Gift Wrapping Tips and Techniques

Six gift wrapping tips and techniques
that will make the job go smoothly and
produce the results you want.

Before we show you how to wrap various gift containers, here are six gift wrapping tips that are useful for almost every project.

Tip #1: Double-check before wrapping.

Before deciding how to wrap a gift, be sure you have all of its parts and papers (instructions, warranty, etc.). You may also wish to include batteries for gifts that use them. And be sure to remove the price tag! If you have an exchange receipt (it shows where the gift was purchased, but not the price), you can enclose it with the gift or offer it to your recipient later.

Tip #2: Line your gift box with tissue paper.

For soft gifts like clothing that have not been boxed and sealed by the manufacturer, a tissue paper liner keeps the gift neatly folded and helps to prevent shifting. The liner should exactly fit in the bottom of the box, and extend up the sides and over the gift.

A perfect fit is rare, so here are gift wrapping tips for tissue that is...

Gift wrapping tips: Pleat the tissue paper to fit inside the box.

  • too wide - make a pleat across the center, wide enough so that the tissue just covers the bottom of the box.
  • too narrow - use two sheets, overlapping them side-by-side to cover the bottom of the box.
  • too short - use two sheets (or three if needed), overlapping them end-to-end in the bottom of the box.
  • too long - extend the ends up and over the gift, and fold under the excess paper. If the tissue is way too long, cut it to fit.

  • If the box is too large
  • - fill the extra space with enough loosely crumpled tissue paper to prevent the gift from shifting.
  • For an extra small box - fold or cut the tissue paper to fit.

Tip #3: Use your wrapping paper efficiently.

As the saying goes, "waste not, want not" - so cut only what you need. Excess paper will only get in your way, make your gift look lumpy, and suggest that perhaps you needed some gift wrapping tips!

Besides, careful measuring might leave you enough paper to wrap another gift. Even a small piece will make a few gift tags, or accent a solid colored wrapper.

The quickest way to measure is to unroll a length of paper and set the gift box on the paper, about 2 inches inside one edge. Roll the box side-over-side toward the opposite edge, making a full rotation. Or, you can encircle the box with a measuring tape or piece of string, add 2 inches, and lay that across the width of the wrapping paper.

If the box (or tape/string) fits within the width of the paper, you've found an economical layout. If not, then orient your box the other way to measure down the length of the paper instead of side to side across the width. But note also that a design may look best on your box when pointed in a particular direction.

In any case, when you cut the paper, include the extra 2 inches mentioned above, PLUS an overlap for each end of the box that is about 3/4 the height of the box.

Tip #4: How to wrap a gift like a pro

Gift wrapping tips: Smooth the paper snugly against the box.Of all the gift wrapping tips, this is the one little detail that makes all the difference! No matter how simple or complicated the gift wrapping project! As you work, smooth the wrapping paper snugly against the surfaces and around the edges and corners of the gift box. Make crisp creases, and hold the paper firmly in place while you tape the seams.

Tip #5: A word about tape

Double-stick tape produces neat results because it's concealed when you've finished wrapping. Position the tape even with the folded edge of the seam. If the tape is set back from the fold, that little overlap might catch on something and tear the paper.

Use enough tape to prevent long gaps in the seam, which can also catch and tear the paper. Single-stick tapes like Scotch's "Magic" tape work well on most wrapping papers, but their Gift Wrapping tape disappears best on foil papers and "mylar" wrap.

Tip #6: Be kind to your back!

Here's how to wrap a gift ... after another gift ... after yet another gift, without developing a sore back: work on a surface at a comfortable height. For standing, Heloise (of Hints from Heloise fame) suggests using your ironing board.

I usually set up a card table at the foot of a bed, where I sit to wrap holiday gifts. Rolls of gift wrap and boxes of bows and tags fit conveniently on the bed behind me. Diane likes to spread out on the kitchen or dining room table, and place a pillow on her chair to achieve a comfortable working height. However, she must be careful to prevent people from wandering through and spoiling their surprises!

A well-chosen gift should also be
a well-dressed gift. Build on these basic
gift wrapping tips for results you'll be proud of!

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