OK, let's make this simple. You have a gift. You know better (by now) than to hand it over in the bag it came in. But wrapping a present can be such a pain! It never looks right, the corners are always smashed, and the paper will probably be like two inches too short on the bottom, and how are you supposed to handle a roll of tape while you're holding together two edges of paper anyway? Finding the supplies, the space, the time, it's all just a hassle - and in the end, all of your glorious efforts will just be torn away in a matter of seconds.
I'm here to help. First of all, wrapping presents doesn't have to be a laborious task that you dread. I actually love wrapping presents! But I didn't until I learned a few simple tricks to streamline the process and foolproof the results.
That's right: fool. proof.
Let's get started!
Step 1: The supplies
For the once a year wrapper:
First of all, stop pretending like you're only every going to wrap a present once in your life. You're not. It's going to come up at least once a year that you want to give someone something, and you'll want it to look nice! So go. Buy yourself a roll of nice wrapping paper. Spend $6. It's going to last you years. Get something that has one or two colors, preferably stripes or a grid (you'll learn why later), in neutral colors. Silver, gold, and white are awesome for just about every occasion.
Buy some ribbon. Get one of those multi-packs they sell at Christmas (or even better, buy ALL your supplies in the inevitable sale just after Christmas!), or just get something nice in a great color you love.
Buy some scissors and tape. These are now your present wrapping tools and will live forever with your new arsenal of gift wrapping supplies. They are not to be used for anything else. Go cheap here. It's fine.
Gather all of your supplies and keep them together forever. Find a corner of your closet, and stand up the roll of paper in a grocery sack along with the ribbon, tape, and scissors. Oh, a pen is a good idea too, so you can write the name of the recipient on the gift!
For the mutli-platinum wrap artist:
You wrap presents constantly. You prefer to have the option of many different brightly-hued, themed papers than one heavy-weight stand-in for all occasions. Your ribbon spools are out of control. You never have enough tape, even though you've invested in like three of those little pop-up tape bit thingies like on the commercials. I feel you.
You're going to want to invest in a sturdy box or similar to store your multitudes of paper, ribbons, cards, etc. I've tried one of those long zipper cases to store paper rolls in before, and I just find them cumbersome to deal with. I actually have a rolling cart that I used to use to tote around my sewing machine. I keep the lid open, my rolls jut out the top, my scissors, tape, and cards fit snugly into pockets, and the ribbon fills the rest of the main compartment. Frankly, it's just what I had around. But having it on wheels turns out to be super handy!
So go through your stock and weed out all the ribbon that has become unspooled and bent. Wean yourself down to one honest-to-goodness tape dispenser. Toss all those dribs and draps of paper, cards, and ribbons from years before and start fresh.
I swear these things will almost make you look forward to wrapping your next gift. Consider it good gift-wrapping hygiene!