Thursday, December 22, 2011

Your guide to gift wrapping

Only three days left until Christmas if you are celebrating it primarily on the 24th like me.  That doesn't leave a lot of time for getting everything done.  Getting distracted on Pinterest doesn't help, either.

But never fear: at least when it comes to wrapping gifts, I've got you covered. 

I have to say, I am pretty good at wrapping presents.  I always get the paper pulled really tightly and put together cute ribbons to finish the gift off.  I took step-by-step pictures of myself wrapping a Christmas gift to give you a little tutorial on wrapping.  I hope you enjoy!


You need: 

Wrapping paper (currently, I like paper with graphic, highly repetitive prints on it, like the snowflake papers seen below)
A pair of sharp scissors
A lot of ribbon
Gift tags
A large, flat surface (I like the floor) 


 Lay the item upside-down in the middle of a piece of paper that is big enough to completely cover the item.  Make sure the item is straight on the paper by aligning it with some part of the pattern.  Fold one side of the paper halfway over the box.  (In this case, I had to go more than halfway because I used real gifts of mine.  I had to make sure no one looking at this blog could see what it was.) 
When pulling the paper over the box, be sure to pull it really tightly.  Tape it down with at least one piece of tape in the middle. 
 Turn the box around and fold over the other side (as seen above).  Be sure to pull it even tighter, but pull gently, as wrapping paper tends to tear.  If it doesn't pull tightly enough for me, I lift the box up so that the paper hangs down on one side and pull it around again, this time trying harder to keep the wrapping paper as close to the box as possible. 
 When you get it right, fold the edge to even it out and tape it with three small pieces of tape: one on the left side, one in the middle and one on the right. 
 This is where it gets a little tricky.  I always stand my box on it's side.  It crushes the paper on the bottom, but if you follow these steps, that should be invisible in the end-result.  Once the box or package is on its side, as shown above, fold down ONLY the two small strips of paper on the left and right as shown below. 
Once you have these two small side pieces folded towards the middle of the package, the rest is quite easy. 
 Fold the side with the seam on it (from where you secured the paper in the back) up as shown above and tape it into place with one piece of tape.  If it is too long to cleanly fold into this little space, carefully cut the paper down all the way around the item.  Next, fold the top flap (open above) down.  Fold the paper to even out the edge and secure with two pieces of tape.  Turn the package over and do the same to the opposite side. 
When I give someone more than one thing, I really like to layer my packages on top of each other.  I think it add a little something extra, especially if you use two different but complimentary papers.  

Now comes the big trick for a beautifully wrapped package:  use at least TWO different types of ribbon on it, and vary the textures, sizes and colors.  I chose a kind of silk crepe ribbon and a green satin ribbon.  The silk crepe ribbon is cream colored, extra thick and has a rough texture.  As a contrast, the green satin ribbon is thin, satiny and (obviously) colored.  

First, tie the ribbon around the package, either length-wise or both length and width-wise.  Then tie a small knot in the first ribbon.  (As shown above.)

Add the second ribbon and tie that.  Here you could add one more knot in the bottom ribbon that covers up the knot in the top ribbon.

Add a cute gift tag, preferably with a third kind of ribbon. 

 Here I chose black and red snowflake paper from Ikea.  For the gift on the right, I added a silk crepe ribbon, a satin green ribbon and a Santa tag.  For the gift on the right, I used red velvet ribbon, green raffia and a "Frohe Weihnachten" gift tag from my mom. 

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