Maybe this sounds familiar: You'd like to present your family and friends with gifts that look lovingly and beautifully wrapped, but somehow, the finished product always looks like an uncoordinated kindergartner was involved. Forget the messy tape, ripped paper and generic store-bought gift bags. You need gift-wrapping hacks that actually work. This year, you're going to nail the wrapping of every gift without even once throwing your scissors across the room in frustration.
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1. Make Your Own Gift Bags
With many gift bags costing $4 or $5 a pop, buying them from a store can eat up a big chunk of your gifting budget, but when you're giving someone a new boomerang or some other oddly shaped item, a gift bag is really the best solution. Use the wrapping paper you already have on hand to make a customized bag. Lay the item on the paper and fold it around the item. Tape the bottom of the "bag" and punch holes in the top through which to string ribbon.
2. Use Double-Sided Tape
Double-sided tape is one of the secret weapons beloved by champion gift wrappers. Professionals hide any evidence of the tape that holds the wrapping together. You can achieve the same result at home with a roll of double-sided tape.
3. Make Bows With Gift Wrap
A handmade bow is that little extra detail that takes a wrapped gift from nice to really special. Match the bow to the wrapping paper or choose a contrasting pattern to make the bow pop. There are a few different ways to make your own bows from wrapping paper, ranging from super simple to complex. Try your hand at a few different styles.
4. Learn to Wrap Round Gifts
If wrapping a square box is a beginner-level accomplishment, wrapping a round gift is definitely intermediate territory. Just because it's a little trickier than wrapping something square doesn't mean it's beyond your abilities, though. What's one of the secrets to easily wrapping a round gift? Use tissue paper, which doesn't crack and rip like thick wrapping paper does.
5. Master Cylindrical Gift Wrapping
Once you've mastered wrapping a round gift, wrapping a cylindrical gift will be a total breeze. This wrapping method makes it easy to quickly and neatly wrap a candle, a tube of tennis balls, a rolled poster or any other cylindrical item. The trickiest part is pleating the paper at the top and bottom of the cylinder, but carefully measuring the paper makes this easier.
6. Stack Boxes in a Gift Tower
What's better than one gift? Three or four gifts stacked on top of each other. When faced with a bunch of gifts from which to choose, your recipient will probably save yours for last. Wrap individual items separately to create as many boxes as possible and then use double-sided tape to stick them together. Wrap ribbon around the entire stack and finish with a bow on the top gift.
7. Use Unconventional Materials
Using unconventional materials is cost-effective and eco-friendly, and it may earn you a reputation for being quirkily creative. Try wrapping gifts with burlap, dish towels or fabric. Alternatively, use paper that's tailored to the gift. Wrap CDs in sheet music or write your favorite recipes all over a sheet of butcher paper and use that to wrap a cookbook or kitchen gadget.
8. Cover Up "Mistakes"
There are no mistakes when it comes to wrapping gifts; there are only happy accidents – not that this is any comfort when you're staring at a huge rip in the wrapping paper or a messy clump of tape that stuck to itself. Instead of starting over, get creative about covering up those "mistakes." Top them with bows, ribbon or stickers. You can even tape edible treats onto the package, like chocolate bars.
9. Top Gifts With Flowers
When you're pressed for time but want to create a visually arresting gift, grab some plain brown wrapping paper, string and a single flower. Top the wrapped gift with the flower, wrapping the string around the package to keep the stem in place, and you're done. Use a real flower if you're prepping the gift just before gifting it. Otherwise, use a faux bloom so it won't wilt by gift time.
10. Put Small Gifts in Balloons
Are you bored by wrapping gifts in boxes and paper? Try something different by getting your hands on a helium tank and a sturdy balloon. Slide the gift into the balloon before inflating it and tell the recipient to pop it to find the gift. This works well if you're gifting cash, a gift certificate or another small paper item, but you should also be able to fit small trinkets through the mouth of a balloon.