Become a wrap artist! Learn how to make every present look festive, no matter what shape or size.
Step 1: Master the basic technique Master the basic wrapping technique: Begin by placing the gift box on the paper, top side down. Fold one end of the wrapping paper over the box to see how much paper you’ll need to completely cover it. Add two inches to that length, and cut the paper there.
Step 2: Center the box Center the box, noting how much paper is on the short sides that are going to be folded and taped. Having enough paper to cover two-thirds of those sides when the paper is folded down is ideal. Any more, and it will bunch up when you try to fold the edges.
TIP: If you have excess paper on those sides, push the box to the ideal distance on one side and trim the other side accordingly.
Step 3: Start folding Fold one end of the paper over the top of the box. When you’re sure it’s straight, tape it to the box. Then fold the other end over it and tape again. If one edge of the paper is uneven from being cut, fold it over a bit to create a straight edge.
TIP: Use double-sided tape for a more polished look.
Step 4: Fold the edges Now fold the paper down over one of the sides of the box. Take the diagonals that have been formed and fold them inward. Then bring the bottom flap up and tape it in the center. Repeat with the other side.
Step 5: Add a bow Press on a stick-on bow, or cut a piece of ribbon that's about five times the length of the gift box & wrap it around the top of the package, lengthwise, until the ends meet in the middle of the bottom of the box. Twist them around each other at the center of the box, bring them back up to the top of the package, & make a knot before tying a bow.
TIP: If the ribbon is ribbed, take a pair of scissors, hold the ribbon ends taut, and pull the blade along them to make curls.
Step 6: Solve the size problem Wrap an oversize present by taking apart some large cardboard moving boxes and building one big bottomless box that you can cover in paper and place over the gift. Or, just smother the present in balloons.
Step 7: Cover in fabric Wrap gifts with sharp edges in fabric; it won’t tear like paper. Just plop the item in the center, gather the material at the top, and tie with a thick ribbon. Fabric shops offer great deals on end-of-the-bolt pieces.
TIP: Have a big, bulky present for a child? Wrap it in a bedsheet featuring their favorite cartoon character.
Step 8: Recycle household goods Think about everyday items that could hold hard-to-wrap gifts: Chinese takeout containers, empty paper towel rolls, oatmeal canisters.
Step 9: Create a gift set A dramatic way to present three or four gifts of varying sizes is to create a gift tower: Place the presents in matching boxes of descending size, wrap the boxes in the same or complementary paper, stack them, and tie the tower together with ribbon.
FACT: Nineteen percent of Americans say they’d rather clean the house than wrap presents!