Thursday, September 24, 2009

etegami chopstick wrappers

A couple months ago, one of my online foodie friends mentioned hand-decorated chopstick wrappers-- the paper ones that encase disposable chopsticks at Japanese restaurants. Whether sealed bag-style wrappers, or open-topped folded wrappers, they are often printed with the restaurant logo and address. I told my friend it was fun to decorate the folded ones with etegami-style drawings. This works especially well when the wrapper is made of washi, as they often are at the higher-end restaurants. In Japan, you can also buy plain washi chopstick wrappers at the supermarket. I have a collection of plain wrappers that I decorate myself for parties or for gift-giving. If you don't have access to ready-made wrappers, they are easy to make from washi or plain printer paper. It isn't easy to draw on that small a scale, and words don't usually fit, so it has to be a drawing of a single, simple object. Or you can cheat, like I did this time, and print a reduced-sized scanned image of one of your drawings on a sheet of paper. Cut and fold the paper into a chopstick wrapper after the drawing is printed. I unfolded a washi chopstick wrapper and used it as my model. (The sealed bag-shaped ones won't work, sorry)


  1. How cool :D They are beautiful! I'd hate to fold them. Heck, I'd probably take them home.

  2. So pretty!! But I think just about anything you put etegami on would be pretty! I have been trying to find a set and haven't had much luck. I think I just need to make a trip over and pick up some supplies. :D

  3. Thanks, ladies. : )

    Until you can get the traditional tools and postcards, I suggest you go with what's accessible. I run out of washi postcards all the time and end up cutting postcard-sized rectangles from file folder covers and cookie boxes. Material like that doesn't absorb sumi or gansai paint anyway, so I use crayons or markers for the drawings. The essence of etegami is the combination of simple drawings with meaningful words.