How to Wrap Presents and Gifts Properly

Updated on September 12, 2019
Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen is a mother of three who is fascinated by parenting, psychology, marriage, food, and the animal kingdom.

How to Wrap Gifts
How to Wrap Gifts | Source

Wrapping a present doesn't have to be a chore. With a few techniques and tips, you'll be able to wrap any shape of present in minutes! Let's start with the present below. With the picture and video tutorials, you'll understand the basic present-wrapping technique that can then be applied to any shape.

Instructions for the larger box, plus the DVD shaped box and the curling ribbon.
Instructions for the larger box, plus the DVD shaped box and the curling ribbon. | Source

Step-by-Step Directions for the Smaller Box With Pictures

These directions will work for almost any shape of present, but for this tutorial, I'm showing you how I wrapped a DVD for my children. (See the photo below.)

  1. Take the item and lay it on the paper. Give a little extra on either side before you begin to cut.
  2. Cut more than you need lengthwise until you get the hang of it. You can always trim and save the extras for small gifts another time.
  3. Fold one side of the paper over until it is in the center of the present. Adhere it to the package with a small piece of tape.
  4. Using the other side, fold the extra paper (so it makes a straight edge) and fold it over until the two sides meet. Some overlapping is fine.
  5. Use a small piece of tape and place it horizontally along the seamed edge.
  6. Start on one side of the present. Fold in the right and left sides of the paper and until it hits the box. Crease the edges to make straight angles.
  7. Now, fold down one edge and hold it in place. Fold up the other edge. Secure with tape.
  8. Now, turn the package on its side so the first edge is on the floor. This will prevent the package paper from moving.
  9. Repeat step six.


How to Curl Ribbon for Decoration

When you go out to find the ribbon, make sure it is marked for curling. You'll need a sharp pair of scissors as well. Things to know about curling:

  • Better to have too much ribbon than too little.
  • The fat ribbon is usually easier to curl.
  • The fat ribbon also allows you to shred it into little pieces.
  • Tucking the long curls underneath the cross is an easy way to use the extra length.
  • Stock up on white ribbon. That way you can accent with color ribbon when you buy it, but white goes with everything!

How to Wrap Odd-Shaped Gifts

Unfortunately, not every present is perfectly square. What do you do for those odd-shaped gifts that require a little bit of ingenuity?

Wrapping Soft Presents That Don't Have a Box

First, wrap it up in some tissue paper so it takes on a firmer shape. You are less likely to rip it this way, and with enough tissue, you can turn almost any shape into a semblance of a rectangle!

Wrapping Cylindrical Shapes

Use tissue paper first and roll it up. Then add the paper on top. Once you've done that, tie off each edge like a tootsie roll. Use the ribbon curling tips above.

Wrapping a Perfect Square

You'd think the perfect square present would be easy, but believe it or not, it can be difficult. You need more paper for the sides than a rectangle shape, so be generous when cutting out the paper.

Wrapping a Flat Shape

When wrapping a calendar or other flat package, you can alter the way you fold in the sides. Rather than trying to fold in the edge (since the present has hardly any depth), fold the top edge down and make a triangle with the combined edges. (See picture below.)

Just treat the edges like one piece of paper.
Just treat the edges like one piece of paper. | Source

Tips for Perfect Wrapping Technique

  • If you are a beginner, splurge on nice wrapping paper. The cheap stuff rips very easily and can be difficult to work with. Foil paper is also tricky to use so your basic paper should be fine.
  • Go for clear scotch tape if you want a nice presentation. This way, the pieces don't show up as easily.
  • Try to get that first edge as close to the edge of the package as possible. It will look seamless.
  • If you have extra paper when you begin wrapping, fold it to the right spot in the pattern so it looks like one continuous picture.
  • Tape boxes shut before you begin wrapping.
  • If you have an odd shaped gift (with strange plastic packaging) consider taking it out of the box it came in and wrapping it in a standard sized box, taking care to wrap each item in a piece of tissue paper.

Bags and Tissue Paper Always Work

Bags and tissue paper work nicely if you have a present that simply won't submit to your craftmanship!


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    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Maybe this will finally help me make my presents look more professional. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • dinkan53 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Great tips! thanks for sharing, i will definitely make use of it. Voted and shared.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love wrapping gifts, but it takes me a very long time and I end up wasting too much paper. The tutorial for small and large boxes is useful. For the small boxes, I was skipping step 3. Last year I had to wrap a huge box from Toys R Us for my nephew and I swear it took me like an hour. This year I will remember to fold. That box would have probably taken me an hour as opposed to the professional gift wrapper in the video which wrapped that gift in less than 10 minutes.

    • Ruchira profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      I always have problems with ribbons.

      Useful hub, Julie.

    • MariaP26 profile image


      7 years ago

      This is for people like me who are horrible at wrapping gifts. But then again it probably doesn't help that I buy weird shaped gifts. Last year I bought this toy for my daughter that was like a weird 3D trapezoid shape. So that probably didn't help my wrapping skills. But now that you made this, I will probably use this example when wrapping my gifts; which I have procrastinated again.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      I really needed this hub. I am known for my horrible wrapping attempts. Thanks!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Wrapping gifts took off, for me, when someone wrapped a gift so well I didn't want to open it.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      Dear Julie - This instructional Hub was very well done. I'm sure everyone will receive a beautiful present. Blessings, Debby

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      7 years ago from New York, New York

      Awesome hub and tips here Julie. Thanks for reminding, by the way, that I need to start wrapping gifts, lol!! :)

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Great hub Julie! I too have to match my papers, bows, etc. I love creating my own papers as well. Well done! Well done! ♥

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great hub topic idea!!

      I love wrapping gifts. Every year I choose two colors and everything has to match - tags, bows, ribbon...but it's one of those little things I love about Christmas:)


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