Don't despair if your gift wrapping efforts never turn out how you'd like them to, because learning the techniques to wrap like a pro is easier than you think.
Buying gifts during the holiday season can be stressful at the best of times.
Fighting your way through stampedes of frenzied shoppers, having to traipse all over town to find the exact gift for someone because it's sold out in the first 3 stores you try, trying to work out what Auntie Mavis really wants this year despite not having seen her for 6 months...
It can be a nightmare!
But however bad the gift buying experience can be, you can't beat that feeling of accomplishment and relief when you've finally managed to buy gifts for everyone on your list with days to spare.
That is when you can put your feet up, relax, and enjoy yourself right?
Not so fast.
Because you've now reached the second level of gift buying frustration, which is having to wrap them all.
And this can be incredibly annoying.
As you end up with wrapping paper all over the place, sellotape hanging off every surface, gluey fingers and glitter and ribbons turning up in the most unexpected of places for days to come.
And the final result still never looks quite how you want it to right? Despite it taking you hours of effort to get there.
This probably describes 90% of us when it comes to our gift wrapping skills, although it's not that big of a deal, as it's the thought that counts and the world loves a trier.
But if you're like me and really want to give your gifts the wow factor, then you're in the right place.
Because I'm going to show you some techniques and tips that will have you wrapping like a pro in no time, including:
And the good news is that anyone can learn these techniques. They just take a little patience, know-how and practice.
So let's get wrapping!
Some Tips & Advice Before You Get Started
Before we move on to the actual techniques themselves, lets go through a few things you can do while gift wrapping that will make the finished article look more professional, as well as making your life a hell of a lot easier in the process.
Wrap gifts on a hard surface
Now it may be tempting to wrap your gifts while sitting on the couch or on the floor in front of the TV, but by doing so you are just giving yourself a problem.
Because it will be nigh on impossible to wrap them efficiently without creasing the paper.
And you'll constantly be losing ribbons, rolls of tape, and tags (hint, you may be sitting on them!).
So if possible, wrap your gifts on a hard surface like a table instead.
Not only will this keep the paper crisp, it will also be easier to manoeuvre and flip your gift as you wrap it, making things so much easier.
And you also have a nice surface to keep your scissors, tape and accessories close to hand, rather than having to hunt for them down the back of the sofa!
use a sharp pair of scissors
Using a sharp pair of scissors will make the world of difference to your gift wrapping experience, as they will glide through the wrapping paper with ease rather than leaving jagged and unsightly edges.
And your snips will be crisp and precise too.
Just be careful not to cut yourself on them!
get yourself a tape cutter and dispenser
Struggling with rolls of sticky tape can be a real pain.
I mean how many times have you had your hands full intricately folding the wrapping paper in place around a gift until it's perfect, and then realising you have no tape on hand to stick it with?
It leaves you with no choice but to let the paper go and start again, as you need both hands (and usually your teeth!) to get some sticky tape off the roll, which leaves a bad taste in your mouth (figuratively and literally).
So treat yourself to a tape dispenser and cutter if you have a lot of gifts to wrap.
As then you'll always have ready cut pieces of tape on hand at the vital moment.
use double-sided sticky tape
This one isn't essential but it can give your gifts a really professional look.
Because by using double-sided sticky tape you can position it inside the seams of the wrapping paper, so there'll be no visible tape on the outside to spoil the look.
don't be afraid to use the tape!
It might not always feel this way, but when you are wrapping gifts sticky tape is your friend.
In fact it can work like a third hand by holding things in place while you get to work on wrapping more awkwardly shaped gifts.
So use it where needed to make the wrap easier, rather than putting yourself under too much pressure and trying to emulate an origami world champion!
work out how much paper you need for each gift
One of the worst things you can do when attempting to wrap a present is to do so with a big excess of wrapping paper.
Because this will give you too much to play with, which makes things really awkward, as well as leaving unsightly bunches and folds of paper that will make your gifts look bulky and ugly.
So before you begin wrapping, measure and cut your paper to the approximate size needed.
And always trim off any excess before securing with tape.
fold the cut edge of the paper over before you wrap it
No matter how sharp your scissors are, or how arts and crafty you profess to be, when you make cuts in the wrapping paper it will leave rough edge.
So one tip to eliminate these rough edges and get a nice crisp edge back again is to fold them over on themselves by half an inch before you wrap your gifts.
This will have all 4 sides of your wrapping paper crisp and smooth again, and leave the finished article looking fantastic.
crease the top edges down to finish
One final tip to add the finishing touch to your gift wrapping efforts is to run your fingers around the edges of your box-shaped gift to crease them down once you're done.
This will give you crisp and professional lines that will make it look like you've had your gift wrapped for you, rather than doing it yourself.
6 Great Gift Wrapping Techniques For You To Try
Ok, so now is the time to learn how to put some of this advice to good use and become a black belt in gift wrapping yourself.
Now there are so many unique and creative ways you can wrap your gifts, and you can find endless tutorials from YouTubers of these.
But for this article I've selected 6 techniques in particular that I think are really cool and easily achievable even for beginners.
And like most new skills, it's really just about learning the methods involved and practicing them.
So give the following gift wrapping techniques a try and impress your friends and family this coming holiday season.
1. wrap your boxes diagonally
Many of the gifts you have to wrap will come in square or rectangular shapes, which is great news because this is by far the easiest shape to wrap.
However it's still not easy to get them looking right.
So a brilliant tip when attempting to wrap any box-shaped gift is to do so diagonally.
As not only will this give it crisp and clean corners and edges, it'll also use less paper, making your roll of expensive wrapping paper go even further.
The steps involved:
- 1Place your box diagonally in the center of your wrapping paper.
- 2Make sure your piece of paper is big enough by lifting two opposite corners of the paper over the box. Each should reach the opposite side and all 4 corners should be covered.
- 3Now lift the paper at the corner closest to you over the box and tape it down to the opposite edge.
- 4Fold in the paper in at the left hand corner of your box and lift it so you get an edge that is flush with your gift. Secure with a piece of tape.
- 5Now do the same with the right hand corner.
- 6Finally fold the two remaining corners in in a similar fashion to create a flush edge, then lift the paper over to the opposite side. Secure with tape and job done!
2. Add a Pocket To Your Gift
Another cool and inventive way to wrap a box-shaped gift is to add a pocket into the paper where you can place cards or other items.
You can get really creative with what you put in there, and it shows some real thoughtfulness on your part.
It also looks great, will save you money on name tags, and will ensure that your card never gets lost in all the gift opening mayhem!
The steps involved:
- 1Follow the same advice as the previous example to measure out your paper.
- 2Now place your rectangular-shaped gift at an angle by one of the corners.
- 3Fold the paper over the gift at the nearest corner and also at the corner to your left. Secure these two together with some tape.
- 4Take the long side of paper and fold in the edge so it's flush with your gift. Then lift it right over to the other side and secure it with tape.
- 5To create your pocket you simply fold the final corner down so it is flush with the sides of your gift and secure the edges with tape.
- 6Fill your pocket with whatever your heart desires!
3. Create A gift bag with ribbon handles out of wrapping paper
Unfortunately not every gift you're going to wrap is going to be box-shaped. That'd just be too easy.
And if you've had experience of wrapping oddly-shaped gifts such as bottles or teddy bears in the past, then you'll know what a pain they can be.
So a great way of getting out of the chore of wrapping an awkwardly shaped gift is to put it in a gift bag instead.
But just putting it in a shop bought gift bag is boring.
Instead learn how to create a gift bag for yourself solely from wrapping paper and ribbon, and be prepared to make whoever you give it to seriously impressed.
The steps involved:
- 1Measure out the width of paper you'll need by rolling your item in it until it is fully covered.
- 2Then to measure the height, leave 2-3" at the top, allow for the items height, then add 3-4 inches at the bottom to be able to make the bags base.
- 3Now to begin you need to fold the top over by about 1-2", then do exactly the same again.
- 4Then fold the 2 sides into the center with a small overlap, and secure under the seam with either double-sided sticky tape or glue.
- 5To make the bottom of the bag, begin by folding it over and upwards by about 4-5".
- 6Then fold the two bottom corners so they meet in the center, and open them out to create a diamond shape.
- 7Fold the top and bottom points of this diamond over so there is a small overlay, and secure with double-sided sticky tape or glue.
- 8To make the sides of the bag, fold in the two sides edges by about 2-3". Now you can open up your bag and it should resemble a prettier looking grocery bag.
- 9For the handles you need to punch two holes in both sides of the top of your bag.
- 10Then thread a ribbon through both sides and tie them into loops, and there you have it. A bag with handles made entirely from wrapping paper.
4. wrap tube-shaped items and finish with a spiral ribbon
Wrapping a tube-shaped gift seems like a simple task to begin with.
I mean you just need to roll the paper around it until it's covered, cut off the excess and stick it together with tape right? It pretty much wraps itself.
But that's just the easy part.
Because it's how you wrap both ends of the tube that will make or break how good your finished gift looks.
And so many of us get this part wrong.
The steps involved:
- 1To measure out your paper, roll the tube in the wrapping paper until it is totally covered and leaves a little overlay. Then trim off the excess.
- 2Trim off the top and bottom of the paper, leaving a couple of inches (depending on the size) either end to cover the top and bottom of the tube.
- 3Now you have your paper ready, roll the gift back up inside the wrapping paper and stick the middle seam together using double-sided tape or glue underneath the overlay. Easy part done!
- 4For the bottom end, bend a piece of paper in against it, then create a series of triangular fan folds to go right around the base until it is completely covered. Secure with tape.
- 5Do exactly the same with the top end.
- 6For the ribbon spiral effect, attach a piece of ribbon to the top of your wrapped tube with sticky tape.
- 7Now rotate it down around tube at a 45-degree angle until you reach the bottom. Cut off the excess and secure it to the bottom with sticky tape.
- 8If you want to add an extra finishing touch then a flower bow works really well here.
5. make a shirt-shaped gift pocket
This one is a bit more complicated, but I've added it to the list because if you can master it you'll end up with a seriously impressive looking gift.
It works especially well when wrapping a small item such as cufflinks or a tie for someone who loves their fashion and style.
And I guess if you made it big enough you could even wrap an actual shirt inside there!
So why not give it a try. After all, we all love a challenge right?
The steps involved:
- 1Starting with a rectangular shaped piece of wrapping paper, fold one of the longer ends into the center and crease it down, then fold the opposite end into the center too with a small overlap of about an inch.
- 2Fold the overlapped piece back onto itself to create a white strip that will be the center of your shirt, and secure with a piece of tape at the bottom.
- 3Now to make the base, fold your bottom up by about 1-2" and make a crease.
- 4Open this fold out and press the corners down to make a triangle shape at each end.
- 5Next fold the top and the bottom of this section into the center with a small overlay. Secure this together with tape.
- 6Place your gift inside before taking the next steps.
- 7To make the top section of the shirt you need to fold the top over by about an inch, then do this once more.
- 8Now make a scissor cut of about an inch to either side of the shirt, directly under where your top fold is sitting.
- 9Bend both corners of the top section over at a 45 degree angle so that they meet in the center of the shirt and secure with tape. This is your collar.
- 10Finally fold back the corners at the top of the shirt to create the desired shoulder shape, then secure with tape.
- 11For a finishing touch, cut out round button shapes from the wrapping paper and stick them along your white strip in the middle of the shirt with glue.
6. finish with a flourish by learning how to tie the perfect bow
No matter how tightly and crisply you wrap your gift, if you tie a ribbon around it at the end and the bow looks dodgy then all your hard work will be undone.
Because the only thing people will be able to focus on is your naff bow.
On the other hand, a perfectly tied bow can elevate the look of a gift massively, giving it an air of class and sophistication.
And they're not that difficult to learn how to do nicely.
The steps involved:
- 1Measure out how much ribbon you'll need by taking enough to cover the face and both sides of the box 5 times over.
- 2Now take about a width and a half length of the ribbon and place it across the center of the box, holding the end with one hand.
- 3Wrap the long end around the box until the two ends meet back in the middle, then fold it down on itself at a right angle and wrap it around the box to create your cross effect.
- 4When the long end gets back to the center, bring it over, then wrap it underneath the right hand corner of the middle, bringing it out the top left hand corner.
- 5Now pull on both the long and short ends of the ribbon to tighten it up, and adjust it as you do this to get your cross looking neat and tidy.
- 6Turn the box 90 degrees so that the long end of the ribbon is pointing over the top right hand corner and the short end is pointing over the bottom left corner.
- 7Now create a loop in the short end of the ribbon by running it over your thumb.
- 8Wrap the long end of the ribbon over and then around your loop. This will create a small circle.
- 9Tuck the longer end through this circle to create a second loop, and pull both loops to create the bow.
- 10Adjust them where needed to make them look even, and make sure the knot remains centered.
- 11To add a finishing touch, take both ends of the ribbons, fold them in half, and cut down about an inch at a 45 degree angle from the top corner on each one. This creates a lovely double-pointed effect.
I hope that these techniques have given you some inspiration for the next time you have to wade through a ton of gift wrapping.
Because when you learn how to do it well, gift wrapping can become a pleasant and enjoyable activity, rather than a frustrating and tiresome one.
And seeing the look on a loved one's face as you hand them their expertly wrapped gift will give you a great sense of pride and satisfaction.
Just try not to get too precious about it, because there's every chance your expert wrapping will be torn to shreds within seconds.