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How to Wrap a Christmas Present

Updated on December 13, 2014
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Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

The Fine Art of Gift Wrapping

In today's modern world, many people have forgotten the joy of actually wrapping a Christmas present. Instead, some folks have someone at the store wrap the gift. There are also the gift givers that just throw their presents in gift bags and hand them over like that. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with giving Christmas gifts that way. However, I believe one of the best activities during the holiday season is actually wrapping gifts.

You can get very artistic when you wrap a Christmas present for someone special. You can purposely use wrapping paper with the recipient's favorite colors in it. Also, if you are wrapping a gift for someone that loves a certain animal or character, you can get wrapping paper with that on it. You can also get very pretty ribbons or bows to decorate the present even more. You can also opt to curl the ribbon and make it fancier. It really depends on who is receiving the gift.

When you go to wrap the present, consider who will be unwrapping it. If it is a small child that will tear it open, make sure to include extra tape so they can't sneak a peak before Christmas. If you are wrapping a present for an elderly person, don't go too crazy with ribbons wrapped all over the present and tape covering many areas. It will be difficult for that person to unwrap it.

Materials You Will Need:

Before you begin wrapping presents, make sure to have all the items you will need so this process will run as smoothly as possible. You might think wrapping Christmas presents is not a big challenge, but I've run out of basic items, like Scotch tape, in the middle of wrapping presents. It really does nothing for my Christmas spirit. So before you start to wrap, check out your inventory.

You want to make sure you have:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Gift boxes
  • Ribbons
  • Bows
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • Gift tags
  • Pen
  • Gifts (of course!)

The Step by Step Process

The first thing you want to do is take off any prices that may be on the gifts. If you are concerned the recipient may have to take it back to the store, leave the tag on the gift and only clip the part of the tag with the price on it.

Next, determine if you will need a box for the gift. If the gift is an awkward shape, such as clothing, you will probably want to use a gift box. It is OK to recycle boxes you've received from past Christmases. Just make sure to remove any tags if there are any. Some gift wrappers believe in also wrapping the gift items in tissue paper before sealing the box. That is a nice touch, but not necessary in my opinion as long as the item or items fit snug in the box.

Now there are some folks that are perfectly content with a pretty gift box, and they just smack a bow on it and call it a day. This is not the case with me. I wrap my gift boxes even if they are decorated in a really cute way.

The next step is taking the wrapping paper, while still on the roll, and assessing how much paper you will need for the gift. Try wrapping the paper around the gift as best you can to determine what you will need. Always include a little extra. It is very easy to trim down too much wrapping paper. It is impossible to make more appear out of the thin air. If you undersize it, you will have to start all over again.

Once you've finished this process, wrap the paper around the present. Clip edges to make it fit well. Try to match the pattern together as best as possible. If there are lines, try to match them up so the paper does not look off center. Now, start taping everything into place. Personally, I am very generous with the tape. I'd rather use too much than too little.

After taping the wrapping paper into place, fold the sides of the wrapping paper down. If possible, try to create an "arrow" shape. Then, fold the sides over onto the present. Once again, use as much tape as needed. Don't be afraid if you have too much wrapping paper. Once again, you can always trim off the extra paper. Use the scissors and tape as much as possible to make the Christmas present look tidy.

Now, this is another stopping point for some folks. Some people will tell you to stick the bow on and you're done. You didn't possibly think it would be that easy with me, did you?

So now, let's take out the ribbons. There is a way to wrap the ribbons around the entire box without cutting them. However, since we have clear tape, let's use it! I like to take two pieces of ribbon, and wrap one around the box lengthwise and one around the box width wise. I then tape both the ribbons in the same spot in the middle of the present where I will place the bow. Pick a bow that matches the ribbon and make sure it covers all the tape you just used to keep the ribbon down. Now you've got a present!

I also like to sometimes take the extra ribbon pieces and make curls with them. I then tape them onto the box and place a bow over top of them. Once again, the bow's purpose is to hide all the clear tape and to look lovely! When you are curling the ribbon, run the scissors down the ribbon until you hear that awful "nails down a chalkboard" sound. When the hairs on the back of your neck begin to stand up, you've done it right!

Finally, all that is left to do is put the gift tag on the present. This is another moment when I like to match things together. Hopefully, you will have the same enthusiasm for matching ribbons, bows, tags, and wrapping paper that I do! And, if all else fails, there is always the gift bag. I do recommend trying to gift wrap your Christmas presents first though. It might be the most fun you'll have this Christmas!

When all else fails, use a gift bag...


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