You’ve made your list, checked it twice, hit up the holiday sales and now you’re onto the last, and for some the most tedious, step of preparing for the upcoming Christmas holidays. It is time to wrap all of those gifts for your family, friends and loved ones.
Some of us will get excited for this time, looking forward to sitting down in front of the fireplace, glass of wine in hand, surrounded by gift wrap, ribbons, tape and bows. For others, the very idea is overwhelming. I know of a few friends and family personally who get overly excited over the fact that some stores provide gift wrapping at a nominal price, and they wouldn’t dream of skipping the opportunity to have their gifts wrapped for them regardless of the cost.
Regardless of how creative and artistic you may be, there are some simple tips that will help make your gift wrapping experience faster, easier and painless. Just arm yourself with these important pieces of information that I have gathered both from experience and from my own friends and family over the years.
Ensure that you have all your supplies before you get started.
There is nothing more frustrating than getting into the process of wrapping only to find out that you have to put everything down long enough to go grab a pair of scissors or a roll of tape. Take stock of everything that you have, and make sure that it is within an arm’s reach of wherever it is you plan on sitting down. My must-have list includes:
- Plenty of wrapping paper
- Boxes of different sizes
- Tissue paper
- Gift bags/gift boxes if you plan on using them
- Gift tags
- Premade bows (they are easiest, although you can also make your own)
- A mug of tea or glass of wine (depending on the time of day, and how many gifts you are going to have to wrap in one sitting)
Also, if you’re the kind of person that is going to have to answer their phone if it goes off, make sure that is also within arms reach. You’d hate to get this all together and find yourself right in the middle of taping down a piece of wrapping paper to hear your phone going off across the room.
Turn on your favourite Christmas movie or music.
The process of wrapping gifts can be incredibly tedious. There is no need to settle for being bored just to get the task done. Why not, instead, bring a little holiday fun into the process. I always make a point of either turning on a holiday movie or my favourite tunes to belt out while I’m working away. It keeps your spirits up, makes the time pass, provides a necessary distraction and keeps you feeling festive.
My absolute favourite music to wrap to (mainly because its SO much fun to sing along with) is the Straight No Chaser albums. They are a fun a cappella group that was formed at Indiana University. After gaining popularity online they signed a record deal and began to tour sharing their love of music. I’ve seen them perform multiple times and it’s always a great experience!
Here’s a taste for those that haven’t had the opportunity to experience them before:
Double-sided tape is your friend.
A small but valid point, double-sided tape allows you to take your gift-wrapping expertise to the next level. Rather than fighting to find ways to put the tape on neat and tidy, trying to keep it from looking bad, double-sided tape stays hidden out of sight while still holding your gift together securely. It is inexpensive and easy to locate.
Choose a colour scheme.
If you stick with a colour scheme when purchasing your wrapping paper, ribbon and bows, then you won’t have to worry about whether or not the items you choose while actually wrapping will go together. Each year I pick one specific colour scheme for all gifts and only select items that fit into it. This year I’m rolling with white, silver and blue, as you can see in the pictures. That way, I don’t have to overthink which ribbon I should use, or whether the last bow isn’t going to work leaving me stuck at the end.
Find a hard surface for your wrapping.
There is no carpet in my house, so this is easy, however for those that live in a carpeted house, the floor might not be your best friend. Anytime that you try to wrap gifts on a soft surface you make the process more difficult for yourself as it is harder to get a crisp fold or corner. Instead of curling up on your favourite rug or carpet, move to a hardwood floor, the dining room table or the desk in your office. If you are 100% sold on making the carpet your workspace, put a hard surface down that you can work on such as a board, or a large cookie tray.
Don’t be afraid to bring a box or bag into the mix.
Many people find themselves stressing over how to wrap oddly shaped gifts and items. While there are a number of great tips and suggestions for how to make these work and still look great with a little practice and effort, the easiest approach is simply to use a box. With a little tissue paper, you can display it professionally inside the box when the recipient opens it up, and the square or rectangular box is a far easier shape to wrap! I do a lot of online shopping leading up to the holidays and I notoriously save every box that things are delivered in for just this purpose. Alternatively, an oddly shaped gift, or a gift with a number of different parts, may be the perfect time to pull out a pretty gift bag.
Ribbon and bows can add elegance.
If you’re looking for a quick way to spruce up any gift, add a coordinating ribbon and a bow. Premade gift bows are found in nearly any department store at a relatively cheap rate and, with very little effort, they make the gift look that much nicer. You can either use a ribbon with a matching bow or change it up and choose items that coordinate with one another. Make sure that your ribbon/bow choices fit into your colour scheme as referenced above to avoid potentially clashing with your wrapping paper. You can also use fun alternatives like twine or yarn. Top your gift off with a premade bow, a handmade bow, silk flowers, a Christmas ornament, tissue paper flowers or a fancy gift tag.
Add a little personal touch.
This is where you can have a little fun with your wrapping. Maybe in place of traditional gift tags you want to put a picture of the gift’s recipient. If you are wrapping using a plain paper or brown kraft paper, decorate your wrapping using stamps, stickers and coloured markers. I always love when I receive gifts from friends and family who have young children and allow the kids to decorate up the wrapping job. It’s adorable and has that personal touch that makes it mean so much more.
Check out these great video tutorials courtesy of Hallmark:
What is your favourite aspect of Christmas wrapping? Do you have any tried, tested and true tips that I have missed?