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Usually, I am the type of person who doesn’t start Christmas festivities until Thanksgiving has passed. However, with 2020’s shortages and shipping difficulties, I am getting a head start on purchasing some of my Holiday essentials. Topping this list is unique wrapping paper ideas to make each gift special.
Because I won’t be able to be with some of my dearest friends and family in person this year, I want to make sure that each gift is wrapped beautifully and conveys how much I care. This includes the quality and design of the wrapping paper as well as the proper gift wrap technique. So, in addition to highlighting some of my favorite papers of the season, I thought it would be useful to include a quick gift wrap how to lesson.
It can be so tempting to buy the bulk discount wrapping papers, but try to fight the urge. Quality matters! The real secret to how to gift wrap a box is using a high quality gift wrap. This will prevent tearing as we cover the importance of tautness in our gift wrap how to.
There are so many beautiful papers to choose from this year. Whether you are looking for a cute gift wrap, beautiful gift wrap, or sophisticated and stunning wrap, there is something out there for you. Best of all, many of these gift wraps are unique as they are produced by small businesses run by artists. Caspari has long been a favorite of mine for their beautiful prints and thick papers (see below). This year, I also found a new brand called WH Hostess and added it to my collection of unique wrapping paper that always draws a comment from the recipient. Their prints include darling topiaries with bows and country houses straight out of a Dickens novel.
Below are a few of the favorite gift wraps that I found in my search. Many are from Etsy, a great source for unique wrapping paper. Remember to mix wrapping paper sizes as you will need some for big boxes as well as small.
Another must have for our gift wrap how to is ribbon. No how to gift wrap a box lesson will be complete without a bow. There is nothing more frustrating that finishing a package and realizing you don’t have enough ribbon. Be sure to buy a mix of sizes and colors for various packages. And, if you aren’t very good at tying bows, invest in pre-made bows or wire ribbons. Mixing and matching the patterns of the wrapping paper and ribbon is another great way to make your gift unique.
Before we get to how to gift wrap a box, let’s start with the materials. We’ve already covered wrapping paper and ribbon above. In addition to this you will need a ruler, pencil, double sided scotch tape, and very sharp scissors. You will also need a large flat surface.
Gift wrapping is not difficult, but if done right, it is time consuming. The more effort you put into doing each step neatly, the better your package will look. Now let’s start this gift wrap how to lesson:
Spread your wrapping paper on the surface and use a heavy object on both ends to hold it flat. Lay your box on top. You will want enough paper to just overlap about two inches. Take the loose end of the wrapping paper and fold it over the box and far side so that it touches the other end of the paper. Make a pencil mark there. Then add an additional two to three inches so you have a margin for error.
Using your ruler and pencil, draw a line here and cut the paper neatly along that line. Next move the box toward the bottom edge. You will again want just enough paper to meet in the middle and overlap by about an inch on this side. Measure this distance. Then, cut the other side to the same length. Don’t forget to use the ruler and pencil to get straight cuts.
I like to use double-sided tape so that you can’t see it. It makes the seams of the package look magically held shut. The important thing to remember when taping is to pull the wrapping paper as taut as you can. If you bought a high quality paper, it will not rip.
Lay the box upside down in the center of the paper. Take the first long edge of paper and fold it to the center of the box. Tape it to the box in the center and at both ends. Now take the other side of the paper and fold it on top. If you cut it correctly, it should just over lap by and inch or two. If it is too long trim it. Pull it taut and make sure to align the pattern on both sides. Then press it down on top of the double sided tape.
Now we are going to move on to a side. Make sure your box is still centered in the paper. Fold the middle of the left side of the paper inward so that it is flush against the box. If you do it correctly, you will see you have half of a triangle sticking out on the top and bottom. Run your thumb and forefinger over these to form a sharp crease. Then tape, the middle of the paper to the box. Repeat for the right side.
Finally, take the top triangle and fold it down, taping it to the box. Then take the bottom triangle and fold it up to meet and slightly overlap in the middle. Adhere this to the double sided tape. Repeat this exact same process on the other side and you should now have a wrapped gift!
All presents look best when finished with a ribbon. Pick a color that contrasts with the wrapping paper. A secret tip is that navy makes almost every other color pop.
The easiest way to do ribbon, is to do it in two pieces. First take the ribbon and extend it lengthwise across the box and all the way around to the other side until it meets and overlaps by a half inch. Cut the ribbon. Pull it taut around the package and then use your double-sided tape to adhere the two ends together on the backside of the box.
Next, take the role of ribbon and extend it horizontally around the box so that it meets on the top of the present. Keep unrolling the ribbon another three feet so that you have more than enough excess to tie a bow. Cut the ribbon.
Lay the ribbon flat and set your package good side up in the center. Pull both ends of the ribbon around either side and tie it one, tightly, in the middle. Put your finger on this to hold it taut. Now tie the ribbon a second time. Pull it tight and try not to remove your finger until the very last minute so that it stays taut. Now tie a simple bow, adjusting it to make sure both loops are about the same size. Plump the loops with your fingers so your bow has body. Trim both ends of the ribbon on a diagonal so they are the same length.
For an extra touch, attach an ornament or beautiful gift tag to your bow.
I hope this gift wrap how to has been helpful in making your gifts look deserving of their special recipients. Later this month, we will be doing a how to for various types of bows. Be sure to subscribe to receive this and other holiday updates. Also, check out our favorite 15 Thanksgiving recipes and essential Thanksgiving cookware posts here and here.