One of my good friends has a birthday in early January.
She is a designer and loves black but also bright colors. Her in mind, I came up with this fun gift wrap using monkiri-gata, paper cutting patterns of Japanese designs that was popular amongst everyday folks as a hobby in the 1800s. Yes, we are big on hobbies. Still.
Each pattern symbolizes something positive such as longevity, prosperity, good health, and good luck. You must have realize by now that we are also big on anything with good lucks. Seriously.
I chose a few patterns that have associations with early spring & good fortune, and picked origami papers with colors that made me think of her.
The red paper is cut into a shape of a stuck of sake cups which is very Japanese New Year-ish. The yellow one is called "6 snake scale" pattern which is supposed to repel evil. The green ring one is kind of humorous & the purple is an arrowroot flower pattern.
If you are interested in monkiri patterns, this is the book I have. I got this in a bookstore in Tokyo a while ago. This post seems to have some links & nice pictures of finished monkiri-gata works.
It looks so festive & can make small gifts very special. It's also something fun to do in those bitter cold winter days!