The Hottest Gift-Wrapping Tips and Ideas
Whether it’s for a holiday, a birthday, an anniversary or just because, giving a gift can be even more satisfying than getting one. And there’s nothing better than a gift wrapped so beautifully that you don’t want to tear it open.
Trouble is, trying to make it look lovely often causes us to throw our tape-covered hands in the air. Not anymore. With these tips, tricks and step-by-step wrapping instructions, you’ll soon be a gift-wrapping pro in no time.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Like the song goes, “Brown paper packages tied up with strings…” Pick up a roll of thick, solid-color craft or packing paper. Why brown paper? Because it’s a very versatile, neutral color that is readily available at packing and shipping supply stores, and online. Plus, you can let the ribbons and bows set the look and feel.
An important note: The paper’s thickness, or weight, is an important consideration. Paying an extra dollar or two for a heavier weight will keep you from the frustration of pesky tears.
STICK TO IT.
Tape—you definitely need tape! Fortunately, this tool is the easiest one to buy, and it’s available in a variety of widths. Traditionally, it came in only a shiny or matte finish. Now, there are hundreds of colors and styles, including colorful washi tape (see below). Whatever brand you choose, as long as it’s clear and sticky, you’ll do fine.
ALL WRAPPED UP.
Corners, folds and flaps, oh my! You won’t need a wizard to wrap it up once you know these 5 steps.
1. Crisp folds: The secret to a crisp, sharp look is to limit the amount of paper because too much creates bulky, sloppy folds. On a large, flat surface, unroll the paper and place the gift box in the middle, upside down. Measure the amount of paper you’ll need by bringing the cut edge of paper up on one side and over the top of the box, all the way to the opposite edge. Estimate how much more paper will be needed to cover the remaining side of the gift.
2. Cut straight: Using a straight edge like a ruler, large book or magazine, slowly cut along the length of the paper.
3. Center the gift: Lay your gift upside down and bring up one end of the paper, taping it to the middle of the gift. Bring up the other end of the paper, slightly overlap, and then secure it with another piece of tape. Make sure to position the tape so it runs parallel to the edge of the paper—that way it covers more surface and stays in place better.
4. Perfect ends: Now comes the tricky part—folding the ends of the wrap. (You can do it!) Starting on one side of the box, flatten the paper down from the top so it lies against the box. Make sure to flatten along the edge all the way to the ends; you’ll end up with two wings sticking out. Take each wing and flatten it against the box, making a triangular fold and creasing it carefully. Crease the corners of the bottom portion, bring it up to slightly overlap the top piece and flatten it to the box. Secure with a piece of tape.
5. Finish it off: Turn the box around and repeat step 4. To create a polished look, use crisp creases on each fold. And remember, there’s no rush. Go slowly so each fold is tight and flat.
TOP IT OFF.
Washi tape: Give your wrapped gift a little extra something with ribbon—or try a trendy new decorative technique using colorful tape. Because many of us are scared of ribbon (a poorly tied ribbon is a surefire way to make a gift look sloppy), we like the innovative idea of using colorful Japanese washi tape to transform your gift into a showstopper.
Washi tape comes in hundreds of different colors and patterns—try combining them! We like color blocking with different shades of the same color, or for a unique and vibrant combination, try contrasting colors.
Curling ribbon: The classic curled ribbon might seem intimidating, but it’s not as hard as it looks. All you need is a roll of curling ribbon (the kind with tiny horizontal ribs) and a scissors. To start, pull an arm’s length (or more if the gift is very large) of ribbon off the roll, wrap it once around the gift and tie a tight knot. If you’d like, wrap it a second time to cover all the sides. Next, carefully pull a blade of your scissors along a length of ribbon’s ridges. It creates a marvelous curlicue effect that is festive and fun.
Want more curls? Cut another piece, tie it around the knot and curl it up! Try varying the lengths to get the right look. To get extra curl, run the blade along the ribbon a second time (making sure to do it on the same side, inside the curl).
MORE GIFT-WRAPPING TIPS
• When you’re done wrapping, pack away your ribbons in a Snapware® Snap ’N Stack® Seasonal 6″ X 9″ Ribbon Dispenser to keep them from tangling.
• Packing a fragile item? Make your own packing material with a paper shredder. It’s especially fun to shred the comics, advertisements or colored paper!
• Lots of presents or family members? Assign each person a different color of paper, tape or ribbon and you can skip gift tags. It’s a fun visual way for guests and family members to identify their gifts at a glance.
• Save one or two empty cardboard wrapping paper tubes to store leftover sheets of paper.
• Use a rubber band at both ends of the roll to keep the paper from unwinding and getting crumpled.
• After-Christmas sales are the perfect time to stock up for next year. BONUS: Look for paper, ribbons, bags, bows and tissue paper that don’t have holiday patterns or prints—you can use them anytime of year.
Share your gift-wrapping tips, trick and photos.