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Gifting #1: Wrapping Paper

Hope these help make your gifting experience smoother!


  • There are other ways to wrap but paper is still the easiest, cheapest and, as long as it's not glittery or foil, can be recycled!

  • Surface matters... It's much easier to wrap on a hard flat surface. I sometimes get lazy and just wrap on my carpeted floor but it's actually not great as fibres (or pet fur) get picked up electrostatically by the paper or by the tape - particularly double sided, and it's not as easy to cut or line paper up either - so try to clear a table to wrap.

  • Size matters... With wrapping paper, bigger isn't always better even if it seems more value for money. If you're roll is too wide this causes problems - the width of the roll needs to be shorter than the height (when you're looking down) of the table - because remember you have to roll out the paper to the side to cut it and this length is inconsistent. You can see that the bottom roll (1) is MUCH wider than the others and needs a larger table and if you're a small to average sized person it's actually harder to manipulate - lots of moving around to measure and cut. However, the top roll (5) is quite short so it's impossible to wrap large gifts with one piece - this is a bit more hassle but also requires more paper because multiple pieces of paper have to overlap. My preferred length is about 68-78cm.

  • Materials matter... Price is not always a factor for good paper but it's a strong indicator. 3 is part of a 4 roll pack I got at Costco YEARS ago and it's been the lowest maintenance to wrap with (that's good). 4 I got at Myer (a bit pricier), also years ago, and it folds great and has a great finish mostly because it's a bit thicker. But I had another roll of pricey, high-grade thick designer "brown paper" wrapping from an art market and it was aesthetically beautiful but VERY hard to fold and tape down because of the course texture and weight. If you're a more functional wrapper who just needs to get stuff done it's not worth it! On the other hand, very thin paper that's soft like butter - the kind you get at supermarkets for a couple of dollars - is very hard to cut without making a fold along the width first - and even then... So you end up with uneven, jagged edges which you can hide (next tips!) but is generally not as easy to wrap with because the paper is too malleable. This paper also tears very easily so if you're planning (or whoever you give the gift to) to reuse paper - which I highly recommend - this isn't a good choice.


  • Feel the paper if you can and go for something thin but tough enough that the corner will bounce back when you prod it.

  • Storage for long life... Lastly, keep your rolls in the plastic they came in for storage - this will protect the paper for years from the elements and also maintain the roll shape - plus it means less plastic waste. If you can't, you can use a ribbon or twine - avoid rubber bands as they can leave creases and melt onto the paper. Keep the paper vertical to avoid crumpling and out of direct sunlight or they'll fade - basically just shove them vertically into a cupboard!

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