Trust me on this, you really don’t want to make the mistake of doing any of these. There is a special corner in the afterlife where you will be sent if you commit any of these 5 deadly sins of gift wrapping. A corner where they wrap you in cheap, easy to tear wrapping paper and then bind you in rolls and rolls of sticky tape…. It’s called Hell-otape and is easily avoided if you can steer clear of these mistakes. In this post I’ll show you how to avoid the pitfalls without having to be a gift wrapping expert, without spending a fortune on wrapping accessories or spending hours mastering origami style wrapping techniques.
Deadly Sin #1 – Just shove it in a gift bag
I know, I know, you’re a busy person and you just don’t have time to put the extra frills, ribbons and bows on a present. So stick in a gift bag and it’ll look okay. Right? Wrong!
Simply shoving your gift in a gift bag will make it look like you didn’t have time, didn’t plan ahead and left it to the last minute. Which you did, right? But you don’t want them to think that do you?
So what’s the answer when you have left it to the last minute and you don’t feel like a gift wrapping guru and you really just want to shove it in a bag?
Well the answer is simple really and yes, actually, you’re still going to shove it in a gift bag…BUT…you’re going to shove some tissue in the bag first!
Now that wasn’t difficult was it?!
One sheet, or even half a sheet of tissue, placed in the bag so it’s sticking out of the top, gift inside tissue and there you go. Now it looks like you tried and actually it didn’t take that long did it? My tip is to fold the tissue in half, lightly scrunch the bottom, middle bit and place that carefully at the bottom of the bag. Then you can find the opening in the tissue and spread it out before putting the gift in the centre of the gap in the tissue.
Deadly Sin #2 – Sticky tape
You might have a really fancy tape dispenser that’s fun to use but please…don’t use one sided sticky tape. At least not on the outside of your gift! You are allowed to use double sided tape and if that’s too fiddly for you then you can buy repositionable double sided tape ready to roll. We could buy shares in these double sided tape rollers as my daughter uses it for making cards. It’s not the cheapest way to stick things together but it is really easy to use and will save you a lot of time.
Other options if you don’t like the double sided tape is use gift wrapping seals. A bit like conventional sticky tape but in neat circles of stickiness. A word of caution though, if your paper is too thick or textured then these might not stick well.
Later I’ll show you a video of how to wrap your present with double sided tape.
Deadly Sin #3 – Rough edges
There is no reason why the edge of your paper shouldn’t be straight if you have to cut it. Here are some simple tips:
- Use a decent pair of scissors (and don’t let the children use them for cutting up cardboard boxes – sorry, just personal experience!)
- Fold the paper where you need to cut it, then cut along the line.
- If that’s really hard then use wrapping paper with a cutting grid on the back. E.g. ALL of Flamingo Paperie gift wrap comes with a cutting grid on the reverse.
- Fold the cut edge over so that the ‘edge’ is a straight fold instead of the cut line. This is especially relevant if the edge of the paper is already rough or squint.
Deadly Sin #4 – Having the edge of the paper in the middle of the gift
This is a really simple tip that makes your present wrapping look so much more professional. When you wrap the paper around the gift, make sure the paper edge that sits on the top of the paper as you wrap it round is at the corner edge of your gift, not right in the middle of the gift.
I probably haven’t explained that very well so in the video link at the end I’ve given you a clip that shows you how to do this (as well as how to use double sided tape to hold it all together).
Deadly Sin #5 – Cheap thin wrapping paper – it’s a rip off!
You know the stuff. As soon as you wrap it round a corner, it’s got a big rip in it. By the time you give the gift the paper is so creased and the pattern has worn away at every crease that it looks like you’ve used the paper before. What’s worse is that most really cheap wrapping paper is so thin it’s not even recyclable. Why bother? It’s not good for the environment and looks rubbish!
Always use a decent thickness of wrapping paper. You can get affordable gift wrap that is good quality, ethically sourced from sustainable forests and can be recycled.
If you want to know more about which gift wrap can be recycled then you might like a previous blog post – Is gift wrapping paper recyclable?
If you do like to use ribbons and bows then there are eco-friendly options there too, paper rope, jute twine and recycled or recyclable gift tags too.
Video tutorial – how to avoid the deadly sins of gift wrapping
All the tips I’ve described can be used for any shaped gift. Shiho Masuda is known as the Paper Guru and has lots of useful video tutorials to help you take your gift wrapping to the next level. The video below shows you how to wrap just about any shape. You’ll see how she uses double sided tape (See Deadly Sin #2), folds the paper at the cut end (See Deadly Sin #3) and gets the edges of the paper to line up with the edge of the gift (See Deadly Sin #4).
Follow these simple tips and the gift wrapping gods will smile favourably upon your creations, you will make your recipients smile and you will look like a gift wrapping genius!