Wrap Gifts

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

I have to admit, I’m no pro when it comes to wrapping gifts. Just last night a friend and I were struggling to make some holiday packages presentable, and it didn’t go too smoothly. Fortunately, I made a lot of mistakes that I can pass on to you as things NOT to do. Also, my dad is one of the best gift wrappers around, and even if I can’t duplicate his technique, I’ll try to pass it on to you.


You might think there’s not a lot required in preparation for wrapping a simple present. That’s what I thought last night, and … well, let’s just say you do need to prepare. Start by clearing a large area to work at — either on a table or on the floor. Grab yourself some large scissors, not a dinky pair you’ve used since first grade. Find your wrapping materials, from a selection of pretty papers and tissue paper to ribbons and bows to the see-through tape that holds it all together. Finally, be sure to have boxes. Oddly shaped presents are incredibly difficult to wrap, so let’s box those up!

Cutting the paper

The key here is to get it the right size. Have you ever cut the paper for the gift just a fraction of an inch too small and wasted a lot of nice wrapping paper? Oh … me neither. But anyway, be sure to measure first, either by pulling the uncut paper around the gift or by rolling the gift along all four sides to ensure it will be big enough. Leave a little extra paper, but not too much, or that will be problematic too. When you do cut the paper, be sure to glide the scissors along to make a straight cut, not chomping them through the paper for that chewed up look.

Making nice folds

If you have a large area to work at as suggested, your cut edges will look better. To improve the look even more, you can fold over the edges of the paper that will end up showing, so they’re nice and straight.

The corners

Doing the ends of the gift is in my opinion the trickiest part, but it’s made a lot simpler if you don’t have an excessive amount of paper left. If you do, try trimming some of it off, as straight as you can manage. Then fold down the sides, making sure to use the same technique on both ends. Before you tape down the last little triangle, be sure to fold in any of the inside white paper that may have tried to poke out, and try to get the wrinkles out.

Finishing touches

Once you’re done with the wrapping job, you can go crazy by adding bows or curling ribbon (which you curl by sliding the scissors down).

If all this is too much for you, consider a gift bag (as I really should have). You don’t have to mess with cutting, folding or taping much of anything — all you have to do is layer the tissue paper, making sure the gift is covered.