If gift-wrapping was a survival skill, probably only a handful of us would be alive today. While you’ve probably got away with using too much wrapper and tape, especially when covering those uneven corners. Or, you’ve resigned yourself to the added expense of gift bags. But all is not lost. There are a lot of gift wrapping hacks that will enable you to produce a more-than-decent, bordering-on-beautiful wrapped present on the next birthday party, bridal shower, baby shower, or holiday gathering. Yes, this year is going to be different!
First things first… supplies.
Before we get into the steps that’ll have you wrapping like a pro like this dude here, you need to get your stuff all sorted out first. Below is a list of what you’ll need:
Workstation: you’ll need a flat, hard surface to work on. Forget about your bed or shag carpet, no matter how comfortable they are. Trust us, the results will be way different. Also, make sure that your wrap station is big enough to accommodate your supplies and your gift.
Tools: Like any professional, you have to have the right tools for the job. Don’t stick with those old, blunt scissors you dug up in the back of your junk drawer. Get a really sharp pair that will make cutting paper easier, faster, and neater. Even better, you might want to get a rotary cutter which looks like a pizza slicer and will cut through your wrapper evenly and much more quickly. While you’re at the store, you might as well get wrapping paper, double-sided tape, some ribbons, and a gift tag. If you already have really nice ribbons at home (you know, from last year’s gifts) stored away, you can use those instead. Every penny saved counts, right? You’ll also need a ruler and a pencil.
Hack 1: To reuse an old ribbon, you gotta get the kinks out. Use a flat iron to get them kink-free in no time. No flat iron? A warm light bulb ought to do the trick. It’ll just take a while longer but you’ll get there.
Hack 2: Get some empty tissue paper rolls and use them to keep your wrapping paper under control. Cut a little opening which will allow you to pull your wrapper through as you use it while keeping the rest under wraps.
It’s wrapping time!
Once everything you need is on hand, ready for use, it’s time to get your wrapping done.
Step 1: Unravel a portion of your wrapping paper and lay it flat on your wrap station. Place the box on top of the wrapping paper with the largest side of the box facing down.
Step 2: Measure, measure, measure. You need to make sure that you have enough paper to cover your gift plus some wiggle room. Use the ruler and pencil to mark the wrapper so you know where you’ll be cutting.
Step 3: Once the paper is cut, place the box in the center of the wrapping paper with the largest area facing down again. Lift one edge up, wrap it around the side until you’re past an inch or two of the top side of the box. Then tape it. Using double-sided tape enables you to hide the tape from view so your gift looks neater and more professional.
Step 4: Get the opposite edge of the wrapping paper and bring it over the box until it overlaps with the corner you just covered. Get your pencil and mark the part of the paper that meets the edge of the box. Fold that part inwards and make sure that the edge of the fold lines up perfectly with the corner seams.
Step 5: By now, your gift should look like a rectangular tube with the ends sticking out. Now comes the hard part – covering these ends. Choose one end of the box and fold one side of the wrapping paper on top of the uncovered end. Put your hand on top of the box to make sure it doesn’t slide while you make a crease. Do the same for the other end. Once you have flaps made on both ends of the box, pick one to fold and tape it down. If it’s too long for the height of the box, cut a little bit of that flap before folding down and taping it. Pull the other flap, fold it over the first one then tape it. If this one is too long, just fold the edge of the flap a bit and match it perfectly with the crease at the edge of the box. Similar to what you did with the sides. The end of the box should look a little like an envelope. Do the same for the other end.
Step 6: Add the finishing touches to create the professionally wrapped look. Pinch the edges using your thumb and forefinger to make the edges sharp. Then add your ribbon and/or gift tag. Tada! Now, if your gift is oddly shaped, we’ll need to do a different article for that.