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13 Things You Didn’t Know About Gift Wrapping

Love it or hate it, those gifts must be wrapped before going under the tree. Here are 13 things you might not know to make your gift wrapping a breeze.

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How To Use The Right Amount

To determine how much paper to use, and to minimize waste, use the box as a guide and cut a piece just over double its length and wide enough that there will be enough on each side to cover at least half of the gift’s height.

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How to Make Your Own Gift Bag

If you’re wrapping something that doesn’t fit neatly into a box, use a gift bag or make one yourself out of wrapping paper (fold the piece in half, tape the sides closed and slide the item in).

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How to Wrap an Oversized Gift

When it comes to bigger items, like hockey sticks, Lia Griffith says not to worry about covering the whole item. Griffith, named Scotch’s Most Gifted Wrapper, says it’s all about the embellishment. “For things like that, they’re obviously too big to cover really well,” she says. “Try a big paper bow. It’s about playfulness.”

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How to Wrap an Elegant Gift

Kraft paper has long had fans in the crafting community-Griffith is one, and so is Martha Stewart. For an elegant look, wrap gifts in this thick paper and decorate them to your taste with ribbon or twine. (Bonus? If you buy the unbleached and biodegradable kind, it’s environmentally friendly.)

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The Magic of Double-Sided Tape

For cleaner edges, use double-sided tape on the inside of the gift’s seams. 

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How To Mix It Up

To avoid all the presents under the tree looking the same, invite some friends over for a wrapping party. Set the price of admission to one roll of paper so everyone can mix it up. 

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The Beauty Of Buying Ahead

Take advantage of Boxing Day markdowns and buy your wrapping paper a year ahead-some patterns never go out of style.

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How to Reduce Waste

One estimate puts the amount of gift-wrap waste during the Christmas season in the United Kingdom at 23 million pounds. If you want to do your part to reduce the waste, use newspaper comics, pages from old picture books, maps or reusable fabric gift bags.

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How to Go Green

Get even greener by using biodegradable paper cards, such as the ones sold by Manitoba-based Botanical PaperWorks. Wildflower seeds are embedded in the cards, and come spring, recipients can plant them in the garden. 

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How To Be Unique

For a unique take on gift tags, cut cardboard into shapes, and paint the pieces with chalkboard paint. Use chalk to write your greetings, and simply rub them off and rewrite next year.

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The Art of Making Your Own Gift Wrap

Hokey prints not your style? Make your own gift-wrap by decorating plain paper with rubber stamps, sticking with clean lines and shapes. Or try a rolling pin for an ombré effect. Stamping someone’s name in elegant print on his or her gift means one less gift tag, as well.

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How to Keep The Surprise Alive

If Santa still visits your household and wants a tip, tell him to give each recipient’s gifts a unique pattern or colour to make the under-the-tree scrimmage a little easier. 

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How to Get It Done For You

If this all feels a little overwhelming, there’s always the mall kiosk, which will wrap your gifts for a fee that often goes to charity. Or seek out a professional wrapper who will add creative flair without you having to lift the scissors. They’ll even do house calls or personal workshops.