative tape to better personalize your gift. Ensure the piece at the center holds down the wrapping paper so that you can let go of the paper without the entire thing coming apart.

It is worth noting that traditional Japanese folding does not involve the use of tape. If you want to be as authentic as possible make sure your creases are as tight as they can be.

Fold the right side over the present

With the right side of the wrapping paper, proceed to fold it over your box while pressing with your finger to make sure the crease is as tight as possible.

Continue and pull the topmost part of the present while creating each of the sides

Pull the paper downwards as you press in the corners to make your folds. The harder your press is, the more the paper will hold together. This fold can be quite difficult; you may have to try it several times before you finish.

Attach the topmost of the paper to the present

Should the flap be too big, make sure to use your scissors and trim them off. Ensure all the creases are held in place then proceed to add more pieces of tape or completely wrap up your gift.

If you had used tape to close up the other two sides, you should use a piece of tape on the top side to finish it up. If you did not use tape on the other two sides or you prefer not to, you can alternatively tie a ribbon around the present to hold all the sides in place.

Complete the process by adding bows, ribbons, or twine

The beauty of wrapping paper is despite all the prescribed conventions of wrapping your present, you still have the option of personalizing it to reflect your own unique personality. You can use a unique ribbon or even tie some bows to your preferred liking.

Ensure you use ribbons and decorations that match the color of the wrapping paper to maintain visual consistency. If you used plain wrapping paper you should probably use twine or silver ribbons.


Wrapping presents can be quite a bothersome process, especially when you have to wrap many boxes. Due to the sheer complexity of the process, you will either have poorly tied boxes or have to suffer long hours of mind-numbing work. In this respect, the Japanese method is superior in that you can wrap gifts a lot faster while maintaining an impressive degree of quality.

It is also really easy to learn as it uses a pull-and-fold method. This means that once you have mastered one portion of the process, you can easily pull it off. Eventually, you will leave all your friends and family in awe at just how fast you can wrap presents.

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