How to Wrap a Gift




Introduction: How to Wrap a Gift

Running woefully late on your holiday giftwrapping? Trying to get a serious head start on next year? Got a birthday coming up for someone special?

Here's a quick Instructable on how to wrap your gift, be it a simple box or something a little more oddly-shaped.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

What you need:
  • your gift!
If it's in a box, or if you can put it in an appropriately-sized box, great! That makes things easy. If not, don't worry. Do remember to take the price tag off.
  • scissors
  • tape
  • ribbon
  • wrapping paper
You can use store-bought, or you can recycle or make your own. For this demonstration, I grabbed some plain brown paper that was used as packing material. The important bit is that your wrapping paper should be large enough to, well, wrap all the way around your gift.

For ideas on how to make nifty & colorful recycled giftwrap, check out the Instructables on using old maps, screen-printing newspaper, and painting your own giftwrap.

Note: Since this is a quick demonstration Instructable, all my materials are of the "random bits and pieces hanging around at the Instructables HQ" sort. I'd suggest giving more exciting and less entirely-random gifts, using more colorful and perhaps less wrinkled paper, and not going with safety-orange and neon-lime-green as your ribbon colorscheme, unless your gift-recipient is colorblind or just loves safety-orange and neon-lime-green.

Step 2: Cut Your Wrapping Paper

If you're using recycled paper with rough edges, trim off the uneven edges.

Lay your gift on the paper near one edge. If it's a box, make sure that you've got enough paper on each end to completely cover the smaller sides of the box when the paper is folded.

For an oddly-shaped gift, an easy technique is wrapping it in a tube of paper and twisting each end to seal it, like a giant piece of hard candy. Make sure you can wrap the paper into a tube around your gift, with 6-12" excess length on either side.

Wrap the paper all the way over your gift, with a 1-2" overlap. If necessary, cut along the line where that overlap ends.

Step 3: Wrapping!

Box: Lay your box in the middle of the wrapping paper. Bring the long sides of the wrapping paper up around your box, pull them tight, and tape them down so that one overlaps the other. For a crisp fold, pull the paper tight at each edge of the box as you're wrapping it, then run your fingers along the edge to lightly crease the paper.

Hard-candy style: Bring the sides of the wrapping paper up around your gift to make a long tube. Overlap the edges so that the tube is tight, then tape them down.

Step 4: Finish the Ends

Box: Lay the box with one short end facing you, taped side up. On that end, fold the top side down until it's flat against the end of the box. This will fold the left & right sides of the excess paper into triangles. Take the left triangle and fold it smoothly against the end of the box, then take the right triangle and do the same. This leaves you with one last triangle on the bottom; fold it up against the end of the box, and tape it down.

Turn the box around & repeat on the other short end.

Note: Excess paper on each end will make it hard to fold neatly. If there's excess, just trim it evenly off all the way around (as shown).

Hard-candy style: Easy! Just grab the tube gently on either side of your gift and scrunch the paper down. Be careful not to tear it, especially if your gift has sharp corners.

Step 5: Ribbon!

Box: Stand the box up on a short end, with the taped side facing you. Wrap the ribbon around the box and tie a simple knot. Twist the ends of the ribbon coming out of the knot so that they run perpendicular to the knot, up around the other sides of the box. Lay the box down (taped-side down), bring the ends of the ribbon around, and tuck them under the first wrap of ribbon. Tie a bow. Add a tag. Voila!

Hard-candy style: Wrap a length of ribbon around one of the scrunched-narrow sections of wrapping paper. Tie in a bow. Repeat on the other end. Add a tag. Fantastic!

It shouldn't take much work to make your bows look better than mine. :)

Other ideas:
- On the hard-candy-style wrapping, cut the ends into fringes. (This looks better with brightly-colored paper that's different on the front & back sides.)
- Use curling ribbon to make a spray of different colors on the front of the box.
- Make a bow from brightly colored or patterned scrap paper.
- Use tissue-paper flowers instead of a bow.

Step 6: Rip It Rip It Rip It!

Give your beautifully-wrapped gift. Celebration! Rejoicing! Whee!

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    14 years ago on Introduction

    Is that noahw? Nice job anyways, I like your purple and black finger gloves.


    Reply 14 years ago on Introduction

    It is indeed, and thank you! And yeah, fingerless gloves make my life better when it's all wet and chilly outside.


    14 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this will come in useful next time I need to wrap a mannequin head!


    Reply 14 years ago on Introduction

    Someday, a mannequin head will be the Most Perfect Present for someone. And now you'll be prepared. :)