Have you ever receive or given a present that looks like it has been through a ship wreck? A beautifully wrapped present can indicate that the gift giver is really thoughtful in preparing the ‘perfect gift’. Before turning to gift bags and having departmental stores do the tiresome work for you, here are some tips and ideas for wrapping gifts like a pro.
1. Speed gift wrap like in Takashimaya department stores
It may look easy, but you will need at least (i) a gift box (if the present is irregularly shaped), (ii) wrapping paper cut to the exact size, and (iii) tape.
Here’s a step by step tutorial:
2. Do it like an mathematician
Using the precise amount of paper to wrap presents is both an art and a science – mathematics to be exact. When gifts are rectangular, wrapping comes pretty easy. But for certain shapes, some simple mathematical tricks can ensure the ends of the wrapping paper meet exactly where they should, allowing the pattern of the paper to look like it was never cut.
Watch mathematician Katie Steckles’ video tutorial below and your gift wrapping will look absolutely professional.
3. Do it the ‘traditional’ way
Not keen on speed gift wrapping, you can still do it the traditional way.
1. Lay the box face down on the paper. Use a ribbon or tape measure to measure the girth of the box and add two inches. This is how much paper you will need to go around the box. To determine how much wrap you will need to cover the ends of the box, allow an overlap that’s equal to the height of the box and trim the excess paper accordingly.
2. For best results, the seam of the paper should be at the edge of the bottom of the package, rather than along the center. Pull one side of the wrap all the way to the other edge of the box, crease it slightly to mark the edge, and then fold the crease for a clean look. Secure the edge with three small pieces of double-sided tape. Crease the bottom edges of the box with your thumb and forefinger.
3. Flip the box so that the top is facing upward. Place a small piece of double-sided tape near both sides of the end of the box. Push in on both ends to fold the wrap; it will be held in place by the double-sided tape.
4. For a finished look, fold the top edge of both the top and bottom flaps to ensure a straight, crisp line.
5. Tape the flaps to the box with three small pieces of double-sided tape.
6. To add the ribbon, start with the box facing top side up. Using a spool of uncut ribbon, wrap the ribbon around the length of the box and bring the spool back to the center. Be sure you‘ve left enough at the end to tie a bow or secure a handmade bow.
7. Cross the end and the spool of ribbon at the top of the box, and then wrap the spool around the width of the box. Measure a length of ribbon from the spool that‘s approximately the same as the length of the first end, and cut.
8. Tie the two ends together in a knot at the center. Now you’re ready to add a bow for a complete presentation.
4. Selecting an Appropriate Box
Gift totes are a quick, easy and fun solution for gift-giving…a great idea if you’re pressed for time. They’re also ideal when traveling by airplane because they offer visibility when going through security. When placing gifts inside a gift tote, wrap each item separately in coordinating tissue. Add additional sheets of tissue or paper shreds on top to completely disguise the contents.
Also, choose a gift box that is large enough to hold your item with plenty of room around the edges for tissue paper or other padding.
5. Get Creative With The Wrapping Paper
The presentation matters as much as the present, so make your gifts extra special by wrapping them in love with customised wrapping paper, such as Zazzle’s photo wrapping paper. Do check out the Christmas-theme wrapping papers as well.
Typically, small patterned wraps work best for small boxes. Wraps with larger designs work well on bigger boxes so that the entire pattern may be seen. It’s always a nice touch to select a wrap that speaks to the personality or tastes of the recipient.
6. Decorate with style
White gift boxes, or speciality boxes, can be embellished with ribbons, stickers and tags for a distinctive twist on traditional wrapping.
For the truly hopeless gift wrappers out there, buy some decorative tape and stickers. That way even if the ends look awful, or there are a few tears you don’t care to fix, you can just cover all your mistakes with some sparkly, festive tape and stickers.
For a complete presentation, it’s ideal to wrap ribbon around all four sides of the box before adding a bow. If shipping gifts, use wire-edged ribbon, tulle, yarn or cording to avoid crushed or damaged bows. Wire-edged ribbon is very forgiving and can be fluffed once the package reaches its destination.
Don’t keep the recipients guessing…let them know who it’s from with a gift tag attached to the box or bow. Choose a coordinating or complementary gift tag to add interest to your package.
Scroll through the photos here to get those creative juices flowing!
7. DIY with Irregularly-shaped Gifts
Packaging a bizarrely-shaped gift is almost always a challenge for most people. Besides buying tote bags or gift boxes, you can DIY with things around the house.
For smaller gifts such as nail polish, you can ball them up in bubble wrap or tissue paper and stick them into an empty paper towel roll. Wrap the roll in paper, twist the wrapping paper at the ends, and secure with some ribbon to make it look like a piece of candy.
For medium-sized gifts, repackage them in any empty and clean container, such as shipping boxes.
8. Get The Right Tools For The Job
Scissors and tape are fine, but to gift wrap like a pro, then the right tools are necessary.
A rotary cutter and pop up tape dispenser will save you time and energy. The rotary cutter works like a pizza cutter for paper – push it gently across the wrapping paper for a clean, safe, even cut. No more jagged edges or wads of discarded tape. It also eliminates the squeezing action of conventional scissors that can lead to hand fatigue.
The pop up tape dispenser is another must have tool – it fits on your hand and cuts the tape for you!
It’s best to use double-sided tape when wrapping gifts for a clean, professional presentation – no tape will be visible.