Turn Your Christmas Gifts into the Piece of Art
The gifts wrapping could cause you a lot of trouble as much as a choice of the right present. Giving a beautifully wrapped gift makes a lasting impression.With a nice, creative wrapping even a smallest and modest present could give a great deal of joy.
All you need is a good will, a bit of imagination and creativity, and some 20 – 30 minutes of spare time. Even if you are not too skilled for crafts and if you don’t have “the golden fingers”, your present may look adorable – chic, elegant, funny, serious, childish, romantic, rustic… or – just name it! With a little effort you can achieve a wow effect.
The right materials make a huge difference in painless present-wrapping. While the tradition lends itself to endless variations, the basic materials are:
- Paper. Select a medium-weight gift wrap in a sheet large enough to cover the item, plus a few extra inches to spare. Thin, dime-store paper, while inexpensive, can crumple and tear during wrapping, and premium papers, though seductively beautiful, can be difficult to work with due to their heavy weight, and resistant to the adhesive of general-purpose tape.
- Scissors. Sharp blades allow you slice the paper in one sweeping movement. If possible, use long paper shears for the most precise cut.
- Tape. Transparent tape with a matte finish “disappears” when you apply it.
- Ribbon. You’ll need enough ribbon to wrap around your gift length- and width-wise, plus additional inches to make a bow. Stock up on a selection of colors and styles to add variety to your packages and make your task more fun.
- A gift box. If your gift isn’t already in a box, consider putting it inside one to make it easier to wrap. If you are wrapping multiple gifts, they will also be easier to stack and store until you’re ready to give them.
Assemble your materials on a large table top and clear plenty of work space where you can unroll your wrapping paper. If the gift has a price tag, now is the time to remove it!
Follow the steps
Measure the Width of the Box
- Place the wrapping paper face-down on the table and center your gift on it, bottom up.
- Bring the paper around the sides of the box: if the box is rectangular, you want this bottom seam of your wrapping to run along the length of the box.
- Mark the place where the paper overlaps itself by about an inch (more if you’d like a folded edge along this seam). Hold your finger on this spot or mark it with a pencil.
- Slide the box over to the marked spot and use its edge as a guide to cut the paper in a straight line. You may also use a yardstick or fold the paper, if you find it easier to work that way.
Tip: If your scissors are sharp enough, you can hold the paper and glide the scissors forward for a long, smooth cut with no jagged “cutting” marks.
Measure the Length of the Box
- Move the box toward the end of the paper, positioning it so you can fold the edge of the paper a little more than halfway up the end of the box.
- Holding the box in place, fold over the paper at the other end of the box. Mark the spot on the paper where this side also reaches a little more than halfway up the end of the box. Remove the box from the paper. Use your yardstick or fold the paper to mark the full length of the excess, then trim it away using your scissors.
Tape the Seam
- Wrap the paper back around the sides of the box so the edges meet at the bottom of the box, in the center.
- If you are working with one of the original edges of the paper, position it as the top layer for a crisp, straight line. If both edges are scissor-cut and you want a cleaner look, fold the top edge under about half an inch and crease.
- Secure the seam in the center with a small piece of tape.
Fold the Sides
- Be sure the box is centered in the paper you’ve wrapped around it.
- Holding the box firmly in place, fold the sides of the paper against the edges of the box completely, at both ends of the box. This helps keep the box centered.
- Crease the diagonal edges of the upper and lower flaps.
- With the bottom seam still facing upwards, fold down the upper flaps, gently creasing the paper against the edge of the box.
- Fold up the lower flaps. If the exposed edge of the flap is not straight, or looks a little long, fold under a small amount of paper on both ends of the box.
- Secure the flaps with tape.
Heed the thrifty carpenter’s motto: measure twice, cut once! Before you cut your ribbon, first unwind the approximate length you’ll need.
- Wrap the ribbon once around your box lengthwise.
- Continuing from that spot on the ribbon, wrap an additional amount width-wise.
- To allow for a bow, unwind from several inches to several feet more, depending on the size of the package.
- Use your finger to mark the total amount of ribbon you’ll need.
Wrap the Ribbon Around the Box
- Turn your wrapped package right-side-up and center the unwound length of ribbon across the top.
- Wrap the ribbon around the package lengthwise and twist it in the center underneath the box.
Tie It Up With a Bow
- Bring the ends back up around the sides of the box.
- Tie the ribbon once in the center, then tie a bow.
- Now you can cut!
While an easy solution to the hard-to-wrap shape is to get a box for it, that isn’t always practical. Besides, thinking “outside the box” can spark your creativity and lead to charming innovations. A few ideas:
- Think tissue. The secret weapon of the oddly shaped present! Gently swath the item in a few layers of tissue paper to make its shape more regular, than wrap the resulting bundle. This is a good solution for unboxed clothing and soft toys.
- Cylindrical shapes. Use a lightweight wrapping paper so the ends are easy to fold down. Thicker paper creates sharp edges that look awkward.
- Bottles and jars. Go with tissue paper for a festive effect: tape the end of the paper neatly at the bottom of the bottle, and leave extra paper at the top that can be tied with a ribbon and fanned open.
- Tips and cash gifts. A decorated gift tube is a nice way to upgrade your basic envelope.
- Gift bags. If all else fails, don’t be ashamed of turning to these problem-solving time-savers! Just nestle the gift in some tissue and add a bow and a note. Best of all, you know the bag will be easy for the giftee to reuse.