Preparation is everything, so make your life a hell of a lot easier by kitting yourself out with the best gift wrapping tools and accessories.
They say only a bad worker blames their tools, but I don't go along with that.
Quite the opposite in fact.
Because I believe that kitting yourself out with the best tools for the job will make your gift wrapping experience a hell of a lot more pleasant, while also improving the end result significantly.
So it's a great idea to put together a trusty gift wrapping kit that you can rely on year after year when you are faced with another mountain of Christmas gifts to wrap.
The Essentials You Need In Your Gift Wrapping Tool Kit
If you want to cover the basics of gift wrapping and do it well, then the following items need to be in your tool kit:
Let us explain why.
A Good Pair of Scissors
Making sure you have a good pair of scissors should be the number one consideration when you are putting together your gift wrapping kit.
Because using a blunt, crappy pair will destroy all your good intentions.
As you'll end up butchering the wrapping paper as you cut through it, creating ragged and unsightly edges.
And your ribbons won't fare much better either!
Which will leave an end result that looks messy and thrown together without any care and consideration. The exact opposite of what we a re aiming for!
So what makes a good pair of scissors for gift wrapping?
Firstly they need to be sharp enough to glide through the paper as you cut it, without any snagging.
They should also be easy to manoeuvre, with non-constricting handles, so you can cut through the paper at the angles you need to without too much fuss.
And if you want an example of a great pair of scissors for gift wrapping, try the Fiskars General Purpose Scissors.
These have a stainless steel blade that is as sharp as a knife, which is great for cutting through paper, ribbon and fabric.
They are also comfortable to use, with a specially designed handle to keep your hands blister-free.
Some Scotch Tape & a Dispenser
Scotch Magic tape is the best of the best when it comes to gift wrapping.
As not only does it stick great, it has a clear, matte finish that is almost invisible on your wrapping paper when you use it.
However, fiddling around with rolls of sticky tape can be one of the banes of your life when you're wrapping gifts.
As you are either constantly losing the end of the tape as it sticks back to the roll, or end up with your hands full while wrapping and don't have a second pair of hands to get the tape you need off the roll to stick everything down at the crucial moment!
It can be really frustrating.
So it's a good idea to add a tape dispenser to your gift wrapping kit, as then you can get the tape you need using just one hand, and without ever losing the end again.
And a perfect one for Scotch tape is, surprise surprise, the Scotch Desktop Tape Dispenser.
While invisible Scotch tape is better than regular sticky tape for gift wrapping, if you want to get a really professional finish then you need to wrap your gifts with as little (or no) tape showing at all.
And to do this you need to use double-sided tape.
This way you can stick your wrapping paper in place inside the folds, rather than outside, and this creates a really neat and visually attractive finish.
It gives the illusion that you've used no tape at all.
So get yourself some double-sided tape for your gift wrapping kit, and a good one to use is the X-Press IT double-sided tissue tape.
This tape comes in a variety of sizes, and has a backing on one side that you have to peel off, so it's easier to get into position on your paper before you stick everything together.
Glue dots are a great accessory to have in your gift wrapping kit, as they can handle some of the tasks that tape can't.
They are small, circlular-shaped adhesives that feel like jelly, which you peel off a strip and use to attach card, paper and small items like buttons to your gifts.
In fact you may have already seen them in action, as they are used to hold things like credit cards in place on letters when the bank sends one out to you.
And the advantage of using these over regular glue and glue sticks is that there is less mess with the glue dots, plus unlike tape they remain invisible underneath the item you are sticking.
So add a pack of these to your arsenal, such as the Glue Dots Craft Roll pack below.
Bakers twine is a thin type of string that can be used to great effect in gift wrapping.
For instance, you can tie it up around your gifts to create a bow that gives them a real rustic and charming finish.
Twine can also add a great decorative element when you are using plain wrapping paper, really jazzing up the gift and adding some colour and class to it.
It can also be handy for tying flowers and other things onto gifts, as well as securing gifts wrapped in tissue paper.
And the good news is that it comes in all sorts of colours and patterns, so you can get creative and mix and match the twines to create a spectacular finish.
So a good selection of twine should be a part of everyone's gift wrapping kit.
For some ideas on the different types of twine on offer, click here.
Ribbons are a versatile and vital element to any successful gift wrapping operation.
As they add the perfect decorative embellishment that will really make your gift stand out from the crowd.
Because you can use ribbons to wrap and secure the paper around your gifts, to tie attractive bows around wrapped presents, to make decorative ribbon flowers, to add a touch of class to homemade greeting cards, or to secure bouquets of flowers.
And you have a multitude of ribbon types to choose from, such as:
- 1Satin ribbons - Soft and shiny with a silky feel, satin ribbons are great for gift wrapping and very decorative.
- 2Sheer ribbons - These ribbons give a see through, translucent effect.
- 3Curling ribbons - Give your gift a soft, bouncy and fun look.
- 4Grosgrain ribbons - Woven ribbons with a decorative pattern that provide a textured and ribbed finish.
- 5Paper ribbons - Soft and pliable, these ribbons are great for making decorative embellishments. such as flower bows.
So get yourself a selection of decorative ribbon, and you'll be able to jazz up your gifts with finishing touches that compliment your wrapping paper and make your gift look really classy.
Click here to see a good selection of ribbons for gift wrapping.
Good Quality Wrapping Paper
When it comes to wrapping paper, the choice of designs, patterns and styles are almost endless, so you should always be able to find something you like.
However there can be a big difference in terms of quality.
As while some wrapping papers are thick and luxurious to the touch, others can feel a bit cheap and nasty, tearing easily and looking quite shabby.
So don't spoil your gift wrapping efforts by scrimping on the paper, buy quality and keep your gifts looking mint.
And keep an eye on the thickness of the paper before you buy it as well.
As wrapping paper comes with a GSM (grams per square meter) rating, which is an indicator of it's thickness and pliability, with the lower rating being thinner and the higher being thicker.
And as a guideline, wrapping paper with a GSM of 55 will probably be too thin and liable to tear, whereas one with a GSM of 100 may be too thick, making it hard to bend and work with.
So try to aim for a sweet spot of 80 GSM in your wrapping paper, as this will be thick enough to look good and not rip easily, yet still be pliable enough to fold and manipulate as you wrap.
Decorative Tissue Paper
There are some gifts that are really hard to wrap with conventional wrapping paper, such as oddly-shaped items like balls, flowers and bottles.
So a far better idea for gifts like these is to wrap them in decorative tissue paper instead, as tissue paper is softer, easier to work with, and wraps around any awkward shapes with ease.
This way you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration, as well as ending up with a classy looking gift that you can finish by tying with a ribbon or some twine.
And you can also use the tissue paper inside gift bags, boxes or baskets for decorative reasons or to protect fragile items
So make sure you have some tissue paper in different colours and designs in your gift wrapping kit.
Paperchase UK do a range of these, which you can take a look at by clicking here.
Measuring Tape, Ruler, Pencil & Eraser
Your gift wrapping exploits will be made much easier if you can accurately measure and cut the wrapping paper to the appropriate size before you begin wrapping.
This way you won't have to fight with mounds of excess paper, or be left with bulky and oversized ends and folds.
So add a measuring tape and metal ruler to your kit, so you can map out and pre-cut your wrapping paper, and make life easier for yourself.
And always use a pencil to mark out the lines where you need to make cuts, then you can then rub them out when done so they don't show through on the paper.
Stickers & Gift Tags
As the very final touch of your gift wrapping process, you are going to need some tags and gift tags in your kit to make sure you know who the gifts are for.
And these also add a finishing touch to the decorative style of your gift too.
As you have a wide range of these to choose from now, so you'll be able to find a style that suits and compliments your paper and tastes.
And another great addition to any gift wrapping kit are an assortment of decorative stickers.
These can be added to your wrapped gift to create a unique and distinct style, and you can get really creative to match these stickers to themes, or personalise them so they resonate with the person you are giving the gift to.
You can get stickers covering pretty much everything, from funny ones, Christmas ones, scary ones for Halloween, glittery stickers, animal stickers, or love heart stickers.
These can also work great if you want to wrap your gifts in a more minimal style by using plain wrapping paper.
Take Things a Step Further
Now you've got your gift wrapping kit together, you should be ready for most of the challenges that regular gift wrapping can throw at you.
But if you want to take your gift wrapping game to the next level, then you need more than just the basics.
So consider adding the following tools to your kit, and your wrapped gifts will look all the more professional and impressive for it.
Use Different Scissors For Different Tasks
No matter how good your scissors are, having just the one pair to cut everything will eventually blunt and dull the blade, meaning they will lose their value to your gift wrapping endeavours.
So if you want to get serious about gift wrapping, you need to have a different pair of scissors for each specific task.
As each different type of scissor will have their blades set at different angles.
This effects how they work and cut through material, and the angle needed will vary for each task.
Which means you'll need one pair for cutting paper, another for clipping flowers, one for cutting fabrics and ribbons, and another for making smaller intricate cuts that are beyond the scope of your main paper scissors.
This will keep your cuts smooth and sure, keep your scissors all working as they should, and extend their lifespan considerably.
Now you should already have your scissors for cutting paper in your kit, so lets go through some recommendations for the rest.
You've probably noticed that the Fiskars Micro Tip Pruning Snips aren't scissors, but they are ideal to use for clipping flowers for gift wrapping, rather than using (and blunting) your other scissors.
Whereas the Gingher 8" Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears are the perfect pair of scissors for cutting through fabric and ribbon, as they are razor sharp and have a bent edge to hold the fabric in place on the table as you cut it.
And the Gingher 4" Embroidery scissors are perfect for making small, incisive cuts, being strong, small, and easy to manoeuvre.
Now these scissors aren't cheap, but they are built to last for many years if you look after them.
And if you do a lot of gift wrapping (or indulge in any other craft-type hobbies), then they are well worth getting in my opinion.
A Metal Scalpel
If you want to make a good job of cutting decorative shapes out of wrapping paper and card, then a pair of scissors just aren't going to cut it (if you'll excuse the pun!).
To get a really great finish for the most awkward shapes you need to use a metal scalpel instead.
This way you can cut with precision, leaving perfect edges and lines with not a jagged part in sight.
So add a sharp metal scalpel to your gift wrapping kit for those tasks that require surgical cutting skills.
And a good one for this task is X-Acto Precision Knife.
This one is extremely sharp and long lasting, and allows you to cut through paper, card, plastic and balsa wood to create your decorative embellishments.
You'll also need to use a cutting mat with your scalpel to avoid damaging your table (or yourself), so check out the Alvin Cutting Mat.
Now that you have so many pairs of scissors and blades in your gift wrapping kit, you'll need to keep them sharp and functioning well.
This way they will last longer and will keep performing as you want them to.
Because there is nothing worse than having to work with a blunt pair of scissors!
So get yourself a metal sharpener to keep your blades in tip-top condition.
The Smith's Jiffy Pro Handheld Sharpener should do the trick for most.
However, if you have more expensive sewing and embroidery scissors, then I'd recommend getting them sharpened by a professional once or twice a year instead.
A Straight Edge
Using a straight edge to tear paper rather than cut it is a great way of saving time and ending up with a crisper and neater edge on your wrapping paper.
And if you've ever seen a professional decorator at work, you'll probably have seen them using this technique with their wallpaper, as it's so much easier than cutting with scissors each time.
The idea is to roll your paper out on a table, then place the straight edge along the line where you want to make the cut.
Now place your weight on the straight edge with one hand, and with the other tear the paper away with a smooth and confident motion.
This should leave you with a crisp edge, both on the piece of paper you've just tore off, and on the paper left on the roll.
Now you'll want a straight edge that is long enough to cover the whole width of your wrapping paper and some more, and the Vinca stainless steel drawing ruler that I recommended for your basic gift wrapping kit may do the job.
But if you want something designed especially for this purpose, check out the WrapMaster Gift Wrap Cutting Tool.
This one is ideal for gift wrapping and has been around for donkeys years.
Check out the video below to see one in action.
And if you can't find a WrapMaster for sale, then anything similar with a straight edge will do the job.
Wrapping Paper Holders
Another handy gizmo that can make your whole gift wrapping experience a lot easier is to get some wrapping paper holders.
These are clamps that you attach to your table to hold your roll of wrapping paper.
By doing this you can easily unroll the wrapping paper you need as you go, without getting it creased or having rolls of paper under foot.
It's easier to measure, cleaner and just far more efficient to do it this way.
So check out the Wrap Buddies Gift Wrapping Paper Holder.
This is two clamps that can be positions separately on the table, making them suitable for any sized roll of wrapping paper.
And as an added bonus there are integrated tape dispensers on each clamp, so you can get your tape super easily.
A great way to add to the decorative effect of your gift is to use Washi tape.
This is a Japanese fabric tape that is decorative in it's own right, coming in a wide range of colours, patterns and styles.
And using it can really make your gift sparkle.
You can mix and match the different Washi tapes to create a unique design, or cut it into shapes to place on your wrapped gift.
And it can get you out of jail if you run out of wrapping paper, as you can wrap your gift in plain paper instead, then use the Washi tape to add the decorative touches to it.
So I'd say that a range of Washi tapes deserve their place in anyone's gift wrapping kit.
Give some a try and brighten up your gifts today. These colourful ones will get you started before you move on to the patterned ones.
And to see a selection of patterned Washi tape, check out the range at Paperchase UK by clicking here.
A Hot Glue Gun
Sometimes sticky tape and glue dots just won't cut it, and for some specialised gift wrapping tasks you are going to need a stronger adhesive.
Which is where adding a hot glue gun to your gift wrapping kit comes in.
These guns are great for heavy duty projects where you need a stronger grip to hold heavier decorative objects in place, as they can stick metal, wood, glass, card, ceramics and fabric together.
So they are perfect for sticking ornamental and decorative objects to your gifts, such as beads, fake jewels, flowers, and buttons.
In fact they allow you to get super creative over what you add to spruce up your gifts. The only limit is your imagination.
So if you want to create something out of the ordinary, and be able to stick pretty much anything, get yourself a glue gun that works well for gift wrapping, such as the ccbetter Hot Glue Gun.
I hope we've inspired you to put together your own gift wrapping kit, because it just makes so much sense.
As it makes the whole gift wrapping experience easier, quicker, and more pleasant.
And while it is a bit of a pain and an expense to buy everything all at once, once you have your kit assembled it will serve you well for years to come.
So take the stress out of gift wrapping this holiday season by equipping yourself with the best tools for the job.