How to Wrap the Perfect Christmas Present

Let's face no-one was born knowing how to wrap the perfect Christmas present.  Some of the presents you see on display in the shops look like they were wrapped by someone with the skills of an angel, while yours end up looking like they were wrapped by an octopus wearing oven mitts!

Do your gift wrapping skills leave you feeling frustrated to the point you’re ready to just shove everything in gift bags and pronounce it all finished? Ever wondered if there is an easy way to wrap the perfect Christmas present? Yes!

The first step is to get everything you’ll need for wrapping together in one area. If you have a small card or higher coffee table, those are the perfect height to use when you’re wrapping. Never wrap a gift on your bed or on the sofa. Not only can you nick the bed linens or sofa with the scissors, but because of the give in the mattress or sofa cushion, you’ll end up with wrinkles or lumps in the wrapping paper.

Don’t assume that just because you have an oddly shaped gift that it can’t be wrapped well or that you won’t be able to find a box to put it in. Even if you’re baking homemade goodies to share, there are special boxes and tins just for putting food items in.

Next, make sure you get boxes for all your gifts if they are not boxed already. The only exception to this is flat gifts such as gloves, books or clothing,  If you have an oddly shaped gift, putting it in a box will make everything easier. Boxes give you a flat, even surface to wrap. It also takes away the ‘feel it and guess what it is’ temptation for those who can’t wait for Christmas Day to find out what their gifts are.

Don’t play guessing games with the amount of wrapping paper you lay out for the gift. Measure the width and height of the gift with a ruler or measuring tape, then cut off that much wrapping paper plus a little excess to make the corners nice and smooth.  Next, make sure you have plenty of time to concentrate on wrapping your gifts.

Place the gift in the centre of the wrapping paper. Pull up one side of the paper and using a small piece of tape, secure it to the gift. Pull up the other side, fold over a quarter inch of the paper so that it tucks under and tape it to the first side. If you don’t like tape showing, you can use a heavy duty glue stick to secure the paper, just don’t get the glue on the gift itself, or use double-sided sticky tape.

To cover the line where you folded the paper, add a strip of Christmas ribbon or use fabric ribbon. Attach something pretty to it for a finishing touch, for example some small baubles or bells.  You could add a store bought pine bough, or one you created yourself from natural materials. Tip: Collect fallen pine cones this year to use in years to come.

One of my best tips is to always wrap as you go.  Take some time to wrap after each shopping trip rather than facing a mountain at the end.  My second tip is to colour code gifts.  Choose one type of wrapping paper for each person and wrap all their gifts in the same paper.  Just make sure you buy plenty of each paper so you don't have any 11pm panics!

So everyone knows which gifts are theirs, we put a piece of 'their' paper in each person's Christmas card so, when they open that with their stocking on Christmas morning, they know which gifts to look out for after lunch!  My final tip is to pick a fun Christmas movie to watch, have a drink and snacks to hand, and have fun.  It's only wrapping after all!

And remember, practice makes perfect.  You'll soon be wrapping like a pro!

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