Guides & How To's

A Cheats Guide to Wrapping Christmas Presents

Discover our top tips for wrapping Christmas present this year to save you time & effort but still make a great impression!

Christmassy themed image design with blue illustrated christmas presents, mistletoe and dark blue text that reads "cheats guide to wrapping Christmas presents"

Did you know that the average Brit spends £381.60 on buying gifts during the holiday season? Now it obviously depends on what you purchase, but that kind of money usually means there’s a lot of heartfelt gifts to wrap and wrapping takes a certain type of skill… One that’s actually kind of hard to master. 

But don’t worry, we’ve put together a cheats guide to wrapping presents – so put on your Christmas songs, whip up a hot chocolate and let’s get wrapping!

Make Wrapping Easy from the Start

Let’s start with the basic things you will need. This is important as it will help to make the job easier for yourself down the line.

Sticky Tape – Underestimated but Important

You really need a tape that comes with a holder to make getting a new piece easier and to prevent you from losing the end of the roll. If you don’t already have this at home, ensure the one you purchase comes with a few spare rolls of tape so you don’t have to faff around finding one that will fit the tape dispenser.

Remember to keep your tape handy from the moment you begin wrapping the gift – it will save you so much hassle when you’re at the stage where you’re holding down the edges of your perfectly wrapped gift ready to be taped. 

Wrapping Paper – Quality is Key

Unless all your presents are square and easy to wrap, quality is key. The cheap three for £1 stuff just doesn’t quite cut it. It’s generally too thin and you may find yourself getting frustrated when the stupid thin paper tears on a corner of your almost completed wrapping.

Cutting Supplies – Sharper the Better

a good pair of scissors will certainly do the trick (nail scissors are a no-no). Keep them sharp and you’ll be good to go. It probably doesn’t need to be said but please use caution when it comes to using any cutting utensils – you don’t want to end up in A&E before you’ve even begun wrapping.

Now onto the, erm, “fun part”…

Tissue Paper can be More Forgiving than Wrapping Paper

This is a perfect way to avoid using wrapping paper, it’s more forgiving but has the same visual pay off. Choose any colours you want, pair it with a complimentary gift bag or go completely rogue with your colour combos, whatever you prefer. 

It’s best to start with two layers of tissue paper to avoid the present from being visible. There are many ways you can wrap the gift, including:

  • Wrap it like a normal gift and use a nice Christmassy sticker to secure it in place instead of sticky tape.
  • Place the gift in the middle and gather the edges around the gift, pull them into the middle and secure it with a ribbon – just like a bouquet. 
  • Wrap it like a Christmas cracker, this especially works well with clothing. Secure the item in the middle, towards the top of the tissue paper. Roll it up like sausage (or pig in blanket – it is Christmas after all) and secure both ends with ribbon.

And if that fails, you can always use tin foil.

Wrapping Paper Tricks & Tips

There are hundreds of ways to wrap a present but there are some useful tips to keep in mind before you start wrapping.

Lots of Gifts for People Outside Your Household?

If you’re someone who buys for neighbours, various relatives, friends, and colleagues you should use different coloured wrapping paper or tissue paper for each household, not only will this save you time but help you to avoid confusion.

Plus, you’ll be able to tailor your wrapping for each group or household. For example, if you’ve got friends who hold environmental issues close to their heart, then choose recyclable wrapping paper. Does your aunty just love the colour purple? Then purple paper it is.

Choose Your Wrapping Surface Wisely

Although it may be the comfiest option to wrap your presents from your bed or sofa – it’s not the most practical solution.

A hard and large surface is always best. So, try the dining room table or even the floor. It will make the present look so much neater.

Cutting Your Paper to the Right Size

Cutting too much or too little paper is a very common wrapping mistake; however, one that’s easily avoidable.

Now, nobody has time to get a ruler out and start measuring the width and height of a gift, however, as a general rule the paper should be equal to the width of your gift and twice the height but you can start to wrap the gift to gauge how much paper you need and prevent cutting a piece to short or too long.  

Fabric Gift Wrap

If you really can’t face wrapping any gifts this year, you can always use fabric. It’s really simple to do and looks pretty effective. All you need to do is:

  1. Place the gift in the centre of a square piece of fabric,
  2. Tie the two opposite ends together in a single knot, centring it over your gift,
  3. Repeat with the other corners
  4. Take the first two corners and tie a second knot,
  5. Embellish with festive berries, a personalised gift tag or foliage.

Layering Can Work Well

Forget about using one pattern or paper per present can look incredibly stylish, especially on larger gifts. Consider wrapping your gift and then cutting wide strips from a complimentary second paper long enough to cover the top and sides of your gift and secure in place with double-sided tape. Your second paper should add the wow factor to your wrapping.  

Nicely wrapped christmas present in a purple gift bag sat underneath the Christmas tree

Gifts Bags 101

Gift bags are a perfect way to give presents if you’re in a rush, don’t have any wrapping paper to hand, or simply can’t be bothered messing around with any of it. Here are a few important tips on choosing the best gift bag for your gift:

  • Choosing the right size bag – one too large or small will take away from the actual gift and look all wrong. Often, it’s best to choose a gift bag which is two to three times larger than the gift.  
  • Think about the style and design – this comes down to personal preference, but a good-looking gift bag will make all the difference and depending on the recipient of your gift – glitter will add to the Christmassy feel. 
  • If you’re struggling to find one that works for your gift – a simple brown paper bag and nice ribbon will also do the trick.  

Now Your Gifts are Wrapped and Bagged, It’s Time for the Decorations

Revisiting the Tissue Paper

Ahh, back to the humble tissue paper. 

This again is down to personal preference but to get your tissue paper styled like the professionals can be done using this method: 

  1. Take two different colours of tissue paper.
  2. Simply layer the two or three sheets on top of each other at a slight angle, 
  3. Pinch both layers firmly in the middle and firmly flip them over. 
  4. Finally, gently place the gift paper into your gift bag – after putting the present into the bag of course.

This will create a beautiful flower-like effect that will be the envy of all the other boring gift bags out there. People will think you’re a professional with this immaculate presentation. Check out the video below for a detailed explanation.

Choosing Your Ribbons & Bows

There are so many options when it comes to choosing your ribbon and so many ways of using a ribbon to pimp up your gifts. From the colour to tying the bow – there are some awesome homemade bow tutorials out there. 

The easiest ribbon to work with tends to be the ones that are textured and matte as they don’t slide as much when wrapping around your gift. it’s simple but effective when you’re trying to add another dimension to your gift. This helpful guide will explain how it’s done. 

Natural Foliage

Scented and natural foliage is a great way to add that extra festive touch to your Christmas wrapping. They make a great impression and they’re pretty simple to combine into your gift. All you need to do is secure them in place with a ribbon or strip of double-sided tape or floristry tap. Some decorative options include:

  • Rosemary stems,
  • Pinecones,
  • Winter berries,
  • Roses, and
  • Dried fruit

Remember, You’ve Got This!

Which ever way you decide to wrap your presents this Christmas, remember to take your time, invest in good quality wrapping paper and have fun with your creations. 

That special added touch will make all the difference and your friends and family will truly appreciate the extra effort you’ve gone too – however, little will they know it’s not taken you much time at all using our gift wrapping hacks.

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