The shopping is done and everyone on the list is covered. Now, it’s time for the wrapping! Assembling pretty packages can be a daunting task, so we’ve gathered a few tips to help make the process a little smoother:
Use a box wherever possible
If possible, try to find a box for all your gifts. They’re the easiest shape to wrap, providing uniformity for simple measuring and cutting. If an item is large, like a skateboard, for example, piece together two boxes and tape the length together at the center. Wrapping multiple gifts in boxes also makes them easier to stack and store.
Get creative with bulky or unusually shaped items
If you can’t find a box to suit your item and you have, say, a bowling ball or other unusually shaped item, wrap it in cellophane and secure with a rubber band at the top; top with a bow and fan the plastic at the top. Other items, like bikes or pets, are best hidden away until it’s time to unveil them.
Invest in quality paper
Getting a great deal on pretty patterned paper is a good idea in theory; however, watch out for thin paper, which can crumple and tear during the wrapping process. For best results, choose a medium-weight gift wrap in a sheet large enough to cover the item, with a few extra inches to spare. Brown craft paper works great, too, while allowing personalization from stamping, stenciling or coloring.
Measure your paper
Too much paper can result in sloppy wrapping; the more paper you have to fold, the messier it looks. Lack of excess paper makes the wrapping easier to handle and produces neatly folded ends, which give your gifts an elegant look. A ribbon, wrapped around your gift, makes the perfect measuring tape for your paper. Add a one-inch overlap, then lay the ribbon on the paper and cut. To further simplify the process, choose paper with grid lines underneath for even cutting.
A ribbon, wrapped around your gift, makes the perfect measuring tape for your paper.
Choose the right materials
Choose scissors with sharp blades that can cut through the paper in one sweeping movement; transparent tape with a matte finish blends perfectly into the paper. Finally, when selecting ribbon, choose a variety of colors and styles to add pizzazz to your packages-with enough length to wrap around your gift, and enough left over at the width to make a bow at the top. Pine cones, evergreen and other natural elements also add great style to wrapped gifts.
Wrap on a flat surface
When all your materials are gathered, find a flat work area-like a large table top-with plenty of space to unroll your wrapping paper. This will help to eliminate crumpling, tearing and messy folding. Remove all price tags, check each item for defects, cracks and chips, and ensure all items are packed properly before you begin wrapping. If you are adding a gift receipt to your present, tape it to the lid of the box, or present it in an envelope to the recipient if you are giving a larger item.
Let the wrapping begin!
The process of gift wrapping is best explained visually. We found a great slideshow demonstration of the process, courtesy of Country Living magazine, to help you perfect your package presentation. However, here’s one pro tip you don’t want to miss: While wrapping, if you’re planning to add tags and cards later, label them with sticky notes so you do not mix up your gifts.
Add the finishing touches
If you are attaching a card, secure the envelope to the package with tape. Gift tags are presented best threaded onto the bow during the wrapping process; use a hole punch if necessary. If you do not have gift tags available, write the recipient’s name directly onto the package in a contrasting color or metallic marker.