A good friend of mine had a milestone birthday this week. Although I love giving gifts, especially to those who are special to me, I don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts at this point in my life. Luckily, I always find that a small, thoughtfully chosen gift can have more of an impact than a large, expensive gift.
One of the best ways to make even the simplest gift stand out is through the wrapping. A well-wrapped gift is not only pleasing to the eye but also prompts anticipation—which is, after all, the most exciting part of receiving a gift.
At the stationery store where I work, we offer gift-wrapping services to our customers. After spending nearly two years (including two very busy holiday seasons) at the store, wrapping a gift quickly and perfectly has become second nature. A few simple tips and an easy-to-master technique are all you need to start wrapping gifts that are just as beautiful as what’s concealed inside.
First, here are three general tips that will make wrapping gifts easier:
- Use double-sided tape.
- If at all possible, wrap in a box—especially if the gift is unusually shaped.
- Make sure you don’t have too much paper.
And now, how to wrap a gift like the “pros”:
- Tape one end of the gift-wrap about an inch in from the edge on the bottom of the box.
- Pull opposite end of paper tightly around gift, creasing along the far edge of the box (where you originally taped).
- Pull paper back, fold at crease, add double-sided tape along the length of the fold, and fold back around to secure in place. (Tip: You want the fold to be as close to the edge as possible; it should hardly be visible.)
- On the side of the box, fold paper in along vertical edges, creating triangles of paper at the top and bottom. (Tip: The bottom of the box should still be facing upward at this point.)
- Fold top flap down, creasing along the edge. (Tip: To avoid bulk, trim paper if it reaches past the lower edge of the gift.) Secure at corners with double-sided tape.
- Repeat with second flap. Instead of cutting, fold paper so that it reaches about halfway to the opposite edge of the box. Add double-sided tape, and fold up, pressing to secure in place. Repeat on the other side.
- Crease all edges of the gift.
- I personally prefer raffia bows. First, wrap a length of raffia both ways around the box, with ends meeting in the middle of the top of the box. (Tip: Leave a few extra inches at each end so you can attach the bow easily.)
- To create the bow, loop raffia back and forth in the palm of your hand, gathering in the middle.
- Secure on gift with loose ends of raffia. Trim extra length and fluff bow with your fingers to add dimension.
Like everything, wrapping gifts takes practice. Although you may be a gift-wrapping novice now, follow these tips and you’ll be a pro by Christmas!