How to wrap a gift professionally

Its that most wonderful time of year, and if you're like me you have a lot of wrapping to do. Wrapping a gift is an art form, and it takes practice to get it right and get it tight! Here is a little tutorial with tips that I've learned along the way and I hope it is helpful.

First things first: gather up your supplies. You'll need paper, scissors, and tape. Use double sided tape if you have it - it will look nicer. This package I'm wrapping today is for my sweet little niece - so I'll be going with the hot pink paper!

First things first: gather up your supplies. You'll need paper, scissors, and tape. Use double sided tape if you have it - it will look nicer. This package I'm wrapping today is for my sweet little niece - so I'll be going with the hot pink paper!

Take your box and center it on your paper. Make sure the box is upside down so that the seams of the wrapping will end up on the bottom side of the box. Measure out where to cut your paper. Remember, the top of the paper will be coming over the top of the box. The sides -- where you will be cutting your paper -- will be folded up, and then the wings will fold over. So you only need the paper on the sides to come up about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way up the side. If you get it too long it will be difficult to make your side folds look nice, and if you get it too short it won't cover the box. So err on the side of long, because you can always cut off any excess.

Take your box and center it on your paper. Make sure the box is upside down so that the seams of the wrapping will end up on the bottom side of the box. Measure out where to cut your paper. Remember, the top of the paper will be coming over the top of the box. The sides -- where you will be cutting your paper -- will be folded up, and then the wings will fold over. So you only need the paper on the sides to come up about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way up the side. If you get it too long it will be difficult to make your side folds look nice, and if you get it too short it won't cover the box. So err on the side of long, because you can always cut off any excess.

Put the roll of the paper on the mark where you want to cut, and cut along the roll, using it as a guide to ensure a straight cut and edge.

Put the roll of the paper on the mark where you want to cut, and cut along the roll, using it as a guide to ensure a straight cut and edge.

Take your top edge, fold it over, and crease it. This will ensure a nice clean looking edge when you pull it over the top of your box.

Take your top edge, fold it over, and crease it. This will ensure a nice clean looking edge when you pull it over the top of your box.

Now, leave your sides and your creased top edge where they are. Take the bottom (uncreased edge) and pull it up 1/3 or 1/2 over the top of the box, and tape it. Take your top (creased) edge, and put it up and over on top of the uncreased edge and the box. Make sure you pull it tight! Tape it securely.

Now, leave your sides and your creased top edge where they are. Take the bottom (uncreased edge) and pull it up 1/3 or 1/2 over the top of the box, and tape it. Take your top (creased) edge, and put it up and over on top of the uncreased edge and the box. Make sure you pull it tight! Tape it securely.

Now for the sides! If you have any excess paper, cut it off. You only need your side edges to go down about halfway on the gift as seen here. Any more than that, and you will have a tough time making your side wings fold in and look nice. Now, pull down the top side edge and tape it. Take the bottom edge, put it up and tape it. While you are doing this, pay careful attention to how your wings are shaping up on the sides. You're going to need to be able to crease them. 

Now for the sides! If you have any excess paper, cut it off. You only need your side edges to go down about halfway on the gift as seen here. Any more than that, and you will have a tough time making your side wings fold in and look nice. Now, pull down the top side edge and tape it. Take the bottom edge, put it up and tape it. While you are doing this, pay careful attention to how your wings are shaping up on the sides. You're going to need to be able to crease them. 

Now take your wings, and shape them in to triangles (or close to triangles - they don't have to be perfect - an oblong shape works too!). Take the wings that you have created, and crease the sides. Creases give your edges that crisp, clean look that professionally wrapped packages have.

Now take your wings, and shape them in to triangles (or close to triangles - they don't have to be perfect - an oblong shape works too!). Take the wings that you have created, and crease the sides. Creases give your edges that crisp, clean look that professionally wrapped packages have.

Ok guys, we are almost there! Take your creased wings, and fold them in.

Ok guys, we are almost there! Take your creased wings, and fold them in.

Take some ribbon and wrap it around the gift. Use scissors to curl the edges. Voila! Now take a step back and admire your work. You did it! Congratulations on a lovely gift that will look amazing under the tree, and delight its receiver.

Take some ribbon and wrap it around the gift. Use scissors to curl the edges. Voila! Now take a step back and admire your work. You did it! Congratulations on a lovely gift that will look amazing under the tree, and delight its receiver.

There are lots of ways you can decorate your package and give it a little extra pizzazz. Here, I used old scraps of wrapping paper to wrap around my package, and used another piece to cut and then attach a star shape. I used some thin black and white fabric ribbon to tie around the package.  I am also a big fan of using kraft paper for wrapping because I think it really lets the ribbons and added embellishments shine. To get the look here, I cut a recycled paper grocery bag and used it to wrap my box.

There are lots of ways you can decorate your package and give it a little extra pizzazz. Here, I used old scraps of wrapping paper to wrap around my package, and used another piece to cut and then attach a star shape. I used some thin black and white fabric ribbon to tie around the package.  I am also a big fan of using kraft paper for wrapping because I think it really lets the ribbons and added embellishments shine. To get the look here, I cut a recycled paper grocery bag and used it to wrap my box.

Earlier this month my boyfriend and I were discussing the fine art of gift wrapping, and his take on it was "what does it matter as long as it makes it under the tree?" So I've been trying to convince him that it DOES matter :) We celebrated his 30th birthday in NYC last weekend and I snapped a few pics of my handsome guy while he was opening his gift. (He is a big fan of the show "Finding Bigfoot" -- has anyone else heard of this show? It cracks me up :) Wrapped his gift in his favorite gold and green - GO IRISH!

Photos by Kate Weinstein Photo

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