How to Wrap a Gift for Pro-Level Results Every Time

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After hours of scouring the internet, you finally found the perfect gift for your partner/father-in-law/teenager. Now all you need to do is wrap that baby up and you can move on to the next item on your to-do list. Except there’s just one little problem—your gift wrapping skills are more sloppy than sharp. But there’s no need to resort to the old “put it in a bag” trick. Here’s how to wrap a gift like a professional.

60 Cheap Gifts (That Actually Look Expensive) for Everyone on Your List

What You’ll Need:

  • Wrapping paper: The type or style of paper is a matter of personal preference but keep in mind that the thicker the paper, the easier it will be to wrap. And to really nail those sharp creases and straight folds, you might want to find a roll with a grid pattern on the back.
  • Ribbon: Red, yellow, green, satin or silk? The options are endless.
  • A gift box: If you’re gifting something with an unusual shape (say, a bottle of wine or a cashmere sweater) then you might want to consider placing it in a box first to make wrapping easier.
  • A pair of scissors: In order to avoid a hand cramp during the holiday months, we highly recommend making sure your scissors are in working order (i.e., not dirty, stiff or dull).
  • Double-sided tape: Yes, you could use regular tape but double-sided will keep folds and nice and tidy.
how to wrap a gift step 1
Sofia Kraushaar for PureWow

How To Wrap A Gift The Traditional Way

Step 1: Measure and cut the wrapping paper

Roll out the wrapping paper and place the gift facedown on top of it. Before cutting, bring the paper up one side and over the top of the gift and all the way to the opposite edge. This will help ensure that you have enough wrapping paper to cover all sides of the box. All good? Now cut the paper.

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Sofia Kraushaar for PureWow

Step 2: Make The First Fold

Fold one side of the gift wrap halfway across the top of the gift. (Tip: For an extra clean line, use a piece of double-sided tape to stick the paper to the box.)

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Sofia Kraushaar for PureWow

Step 3: Create A Clean Line

Now turn your attention to the second side of the paper. Before folding it over the gift, make a tight crease by folding over the last half-inch of the paper (press down with your finger tips to create a clean seam). Now bring this side up and over so that it overlaps the first one. Fasten the paper using double-sided tape.

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Sofia Kraushaar for PureWow

Step 4: Close The Open Ends

Starting on one of the open sides, fold down the top flap of the paper so that it lies flat against the gift and creates two wings on the side. Fold the wings in against the box, then fold up the bottom flap up and crease firmly. Tape in place.

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Sofia Kraushaar for PureWow

Step 5: Repeat On Other Side

Press the paper in between your fingertips before you tape it down to make clean lines and sharp creases.

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Sofia Kraushaar for PureWow

Step 6: Add Finishing Touches

Like ribbons, bows, gift tags and more. Need some inspo? Keep reading for nine fun ways to zhuzh up your gift.

How To Wrap A Gift The Fastest Way, Hands Down, No Contest

So now that you know how to wrap a gift the traditional way, you may be ready to take things up a notch. Introducing a genius gift-wrapping method made famous by employees of the Japanese department store Takashimaya. This efficient approach requires less tape and time than standard methods, plus it looks amazing. Oh and did we mention that it can be done in just 15 seconds? Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial.

How To Create A Ribbon Curl

You know those pretty corkscrews that sit on top of gifts and instantly turn up the fun factor? Well, there’s no need to buy them pre-curled at the store because they’re actually a cinch to make at home. All you need is a pair of scissors and some curling ribbon. Then watch the video below to see how it’s done.

9 Fun Ways To Take Your Gift Wrapping To The Next Level

1. Make Snowflake Wrapping Paper

'Tis the season for festive decor. Get the kids involved in this one and turn any spare snowflakes into fun window decor.

2. Make Photo Tags

Why use regular tags when you could make these personalized black and white photo ones? If you have a photo printer then by all means, make use of it but otherwise, a regular printer will work just fine.

3. Create Tissue Paper Flowers

Brown craft paper, green satin ribbon, tissue paper and jewellery wire are all you need to pull off this elegant gift wrapping idea. These would look beautiful on any gift but we think they’re especially fitting for engagement parties and anniversaries.

4. Use Scraps For Wrapping Paper

For anyone who tends to hoard small scraps of paper or ribbon (*raises hand*), this resourceful and surprisingly chic gift wrapping idea is for you. (Psst: Don’t throw away that orange mesh bag from the produce aisle—it makes a fetching addition to any gift.)

5. Make Elegant Tape Bows

This pretty bow looks fancy but it’s actually ridiculously easy to make. What’s the secret? The whole thing is made out of heavy-duty duct tape.

6. Add Lace

Your mother-in-law is guaranteed to be impressed by this sophisticated presentation. Simply layer jewel-toned paper with lace then add a satin ribbon. So chic.

7. Bust Out The Washi Tape

Cut metallic or brightly-colored tape into strips or shapes and then stick them onto white butcher paper for a fun and unexpected pop.

8. Make Evergreen Trees

Pick up a few sprigs from your backyard or a nearby park and add them to some brown kraft paper for a festive and rustic display.

9. Add Pom Poms

Because who doesn’t love pom poms? Red, white and green are fun choices for the holiday season but we think this idea would look fun in any color all year round.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...