Do you know how to wrap a gift? I was on the phone with my daughter the other day – she’s in her mid-twenties – and she mentioned that she wrapped her brother’s (my son’s) Christmas gifts for him. He’s nearly thirty years old, and he doesn’t know how to wrap a present!
I was astonished to discover that my adult son still hasn’t taught himself how to wrap gifts. When my daughter spoke in his defense by informing me that many of her friends and acquaintances also don’t know how to gift wrap, I couldn’t believe it.
So I’ve decided to make this year’s holiday blog a how-to guide on wrapping presents. Not only is gift-wrapping a skill that will serve you well throughout your life, I consider it an act of love! So break out your favorite wrapping paper and follow along.
How to wrap a gift, Step 1: Measure and cut your paper.
For this guide, I will assume you are wrapping a gift in a box. Unroll your wrapping paper a generous amount. Make sure its back faces up – many wrapping papers will have grids or similar guides to help you measure and cut.
To measure out how much paper you need, start by placing your box on top of the wrapping paper. Orient it like a portrait if your box isn’t a perfect square. You’ll want to place it an inch or so away from the cut edge and two or three inches from the bottom.
Rather than doing tricky math to calculate how much paper you need, you are just going to use the box’s faces to measure it out. To do this, simply turn your box over three times – “rolling” it towards the wrapping paper roll. It should end up on its side.
Mark about another inch away from that side and cut through the wrapping paper. Then, cut off the excess paper from the top, leaving about two inches from the top of the box.
How to wrap a gift, Step 2: Wrap around the box.
Place your box so that its top is down, by which I mean touching the paper. Center it. Choose which long edge of the wrapping paper you will have exposed, and fold it in ever-so-slightly. Doing this isn’t strictly necessary, but it will give it a nice, clean edge.
Tear a small strip of scotch or gift tape and keep it handy (I stick it so that it hangs off the edge of the table).
Now, bring the other side of the wrapping paper over the box – it may not go all the way to its edge, but as long as it goes past its center, you’ll be fine.
Holding it in place, bring the folded side of the wrapping paper over the gift – it should overlap with the other side. Gently pull the wrapping paper tight to the box and tape down the exposed edge at its center.
If you have trouble holding the paper in place, you can tape the first end directly to the box, which will free up a hand to help you pull it tight!
Step 3: Press in the ends.
There should be a bit of excess paper jutting out over the ends of your gift. starting on one side, gently fold the top down, creasing the edges into neat triangles down the side.
Once folded down, take a side and gently fold it inward, creasing it at the bottom of the box. Repeat this step for the other side. Doing this will leave you with a triangle sticking out from the bottom.
If you like, fold the triangle’s tip into a neat, straight edge. Then, fold that triangle up against the box, gently pulling it tight, and tape it down! Spin the box to the other side and repeat this step there!
Step 4: Adorn your wrapped gift with a bow!
I will leave the craft of bow-tieing to another guide, so for this one, take a stick-on bow and, having flipped your gift so that its top faces up, place it neatly on top!
In the end, it is the giving of the gift that matters most, which is why I think wrapping the gift yourself is such a meaningful gesture. The time and care that goes into choosing the perfect wrapper and neatly wrapping the gift is just another way of showing the recipient how much they mean to you!