How to Gift Wrap a Round Box:
Gift Wrapping 105

Two illustrated methods show how to gift wrap
a round box. Bonus: if you mess up
on the first method, the second will fix it!

A round gift looks intriguing, don't you think? With these instructions plus a bit of practice, you can wrap any round box - and your well-dressed gift presentation will stand out from the crowd.

The container - we've used a large round cookie tin in the photos, but these methods show how to gift wrap any circular container with a reasonably flat top, such as a tall cylindrical box, or a short, wide hat box, or even a small can of mixed nuts.

The materials - standard wrapping paper or foil-paper gift wrap are recommended. Metallic "mylar" wrap doesn't hold a sharp enough crease. Gift tissue is too bulky, for extra layers are needed for opacity and strength. We find that single-stick tape (Scotch's "magic" or gift wrap tape) works best, except for Step #7B, where you'll produce the neatest results with a glue stick.

How to Gift Wrap a Round Box:
Getting Started

How to gift wrap a round box: Measure width and height of round box.How to gift wrap a round box: bring paper around side and tape.
1) How to gift wrap any round container begins with measuring and cutting the paper. Determine the width by running a tape or string around the side of the box, and add 1-2 inches. Or, roll the box one full rotation across the paper, and add 1-2 inches.

Measure the height from the top center of the box, around to the bottom center (or across the top and down one side). Do not cut the gift wrap any larger, as the excess will only get in your way.

Note: For Method B, the gift wrap should reach only about halfway from rim to center on both the top and bottom of the box.

2) Lay the paper face down and fold in 1/2 inch along one side for a smooth seam. Then center the box on its side on the paper. If your gift wrap has an up-and-down design, the top of the pattern should point toward the top of the box.

Bring the paper snugly around the curve of the box, tuck under the unfolded edge, and tape the seam at the top and bottom rims of the box (and in the center, if your round box is also tall).

Before you tackle the top and bottom, it's a good idea to become familiar with how to gift wrap a round box by glancing through Methods A and B below.

How to gift wrap a round box: Invert box over tall narrow support.3) To see how a particular paper behaves, I begin at the bottom of the box, where mistakes won't show.

How-to-gift-wrap TIP: Invert the box over a tall support, narrow enough to fit inside the loose ends of the gift wrap. I've used a box in the photo, but a tall juice can works for a small gift; and perhaps a wastebasket for tall or wide gifts.

Or, sit and brace the gift between your knees - firmly, to prevent the box slipping down inside the gift wrap.

Method A - The Swirl
Method A is worth practicing, because it makes a lovely swirl of pleats around the top of the box that adds interest to your wrapping paper pattern. Ready? OK, here's how to gift wrap a round box with a swirl.

How to gift wrap a round box: Begin forming pleats around top.How to gift wrap a round box: Smooth pleats flat against box and hold in place.
4-A) Begin at the seam and draw the edge of the paper toward the center of the box (the loose seam edges can overlap at a slight angle). Fold the paper into pleats, laying one over the other in the same direction, around the box.

5-A) Smooth the pleats flat against the box and hold them in place as you work your way around. The more pleats you make, the more smoothly the wrapping paper lies around the rim of a round box.

How to gift wrap a round box: Loosen first pleat to ease in the last one.How to gift wrap a round box: Finish circle of pleats and tape at center.
6-A) The last few pleats may be difficult because they get crowded as you complete the circle. Try loosening the first pleat or two, to make some elbow room for folding the final pleat.

7-A) When you have completed the circle, flatten all the pleats and smooth them toward the center to tighten the paper at the rim of the box. Hold the pleats in place and tape them at the center. You may need two or more pieces of tape.

Are you pleased with the results? If so, please skip to Instruction #8. If not, check out how to gift wrap a round box using Method B, below.

Method B - The Smoothie
Method B produces a smooth surface on the top of your round box. A smooth surface is often preferred when creating a clever costume for the well-dressed gift (a round box makes a dandy top hat or birthday cake).

If you are correcting a Method-A disaster, you'll be replacing some or most of the pleated gift wrap with a fresh wrapping paper circle. This produces a seam that must be secured all around, but that's neater than a bunch of wrinkled pleats.

NOTE: The more excess paper you trim away, the larger a circle you'll need to cover the gap. The opposite is also true, and a smaller circle is easier to conceal with a bow.

So, let YOUR situation dictate how to gift wrap your box using Method-B: ... is your box top wide or narrow? ... do you want a large or small circle (smooth surface) on top of the box? ... if you're fixing a Method A fiasco, how bad is it - must you trim away most, or just some, of the pleated paper? Think it over before cutting your gift wrap, or trimming off excess - you can always trim away more paper, but you can't un-trim it!

In the following instructions, let's pretend that I made a mess of Method-A, and I'll show you how to gift wrap our box using Method-B. The box is fairly wide, so I've left about two inches of overlap at the rim (a good amount for demonstration purposes). OK, let's pick up with Instruction #4-B.

How to gift wrap a round box: Cut two paper circles.How to gift wrap a round box: Make pleats around box; tape as you go.
4-B) Cut a circle of paper just a bit narrower than the top of the box. Plain or scrap paper is OK, as it will be concealed.

Cut a circle of gift wrap large enough to extend about one inch beyond the wrapping paper edges that overlap the rim of the box.

5-B) Place the plain paper directly onto the top of the box. Draw the gift wrap edges snugly over the rim, making pleats to take up excess paper, and tape them to the paper circle as you work around the box. The more pleats you make, the smoother the wrapping paper will lie at the rim of the box.

How to gift wrap a round box: Use marker to conceal white at edges of circle.How to gift wrap a round box: Fasten the circle over the pleats.
6-B) See how tidy the top looks when the circle of pleats is complete! Center the wrapping paper circle over the pleats. If the white underside of the gift wrap shows at the circle's edge, you can run a magic marker around the edge. Choose a matching or slightly lighter color than the gift wrap.

7-B) Finally, fasten the edge of the circle all around, matching the pattern if you can. Double-stick tape will do the job, but you may find that a glue stick works better on the curve. Now you have a nice, smooth surface to decorate.

How to gift wrap a round box: all finished, with a nice bow on top.8) Method A and Method B:
Now that you know how to gift wrap a round box in two ways, you can repeat the procedure you like best for the other end of the box.

Then you're ready to decorate the gift. A fluffy bow that covers the entire top is lovely on a small round gift. A large round box provides plenty of room for all sorts of decorating options. Or a nice bow.

Try wrapping a round box with a striped
or plaid wrapping paper, using Method A;
your recipient will love the dramatic results!

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Other photos courtesy of Libby Graphics, all rights reserved.