The secret of beautiful gift wrapping is in details like clean creases, tight corners and choosing just the right garnish to put on top. It’s easy to learn to wrap gifts in square or rectangular packages, like these elegantly uniform curated gift boxes. If your gift is cylinder-shaped, like the pots in these gifts for plant lovers, or your gift’s shape is more unique, like some of the utensils and accessories in these gifts for foodies, you’ll have to think outside the box.
Oddly shaped and ingeniously wrapped gifts lend an extra layer of delight to the receiver. Here are a few smart and stylish wrapping techniques that can take your gift-giving to the next level. All you’ll need is a sheet of beautiful wrapping paper, deft fingers and a few materials you can find around your house.
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
Besides your wrapping paper and gift, here are the additional tools and materials you might need, depending on the gift and how you plan to wrap it:
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Pencil or marker
- Hole punch
- Masking, scotch or double-sided tape
- Cardboard (for the gift bag's base)
TIPS FOR MEASURING AND CUTTING YOUR WRAPPING PAPER
The most important rule to consider when picking your paper is that thicker is easier. Thin wrapping paper is harder to work with, and tears easily. You might also find it easier to measure and cut wrapping paper with a grid pattern on the underside.
To measure how much wrapping paper you’ll need for your gift, start by unrolling about twice as much paper as the longest side of your item. Place your gift on the unrolled wrapping paper about halfway between the starting edge and the roll.
Wrap the starting edge of the paper around the item until the two sides of paper touch, and use your pencil to mark about two inches beyond that point. Check that the top and bottom of the wrapping paper cover at least three-fourths of the remaining two sides of your item when folded upward.
Cut along your penciled mark using the grid lines. If your wrapping paper has no grid lines, eyeball the paper’s nearest edge to make sure you cut it in a straight line.
HOW TO WRAP A GIFT BOX
The simplest gifts to wrap come in neat square or rectangular shapes, like these surprise gift boxes. This ambiguous box shape ensures that the cleverly themed gifts inside remain a surprise.
Lay the cut wrapping paper flat with the white side facing up. Place your gift box on the paper about an inch from one of the short edges. Fold that edge up, and use your forefinger and thumb to crease the paper around the bottom edge of the box.
Fold the opposite short edge over the box until it meets the extra inch folded up from under the box. Use your forefinger and thumb to crease the paper around the other three sides of the box, one at a time. Don’t use your fingernails to make the creases, or you might weaken and rip the paper.
Once all your creases are neat and sharp around the box’s sides, tape the two short edges of the wrapping paper together around the box. If you don’t want visible tape, use double-sided tape to hide your handiwork.
Place the gift box with one of its unwrapped sides facing up, and tuck the paper down around two edges of the box so that it won’t slide around while you finish wrapping. Turn the box over, and repeat with the other side.
Lay the box back in its starting position. Now that you’ve tucked the wrapping paper’s sides around the box, you should see two triangular folds on each unwrapped side of the box. Fold the upper triangle down and the lower triangle up on each side. Crease all of your tucks and triangles with your fingers.
Tape the point of the upper triangle over the point of the lower triangle on each side of the box. Congratulations on an exquisite wrap!
OPTIONAL: ADD A RIBBON
Measure out a length of ribbon approximately five times the length of your gift box. Place the wrapped gift box face down on top of the center of the ribbon.
Fold both ends of the ribbon up and then together across the upward-facing bottom of the box. Where they meet, bring one side over the other and pull them perpendicular to make a cross on the box’s surface.
Flip the box over. You should see one strip of ribbon in place over your box and two equal lengths of ribbon sticking out from the underside. Thread these two loose lengths under the strip already in place, and then tie them together around the strip in a double knot.
Finish your garnish by using the ribbon ends to tie a beautiful bow after your double knot. Shape the loops just right with your fingers. Here are some tips on how to tie a perfect bow.
Give your bow forked ends by pinching the tips of the ribbon lengthwise and cutting them at a 45-degree angle.
HOW TO WRAP A GIFT WITH AN ODD SHAPE
If your gift isn’t box-shaped, like this rainbow stress ball, these colorful socks with the perfect quip for your significant other or this tiny ceramic “You tried” trophy with handles jutting out from the sides, you’ll have to get creative with your wrapping technique.
HOW TO MAKE A GIFT BAG
When measuring your wrapping paper, make sure there’s enough paper to completely encircle the gift as well as about four inches extra at the bottom to create the base of the gift bag.
Put the length of wrapping paper face down on a flat surface, and fold both sides toward the middle until they overlap a bit. Tape the overlap securely in place.
Make a base for your gift bag by folding the bottom half of the paper up toward the middle. This bottom fold will be your base, so make sure it’s big enough to seat your gift.
Open the bottom fold up by inserting your fingers between the two layers of paper and pulling the top layer down until the two layers turn into a diamond. Press the diamond down with your fingers until your base is flat and gently creased.
Your diamond has two fixed points on the sides and two loose points on the top and bottom. Fold the loose top point down and the loose bottom point up until they meet at the center of the diamond. Tape the points in place.
If your gift is on the heavy side, you can make the gift bag sturdier by cutting a small square of cardboard to fit in the base. It will help distribute the weight evenly. You can skip the cardboard if your gift doesn’t weigh much.
Put your gift in the gift bag. Seal the bag by folding over the top part and taping it to the back.
Use your hole punch to make a hole near the top of your gift bag so you can add a thoughtful garnish. A few curled ribbon streamers go handsomely with this wrapping technique. Here’s some great advice on how to curl ribbon.Celebrate Your Loved One’s Quirky Tastes With These Curated Gift Boxes
HOW TO MAKE A GIFT POUCH
You can wrap smaller items without straight edges and clean angles in a makeshift gift pouch and then jazz up the pouch with some curly ribbons or a bow.
Measure and cut your paper. Make a tube around your gift with the wrapping paper, and seal the tube by taping the edges together.
Pinch the top of the tube flat. Fold over and tape the extra paper to seal the top. Turn the tube over, and repeat on the bottom.
Punch a few holes in the top and bottom of the tube so you can add your garnish. If you punch two or three holes in each end, you can snake a ribbon through the holes and then tie and curl the ends. Feel free to use your boundless creativity on the garnish.
HOW TO WRAP BOTTLES
Here’s a smart and snazzy way to create a futuristic wrap for a gift bottle. This wrapping technique is so visionary that your recipient might not even notice the vintage of the bottle inside.
Cut a square of wrapping paper with each side twice the length of your gift bottle. Fold the square in half diagonally to create a triangle.
With the folded flat base of the triangle pointing down and the tip pointing up, lay your bottle on the extreme right side of the paper triangle. Hold the right tip of the triangle against the side of your bottle with your finger, and roll the bottle and paper sideways toward the center of the triangle.
Start folding the left side of the triangle back and forth vertically like an accordion until you reach the bottle in the middle. Make sure the bottle is rolled up snugly into the right side with the accordion folds creased tightly against the bottle on the left.
Tape the bottom of the accordion folds to the bottom of the paper rolled around the bottle to keep the sides together. If you’re worried the bottle might slip out of the paper, tape the base of the wrapped paper to the bottom of the bottle.
You can garnish the bottom of the present by wrapping a length of ribbon around the base and taping it. Add a cherry on top by tying a bow around the neck of the bottle.
HOW TO WRAP OTHER CYLINDERS
Here’s a useful idea for wrapping a gift that’s cylindrical, like this scented candle with a reusable glass container.
Measure enough wrapping paper to go entirely around the long side of your cylinder with two inches to spare. Make sure there’s enough paper on the top and bottom to cover just over half of each end of the cylinder.
Roll the wrapping paper around your cylindrical gift in a tight tube. Tape the tube together snugly.
Tuck the paper sideways at the bottom of your gift so you can focus on the top. Turn the cylinder over so the top is facing up.
You’ll see two overlapping layers of paper where you taped your tube together. Starting on the inner layer, grab the corner of paper between your fingers, and pull it toward the center of the cylinder.
Using one finger to hold the corner in place, grab the next small section of paper, and pull it toward the center. You’ll see that each new section you pull toward the center creates a folded triangle that slightly overlaps the previous section. Continue around the circle, pulling small, even sections toward the center and creasing them tightly with your fingers.
When you arrive at the final section, snip any extra paper off with your scissors. Tape all the triangular pleats together at the center of the cylinder.
Turn the cylinder over so the tucked bottom is on top. Repeat the pleating process on this side.
When you’ve put the last pleat pleasingly in place, finish by garnishing the top of your cylindrical gift with a ribbon or bow.Bundle Thoughtfully Themed Trinkets With Our Comprehensive Gift Basket Guide
TO WRAP UP
Don’t limit your gift-giving to only shapes you’re comfortable wrapping. These clever and creative techniques will help you add an artistic shine to even the humblest presents.
Whichever method you choose, don’t worry about making it perfect. This extra time you've spent researching ways to up your gift-giving game is part of the present and will stand out to your loved one.
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