The Soul of Gift Wrapping

Creative Techniques for Expressing Gratitude, Inspired by the Japanese Art of Giving

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 02 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 02 Apr 2024
Storey Publishing | Storey Publishing, LLC

Talking about this book? Use #TheSoulofGiftWrapping #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


With a combination of inventive wrapping designs, inspiring personal essays, and step-by-step techniques, Megumi Inouye invites readers to transform the act of wrapping into a gratitude practice.

Drawing on the gift-giving traditions of her Japanese heritage, Inouye explores how the act of giving a thoughtfully wrapped gift can be a creative, caring act for both the giver and the receiver. Using recycled and repurposed materials, Inouye’s approach inspires readers to think intentionally about the presentation of every gift, whether it's a tip for an unseen hotel housekeeper, a simple gift of fresh fruit for a neighbor, or a special birthday gift for a beloved family member. Detailed step-by-step photos teach Inouye's artful approach to every aspect of wrapping—including tape-free folding, paper and fabric bows, clever message tags, and one-of-a-kind approaches for odd-shaped items—and guide readers in creating their own unique gift presentations.

With a combination of inventive wrapping designs, inspiring personal essays, and step-by-step techniques, Megumi Inouye invites readers to transform the act of wrapping into a gratitude practice.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781635865547
PRICE $25.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 63 members

Featured Reviews

Lovely! Just lovely! I loved the how beautifully aesthetic this book is. The author's words on pages four through fifty allowed the reader and the author to connect in experiences despite never meeting. The preparation section is super helpful. The step by step directions was amazing.

Was this review helpful?

Start saving scrap paper, found objects, maps, magazines and old sewing patterns now. Megumi Loran Inouye has an innovative and creative way to wrap gifts in a sustainable way. Techniques based on Japanese traditions and furoshiki, cloth wrapping.

Instructions are easy to follow and broken into sections depending on the shape of the object: Square, Rectangular, Cylindrical and so on....

If you love adding a special touch to your gifts or living a no waste lifestyle, pick up a copy of The Soul of Gift Wrapping today.

Was this review helpful?

A beautiful guide to creative, zero-waste gift wrapping, or wrapping with found items. Includes origami inspired wrapping, alongside the Japanese idea that the giving and receiving of a gift is just as important as the contents inside.

Was this review helpful?

The Soul of Gift Wrapping by Megumi Lorna Inouye was so much more than I was hoping it would be. Absolutely beautiful but what really grabbed me is the sustainability that is so important to Megumi, I loved that so much. Not only is she ultra creative but her use of plant material in her papers was stunning.

Her use of plain brown paper to show the steps took a bit of getting used to but then truly what would stand out. Printed paper would not be a good choice. Megumi is a great detail person who demonstrates how to make the intricate designs of layering and I felt her patience in her photos. Again, I loved how many designs she taught where a there was not a need of tape needed? Those were my favorite.

Megumi also uses fabric which was also beautiful and fit with her aesthetic and sustainability.

This book I am going to buy because this book makes me want to change how I gift wrap. I thought I was good but this book takes creativity to the next level.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher Quartro for the opportunity to read and review The Soul of Gift Wrapping by Megumi Lorna Inouye.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley and Storey Publishing for access to this arc in exchange for my honest review.

I feel so honored to have read this book. I thought I would ''only'' be learning how to wrap gifts differently. But this book is so much more. The first part of the book felt like the author was sharing a part of her, her memories with me. For the gift wrapping tutorials part, the photos look easy enough to follow. I love that most of them don't use anything more than paper or fabric.

Was this review helpful?

WOW! I love learning different ways of wrapping gifts for special occasions & I love my wrapping to look very pretty & this book just teaches me how to do that.
I like that all the techniques of wrapping are so well explained with step by step pics.
I also like how there is no use of tape to fasten the packaging.
Overall, a great book if you like wrapping gifts in unique styles.

Thanks to Netgalley, the Author Megumi Lorna Inouye and the Publisher Storey Publishing for this ARC.

Was this review helpful?

When I first saw the book's cover and title, I was intrigued to read it. I love folding crafts especially origami but kinda lacking creativity in wrapping gifts. Hence I thought "this might be a good resource to learn more gift wrapping techniques, and also equips myself with another skills"

But little did I know, it is more than a 'how to wrap a gift beautifully'. No, it's not. It's way more than what i expected.

To be honest, the ending message touched my heart, in that slot, the author wrote about losing her loved one, and how she cope with it via art-making.

Little did I know that this gift wrapping thing is also a form of expressing our thoughts. Sometimes we cant express things blatantly and chose to subtlely integrate it in crafts and this is one of them.

I think it is a brilliant idea to include an array of short essays introducing the principle related to the craft, from wabi sabi, mottainai to kintsugi. I've always been interested in learning Japanese culture and I think the author did it a justice by integrating it throughout the book. As i read it, i kept on stopping to ponder on what's been written and how I can try to practice it in my life.

This approach makes the the reading a personalized experience, i felt like im a part of the author's life journey. Thank you for the sharing.

As of the gift wrapping techniques, there are a variety of shapes and forms included, accompanied with easy to understand instructions and pictures. The techniques shared are all interesting and creative, i might as well try making all of them in the future. Oh, how i wish i can have the physical copy!

P/s: i weirdly felt soothed when reading this book to the point i wanted to cry out all my grief. I've been dealing with loss of my loved one and yet, when I read all the author's life sharings, i felt like im reconnecting with my emotions on deeper level. I felt like it helps me to understand and see loss in a new light. Like how the author said:

"He said we honor the ones who have passed on not with sadness but with feelings of gratitude for what they have given us and continue to give us in their physical absence."

I will also find my ways to craft my emotions & feelings out. To the author, thank you for the embodiment of gratitude throughout the guide.

Last but not least, thank you netgalley for giving this book as an advanced reader copy, i truly enjoy it on a spiritual level and above are my thought of it.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so great and so detailed. The step by steps were easy to follow. My 5 year old didn’t appreciate the wrapping I did for his birthday, but I’m so excited to wrap Christmas presents this year!

Was this review helpful?

Don't be fooled by the illusion of a mundane subject! There's more than meets the eye within the lovingly illustrated pages of this seemingly simple gift wrapping guide.
The Soul of Gift Wrapping was a delightful read, and its beauty and cheer was infectious. Through the pages of folding styles, patterns, and creative new approaches to a time-worn practice, she shares her wisdom and the insight into what gift-giving truly means.
Simple and easy to follow, instructions are illustrated and each technique is covered with straightforward examples. From reducing our impact on the earth with tapeless wrapping techniques, to alternatives to plastic ribbons, and the less-is-more approach with bands, ties, and fasteners, it's a guide worth keeping for those who wish to wrap consciously and thoughtfully, and for those who wish to convey their gratitude and respect in more ways than one.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC copy!

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a beautiful book! There's stories and information on the wrapping techniques included in this book, pictures, and instructions on how to wrap things in various patterns. This book is a great guide to making beauty out of anything and the value of a skill that takes some time to learn. It's also a nice look at the joy of gift giving and sustainability.

Was this review helpful?

What an utterly beautiful book, not only in the beautiful ways you can sustainably wrap presents in cloth and paper (no tape needed for any of it!) but in the thoughtful prose throughout. This book would make a lovely gift in itself, and has inspired me to wrap all of my gifts in these remarkable ways. Highly, highly recommended.

I read a temporary digital copy of this book for review.

Was this review helpful?

What a beautiful book! I have always wanted to be a great gift giver, but I struggle to see the practicality of wrapping beyond a gift bag and some tissue paper. At the same time, I absolutely love receiving a beautifully wrapped gift and admire the work that I observe in others' efforts. I recently ventured in to very basic wrapping with fabric, and it is such a delight. So I was excited to see this entire book, not just about how to wrap gifts but about the traditions and intentions of gift wrapping.

The book has 3 main sections: Inspiration, Preparation and Creation. This final section includes step-by-step directions and templates for wrapping gifts of all shapes and sizes and includes many techniques. I very much appreciate the step-by-step photo instructions for someone like me who has a hard time vizualing but can follow instructions! I am excited to try out some of the wrapping techniques.

Thank you to #NetGalley and #StoreyPublishing for a free copy of #TheSoulofGiftWrapping by Megumi Lorna Inouye. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This is such a beautiful book. Not just the wrapping tutorials, but also just the way it is written. As I was reading it it overwhelmingly felt as if a lot of care and thought had gone into every bit of the narrative and I was completely drawn into it. I loved it!
The different materials used and the interesting ways to wrap gifts were so pretty. I would love to receive a gift wrapped like that and I will definitely be trying some of these out when wrapping my Christmas gifts this year.
It even got me thinking about other ways to make my own wrapping papers using drawing, stamping or printing.
I was also reminded of my mum who, every year that I was growing up, took out her faithful pinking shears and repurposed that year’s Christmas cards into next year’s gift tags. So I feel inspired to look at making my own gift tag options from the book too.
A fabulous book that I highly recommend.
My thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me to read this advance reader copy. This review is left of my own volition.

Was this review helpful?

This is a book by Megumi Inouye, a gift wrapping and packaging artist. She uses sustainable wrapping designs without any tape. Each page is beautiful to look at with each gift looking like art. The book is broken down into the inspiration behind her creative techniques, the tools and materials used, and step-by-step directions with templates.

Each page imparts a little wisdom where she shares stories of wrapping in intentional ways. The meaning behind the techniques are based on different Japanese traditions. It is a bonus to learn about Japanese philosophy as well. So now you can repurpose any scrap cloth or paper you have saved or old road maps you were never going to use. Some of the wrapping even incorporates bits of nature.

This book will help you wrap your gifts in new and creative ways but also teach you the art of receiving a gift and having a heart of gratitude. I highly recommend.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for sharing this book with me in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The author explains how we should enjoy wrapping gifts, spend a little extra time on it and explore the creativity we can develop with just a little guidance. This book is full of lovely ideas on how to wrap gifts of varying shapes and sizes and how to embellish them with a variety of everyday things such as paper, fabric, twigs and buttons. Lots to inspire the reader and all carefully explained with lots of photos. Thank you to Net Galley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book with certainly a lot of soul! The very act of wrapping being part of a gift itself is a lovely idea. I loved learning about the Japanese words and meanings dotted throughout the book. Wabi sabi, furoshiki and omotenashi being my favourites to learn about. There were three sections, inspiration, preparation and creation.
The quotes from various people at the end of each of the inspiration stories were also gorgeous to read and think about.
There were a plethora of beautiful ideas, set out in ways which showed you exactly how they could be made. The gorgeous pictures added such a lot more to the explanations and tutorials alike.
My favourite quote;
Repurposing unlocks beauty and transformational energy- materials, like people, have the potential for multiple destinies.

Thanks to Netgalley and the author and publisher for a temporary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

WOW this book is so beautiful, its not just the artfully arranged photos of each design but the way Megumi Inouye describes the Japenese etiquette to gift giving and her innovative ideas using fabrics, recycled & scrap papers & all with no tape in sight. Each wrapping technique is clearly explained with measurements and photos shown so easy to follow but practice will make perfect. As a crafter there are even some techniques that could be used to make cards and boxes.
this will make a lovely gift for anyone.

Was this review helpful?

This was a really interesting book about wrapping various objects in a multitude of items.

I particularly remember going to department stores with my Mum when I was quite young and flipping through the sewing pattern books, there were so many of them and the books were so large, or they just seemed it to me at a young age! But of course there's very little need for them anymore - unless of course you're lucky enough to find some old patterns in a charity shop and can use them for wrapping, as one of the items in this book, very clever idea!

This is a very gentle book about the art of wrapping, I especially love that in Japan the grateful way to receive a gift is with both hands, and unwrapped slowly, as if taking gentle care of the emotions of the giver, really lovely sentiment.

The book has lots of pictures to give you ideas, along with a section of the basic materials you need, and techniques to help you - and surprisingly tape is not used in any of the wrapping techniques, helping to keep things sustainable. I loved the origami boxes, and this technique can be used for practically any size of present you need to wrap.

All in all a really fascinating book that makes you think more about the materials around you that you can use to wrap your presents, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more unusual items in my daily life and spending more time on my wrapping now, instead of just using shop bought rolls of wrapping.

Was this review helpful?

This book is inspirational with lots of lovely photos. The instructions are clear with good use of photos to demonstrate the steps.
Also the book encourages you to use a wide range of different materials for gift wrapping. Looking forward to trying the different wrapping techniques out.

Was this review helpful?

So precious! This book is a gem.
I loved the designs and the stories behind them.
Instructions are clear and easy to follow, good quality pictures.

Was this review helpful?

A lovely book on sustainable, mindful and beautiful gift wrapping. Learn how to wrap without ANY tape, and create gorgeous boxes, envelopes and embellishments sustainably. The author points out the pleasure and importance of taking the time to care about the wrapping, the giving and even the unwrapping. Techniques used are largely origami based, but easy to do with little in the way of equipment you won’t already have. She even uses fabrics with simple ties which will be great for awkward shaped gifts. The writing within is also insightful into Japanese culture and customs.

I love wrapping gifts already, and look forward to learning with this book, and creating my own earth friendly and thoughtful wrappings.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review this insightful book.

Was this review helpful?

For the past few years, I have been using fabric gift bags for Christmas. I like that they are reusable and environmentally friendly. However, my kids miss the excitement of tearing off wrapping paper. So, when I came across this book, I hoped it might offer some alternatives that could satisfy us all.

This book is full of beautiful photos, and its text describes numerous unique and eco-conscious gift wrapping techniques. Furthermore, the book delves into the spirit of giving and receiving gifts.

I found the detailed instructions, accompanied by numerous photos, to be really helpful. I also appreciated the fact that none of the wrapping methods required tape. I'm eagerly looking forward to trying out some of these techniques this holiday season.

I'm grateful for receiving this ARC via NetGalley, and I would definitely consider purchasing a physical copy of this book for easy reference during future gift-giving occasions.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you for the ARC, NetGalley. This book was absolutely beautiful and enchanting. Much more than I expected, it is heartwarming and innovative. I loved every single second of this book. Learning a new craft, practicing sustainability and touching the soul; who knew this book would deliver all three of those things. Highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Great book on origami style gift wrapping techniques!
I’m so happy to get to review this book near christmas!
It’s a beautiful and specific book, easy to follow instructions for the most thoughtful gift wrapping you’ll ever make.
It has many styles of gift wrapping, even for bottles and books, and also dives into the envelopes and ornaments you can put on top.

If you are looking for new ways to style your gifts definitely check this out!

Was this review helpful?

The Soul of Gift Wrapping instructs readers on artful ways to spruce up gift wrapping, but the text explains why such a skill is useful to begin with. This book encourages the reader to be mindful of the process and the materials used for wrapping, as these things are non-verbal ways we express our caring.

Was this review helpful?

More than just a how-to manual, The Soul of Gift Wrapping creates an entire aesthetic and ethos for the reader to live in. I enjoyed paging through, seeing life through the author's eyes, and fantasizing about a world where my gift wrapping station is more than just a hot mess of leftover cartoon paper piled up on my dining room table.

Was this review helpful?

The Soul of Gift Wrapping is perfect for those who are always running out of sticky tape and ribbons to wrap their gifts…because none of those are needed when you wrap things that Megumi Lorna Inouye way! I have always loved the way the Japanese wrap their bundles especially when they do it with fabric. As the fabric can be used over and over again, landfill is not disturbed.
I was also very happy to learn how to fold the lids of boxes - something I’ve always wanted to know how to do but just never got around to researching. Never realised it is that easy to do with the same dimensions of paper!
Easy to follow instructions and lots of step by step pictorials make it a great book for even beginners. I also loved the gentleness with which she writes, while sharing snippets of her life. She makes the simple act of wrapping gifts an act of kindness and love.

5 stars

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley, Storey Publishing, and Megumi Lorna Inouye for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! This is such a lovely book, and I'm so excited to try all of the gift wrapping techniques I've seen! The instructions provided are so clear and easy to understand, as well as wonderfully depicted in photos shown for each step. I know it'll still take me lots of practice to get perfectly, but I think the learning along the way will be part of the fun. I also loved that there are also variations for some of the examples. It's something more to look forward to trying once you nail the original steps! This book is just maximum beauty and creativity that can go into gift wrapping. I loved the different materials that can be used for wrapping, everyday stuff I definitely already have but perhaps would never have thought to use.

I think my favorite part of this book is what it has to say about being grateful in connection to gift wrapping. I feel that I've come from this book having learned to see gift wrapping as an extension of the opportunity to show gratitude and appreciation done through gift-giving. This is really a special book that I think will motivate me to put more genuine care, love, and my own feelings of gratitude into how I wrap gifts! As well as giving me beautiful examples to help me try and do so!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Storey Publishing for my advanced electronic copy. My opinions are my own.

Every word and photo seemed carefully and lovingly crafted in this beautifully-presented book. Megumi Inouye shares a refreshing perspective on the practice of gratitude in giving. A thoughtfully-wrapped gift can connect the giver and the receiver, especially when done with meaningful materials (including upcycled and repurposed ones). This brings an intentionality to the appearance of gifts of all sizes and shapes, no matter the occasion. I felt more respect for the process when I put these gift-wrapping designs and attitudes into practice, and more respect for the planet when I approached gift wrapping with a more sustainable and meaningful goal in mind. After all, what is more disposable than wrapping paper...yet what is more important than the presentation of a gift? I felt my own gift-wrapping culture being gently but importantly shifted, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this book. I found it really interesting to see all the different ways of wrapping. There were both pictures and written instruction to teach you each type of wrapping which was super helpful! I used both the words and pictures, but you could follow along with only one if you wanted to. Some styles were still difficult, but I think that's simply because I suck at wrapping normally. I definitely enjoyed this, and I tried a lot of different styles. I didn't try every single one, but I did enjoy the ones I tried. I would recommend practicing some before actually wrapping your gift since it can take some time to perfect some of the styles. But overall it was super easy to follow along!

Was this review helpful?

Megumi Lorna Inouye's book is more than a how-to manual on gift wrapping; rather, it's a book on how we present those gifts to others in a meaningful and caring way. Inouye fills her book with stunning photos of beautifully wrapped presents as well as detailed step-by-step instructions. From zero-waste gift wrapping, to origami, to furoshiki (cloth wrapping), Inouye covers so many different ways to give special attention to the gifts we give others.

Inouye's Japanese heritage is at the heart of this book, and her approach of a more gentle and graceful way to live is reflected throughout the book. A stunning and informative book.

Thank you to #NetGalley and Storey Publishing for providing this ARC of #TheSoulofGiftWrapping.


Was this review helpful?

I loved this book as I have so much of Christmas off and never experienced this as a child as mother could not be bothered. I have learnt so much from Megumi and felt that she was showing, guiding and teaching me in such a lovely way.
Shows you care and the photos of wrappings were realistic and achievable

thank you a recommended read.

Was this review helpful?

"While the material gift has a shelf life and may soon lose its monetary value, the feelings and intentions given with it—and reciprocated—sustain our collective well-being. Herein lies the real beauty and magic of a gift."

I have grown up watching my mother use creative techniques to wrap gifts for our friends' birthdays. Whether it was an innovative paper fold or a specially crafted decoration to place atop the gift, every package she wrapped was unique. Following her footsteps, I began my own experiments with papercraft which, among other things, lead me to this ARC on NetGalley.

The Soul of Gift Wrapping is not just an instruction manual on ways to wrap or decorate gifts. At a time when I feel gifting has become a mere obligation, this book helps you rediscover your purpose and the emotions involved with the act of gifting.

I especially loved reading the author's essays on how she intentionally added meaning and value to her gifts, no matter how small, and elevated the entire process to a profound experience.

An insight into a beautiful culture, this book is an absolute joy to read. And with the creative gift-wrapping hacks shared here, you can make the simplest gifts stand out in the most unique way, conveying a heartfelt message to the receiver.

This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Storey Publishing.

Was this review helpful?

What a beautiful book. Beautiful imagery and a poetic writing style. Crafters and those passionate for gifting will appreciate this artistic practice of intentional wrapping as a reflection of the gift’s meaning, offering the highest symbol of gratitude.

The author’s 30+ years of practice and passion for her culture’s tradition is so romantic that I can feel her heart melting through the pages. This is no longer about a gift, it’s about a way of life and love ❤️

These words capture the essence of the practice:
-Wabi Sabi

“Repurposing unlocks beauty and transformational energy”

This book offers a tangible guide full of gorgeous and simplistic rustic designs using everyday materials to enchant your gifts to loved ones.

Toss aside your tape, because this book doesn’t use it! You’ll learn how to fold, tuck, tie, layer, pleat, band, bind as well as how make flower, bow and origami appliqués for gifts of all shapes and sizes, including a wine bottle.

As a crafter, and fan of origami and up-cycling I will definitely be implementing some of these ideas!

Thank you to NetGalley, Storey Publishing, and Megumi Inouye for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Was this review helpful?

If you are a fan of Marie Kondo, I feel you will also become a fan of Megumi Loma Inouye and her book, The Soul of Gift Wrapping. Make the gift wrap a part of the present, and put thought and care into the presentation. This book shares how. I have always enjoyed wrapping presents, and this book explains so well the reason why.

Thank you #NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book!

Was this review helpful?

The Soul of Gift Wrapping is beautiful a form of art within its pages. I can honestly say I doubly I have the skills to replicate the intricacies within the pages. However, I appreciate the simplicity, beauty and love represented in the pages. This book is well worth the read and I highly recommend it m. It’s a beautiful look at how to give with love. 10 stars if I could give it.

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book. I loved the creative approach to gift wrapping. I like the idea of using materials like maps and book pages. There were nice step-by-step pictures. Even if you don't plan to use the wrapping techniques exactly as is, it's fun to look through and get ideas. I would recommend this for public libraries. It would make a fun program idea, as well.

Was this review helpful?

For a person that love to give an especial touch to my own creations; I found on this book lots of ideas. Following the author instructions one can just take gifting to another level.
Lovely sharing of the author precious motherly memories.
I loved it.

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely lovely and economically friendly to boot.

The Soul of Gift Wrapping is wonderful - showing how to craft beautiful and sustainable gift wrapping and packaging.


Thank you to Storey Publishing LLC and NetGalley for the PDF

Was this review helpful?

The perfect book for that crazy gift person you know. I know for a fact that my mother was more that a little excited to see this book and get even more ideas for her wrapping. I so believe i will be buying a few of these in the future for others as well.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: