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Suminagashi gift wrap tutorial

Master the art of Suminagashi with Becki Clark's gift wrap tutorial. All your gifts are going to look tip-top after this tutorial!

Suminagashi gift wrap tutorial

We all need gift wrap in our cupboard for those last-minute birthday gifts and endless Christmas gifts. However, we all know how bad wrapping paper is for the planet (it’s plastic lined so often can’t be recycled!) so why not make your own and learn a new skill at the same time? Becki Clark is here to teach you all about the ancient art of Suminagashi and how you can turn this art into pretty wrapping paper. Use it for gifts, to decorate cards, to wrap flowers in, or for bullet journalling – it’s so pretty we think you’ll even want to frame it. We’re going to teach you all about suminagashi below then it’s over to Becki for her tutorial.

Once you’ve made your gift wrap check out our other how to make eco friendly gift wrap tutorials. We have a handmade wrapping paper and a DIY fabric tag tutorial that will up your present giving game.

What is suminagashi?

Suminagashi is the Japanese art of marbling plain paper with water and ink, the name literally means ‘floating ink’. It dates back to the 12th century and produces beautiful results. Traditionally just vermillion and indigo were the coloured inks used but now a huge range of colours are used to create intricate patterns on the surface of the water. Often a strand of hair was used to trace the design in the water but in the 21st-century toothpicks are normally used. It’s very similar to paper marbling which we’ve already covered here on Gathered.

Now you’ve learnt what suminagashi is let’s get on and make some gift wrapping! For more fun crafty tutorials head to our free craft patterns which is full of different projects.


How to do suminagashi


You Will Need

  • Marbling inks
  • Paper
  • Large tray
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Gilding liquid

Step 1

Suminagashi gift wrap tutorial

Fill the tray with water, then add drops of ink – we used navy blue and black.

Step 2

Suminagashi gift wrap tutorial

Use the end of the paintbrush to swirl the inks around, then lay the paper on top of the water.

Step 3

Remove and leave to dry, then repeat with more sheets, adding more ink when necessary. Brush on gilding liquid to finish.


We hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about suminagashi and making some gift wrap with your new knowledge. For a more eco-friendly alternative head over to our how to do furoshiki wrapping tutorial. Once you’ve finished all your wrapping, head to our craft subscription box round-up and collection of the best paint by number kits for more craft ideas.