Gift Wrapping Guide

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Do you have that odd shaped gift you need to wrap but don’t know how, or do you simply want to step up your wrapping game to impress your in-laws? This year, we decided to tackle these dilemmas head on and share our tips with you to help ease your mounting holiday stress! We will cover everything from what wrapping paper to choose, to making your own gift tags, to adding that little extra something to make the recipient awed. So grab a glass of wine, clear a large working space, put on your creativity hat, and get wrapping!


WHEN TO WRAP VS. GIFT BAG
 

If your gift is in a nice rectangular box, wrapping it with paper is the most obvious and elegant choice; however, not all presents are packaged in neat boxes. Your first thought will be to put it in a gift bag, but you don’t have to! Just because the gift does not come in a box does not mean you can’t put it in a gift box! Gift boxes are readily available at craft and hobby stores during this time of year! They come in every shape, size and color you can think of If you are crafty or have extra time, opt for a plain gift box and decorate it with holiday stamps, stickers, or doodles. And remember, when purchasing the gift, never hesitate to ask if gift boxes are available! They usually are and will save you the trouble of having to purchase an extra one.

When your gift is heavy, slightly too large, cumbersome, or you can’t find a gift box, then it is then appropriate to use a gift bag! Use a festive bag and tissue paper or decorate your own bag (as seen below)!


WHAT KIND OF WRAPPING PAPER SHOULD I USE?

Wrapping paper should always be beautiful, festive, decorative, and fun! Here are seven kinds of paper and wrapping paper alternatives!

Kraft Paper

Kraft paper is a form of cardboard that is typically designed for packaging because of its high tear resistance. This paper is great for the crafty gift wrapper who wants to add her own designs! Since it is a blank canvas you can stamp it, draw on it, add stickers or adornments! It is also perfect for those who have to send gifts through the mail. Wrap your presents in kraft paper and place into a shipping box. It is less likely to rip in transit!

Gift Wrapping Paper

Gift wrapping paper is the wrapping paper we all know and love. It comes in millions of colors and designs to cater to the gift recipient. Choose gift wrapping paper if the gift is for kids (because of the bright and bold illustrations), you want a lot of color, you want to make a bold statement, or find a pattern you absolutely love. Make sure to buy at least two gift wrapping paper patterns if wrapping multiple gifts to add dimension under your tree!

Newspaper

For a sentimental look, use newspaper! The black and white colors look classy, and are a great juxtaposition for a bright bow. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly to recycle! Be sure to layer at least two pieces of paper together so you can’t see through to the gift.

Paper Grocery Bags

Paper grocery bags are a budget and environmentally friendly alternative for kraft paper! Use the same way you would kraft paper.

Old Maps

Have a bunch of old maps laying around or shoved into your glove box? Now you have a perfect way to recycle them! It is great for travel related gifts or gifts for your favorite adventurer!

Fabric

If you have some large fabric scraps you don’t know what to do with you now do! Fabric makes a great gift wrap for round presents; you can simply bundle the gift up in the wrap and tie with a ribbon. Or you can traditionally wrap a gift with fabric, it just takes a little finesse.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be used as an alternative for any of the paper product wrapping papers, but it should be noted that it is easiest to use on box shaped gifts because it is so stiff. Wallpaper is an amazing wrapping paper option because it has fun textures you won’t find with any of these wrapping paper options!


WHEN TO USE TISSUE PAPER

Tissue paper is like the supporting actress, important for the project as a whole but not the starring role (that’s the wrapping paper or gift bag). It is especially fun to use for the holidays because of the holiday designs printed on it! Tissue paper can be used in two ways:

As Fluff for Gift Bags

A proper gift bag always has a bunch of tissue paper sticking out from the top. This fluff not only helps hide the gift inside, but also adds the supporting flair to the gift wrapping as a whole. A plain colored gift bag can become more intriguing with bright tissue paper flowing from the top! Or, simple colored paper can be used to highlight the amazing gift bag you chose!

As Protective Cushioning or an Extra Layer:

Tissue paper is also important for protecting fragile gifts. Wrap easily broken presents in a layer or two of tissue to ensure it is safe from chipping or cracking. Wrapping non fragile gifts in tissue paper can act as a barrier against any unknown elements, plus it is an extra fun unwrapping layer for the recipient! Also, use tissue paper to keep items from shifting around in a gift box!


HOW TO WRAP A GIFT OR FILL A GIFT BAG

Before you begin your wrapping adventure make sure to gather all supplies (paper, bag, tissue, tape, & scissors), clear a large working space, and allow yourself enough time to get it done! Once your gifts are wrapped you can begin working on the tags, ribbon, and any other decorations (we will explain how to decorate your wrapped gifts following this section). Note, if decorating a gift bag, decorate it before wrapping the gifts in it.

Wrapping with Paper or Paper Alternative

  1. Cut out a piece of paper large enough to wrap the entire gift and place design side down.
  2. Place gift, front side down, in the center of the cut out paper.
  3. Pull the two longest ends over the gift and tape down
  4. Working on an open end, push the sides of the paper inward to create 45° angle flaps and crease.
  5. Fold down the top flap, then fold up the bottom flap and tape. Repeat with the other end. Make sure you do not have too much excess paper during this step or else your flaps will not match up.

Filling a Gift Bag

  1. Place a layer of tissue paper on the bottom of the bag to keep gifts from shifting inside.
  2. Gently put gift(s) into the bag. If desired wrap gifts in tissue paper first.
  3. Take two layers of completely opened tissue paper, design side up, (here you can be creative and use two different patterns or colors) and pinch the center.
  4. Swiftly lift your hand up so the paper forms a cone shape. Repeat one to four more times depending on how large the gift bag is.
  5. Place the tissue paper into the sides or corners of the bag, pinch side on the bottom, so the gift inside is no longer visible.
  6. Gently fluff the paper to get a voluminous effect.

HOW TO CREATE GIFT NAME TAGS

Name tags are a must-have design aspect for your gift wrapping. This year, try to make your own, or buy a pretty tag to string onto your gift. To make your own you will need card stock, scissors, a hole punch, and markers. Just cut out a gift tag shape in the card stock, decorate with a festive design, and sign the recipients name to it! Punch a hole on the end so you can string ribbon or twine through! You can also decorate your tag with stamps, stickers, adornment, or whatever else your heart desires! If you do not have time or a creative bone in your body there are plenty of beautiful tags already made- you just have to add the name. Or print gorgeous free tags from Gather & Feast!


THAT EXTRA SOMETHING SPECIAL

Now that your gifts are wrapped they need some pizazz! We’ve created a list of ways to add a little extra to your gift, whether it is wrapped with paper or in a bag:

Ribbon or Twine

Ribbon or twine is a must for your gift. Wrap around your paper wrapped gift or tie the handles together on your gift bag. If using ribbon, make the length longer than needed so you can curl the extra on top. String the ribbon or twine through the gift name tag to secure it on the gift!

Bow

Create your own bow with ribbon or buy a big one from the store. Place in the center of where the ribbon is knotted or in the corner of your gift box/bag.

Adornments & Stickers

You can buy adornments and stickers at any craft shop or online. Tape or glue adornments, or place stickers, on to your gift to add texture, a pattern, or just that extra spark of design. Adornments and stickers are a great way to showcase the hard work and thought you put into wrapping the gift!

Stamps

If using kraft paper or a cardboard gift bag, stamps are the perfect way to create your own design. Keep it simple with black ink and one stamp, or go crazy and do multiple colors with multiple different stamps! Whatever you do it will be beautiful. This is also a way to get your kids involved with the wrapping process. Let them stamp a design onto the paper to give to your family!

Festive Items

Festive items such as holly, jingle bells, pine cones, candy canes, tree sprigs, etc. can be added to your gift! String them through the ribbon or twine or tape in place. It will definitely show your thought and consideration! Plus, it looks professional and stunning!