How to wrap a gift

How to wrap a gift

Is your choice of gifts limited to items that will fit into a gift bag? Do you avoid stores that don’t have a wrapping service? Has a previous attempt at wrapping a present turned out a mess? Wrapping a gift is not difficult if you

learn to follow a few simple steps.

Having the right supplies is a necessity for wrapping a gift. Basic supplies include scissors, tape, and wrapping paper, plus decorations such as bows and ribbons. Select scissors that are designed to cut paper; don’t borrow your mom’s sewing scissors or you’ll make them dull. Most discount stores sell all-purpose scissors for a quite reasonable price, and tape is also available there. Transparent plastic tape is the kind you should use for wrapping gifts; some tape is labeled invisible and does not show after it is applied, and you can also use double-stick tape. You can purchase tape in different widths, or widths are both suitable for wrapping gifts.

Gift-wrapping paper can be purchased wrapped around cardboard rolls or in sheets folded into square cellophane packages. The paper that is folded usually is sold with several sheets to a package. This paper is okay for smaller gifts, but a disadvantage is that it has creases where the paper is folded. Ironing the paper on the back side will sometimes remove the creases. The paper on rolls is more suitable for larger gifts, and extra long paper is available in some shops; an advantage for this type of paper is that there are no creases in the paper. A disadvantage is that if you use the larger paper for smaller gifts, you will be left with oddly shaped pieces that you may have to discard. Materials other than wrapping paper, such as fabric, sheets of newspaper, brown paper sacks, and foil, can also be used to wrap gifts if you want an out-of-the-ordinary look.

Before you begin wrapping a gift, decide if the gift is suitable for wrapping “as is,” or if it needs to be put into a box. Many gifts come already packaged in boxes and are ready to wrap, but if you have something like an article of clothing or piece of jewelry, a box may be needed. Many stores offer free boxes in several sizes; ask the cashier when you purchase an item if boxes are available. If you do not use a box for an irregularly-sized object, the paper will often tear after wrapping; using a box makes the wrapped gift have a more professional appearance.

To begin wrapping, gather your supplies, and put the gift in a box if necessary; remember to take off the price tag. Roll out the paper on a flat surface, and place the box on the paper. Loosely wrap the paper around the box so you can see how much paper you need for wrapping, and add a couple of inches for an overlap at the seams; mark that spot on the paper with a pencil. If you have a large box, make sure there is enough paper to cover the ends of the box; when pulled up, the paper should reach to at least half the height of the box end.

Cut the paper at the marked spot, using a yardstick as a cutting guide to maintain a straight edge. If the paper at the ends of the box is too long, trim some of it away. Put the box in the center of the paper you cut, top side down. Bring the paper up to the center of the box and tape it there. Bring the other end of the paper up to overlap the taped edge, and tape this edge down too.

Turn the box so that the ends are facing you. Take the right and left sides of the paper and fold them in to form V-shaped flaps. Tighten the flaps so they are taut and there is no slack in the paper, but be careful not to pull too tightly and tear the paper. After taping the edges to the box, bring the upper flap down, creasing it at its folds, and tape it to the box. Bring the lower flap up, creasing and taping it also. Follow the same instructions for the other end of the box.

After wrapping the gift, ribbons, bows and other decorations can be added, and don’t forget to stick on a gift card. If you have a box that is a shape other than a rectangle or a square, adaptations can be made in the wrapping process, or you can use a gift bag. For hard-to-wrap large gifts, such as gift baskets, you can use shrink wrap or cellophane; put the gift in the center of the wrap, pull the wrap up over the gift, and tie at the top with a ribbon, raffia twine, or other fastener. Follow the directions on the packaging for shrink wrap; a blow dryer is usually needed for the shrinking process.

Keeping wrapping supplies together in one place, such as on a special shelf or in a plastic box, will enable you to always be ready to wrap a gift. Stock up on supplies such as tape so you don’t run out while you’re in the process of wrapping, and look for eye-catching paper, ribbons, and bows while you’re out shopping. With a little practice, wrapping gifts will become an easy and enjoyable task, and the results will impress your family and friends.

Keeping wrapping

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