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Gifting #3: Wrapping

Continuing the theme: I don't like waste - and that includes with wrapping paper so it's always worth measuring and only using as much as you need. Unless it's for a special reason, I'll always buy rolls for wrapping rather than individual pieces.


  • Measuring... 1. When measuring out paper, put the item on top of the rolled out paper and make sure the paper is long enough to cover all sides of the item plus an inch in one direction i.e. horizontal or vertical. The extra length is important not just to create an overlap to tape down, but also because most cuts are jagged so need to be corrected with a folded edge. Add about an inch for every pleat you want to make. 2. For the other direction, make sure there is at least enough length plus 1-2cm to cover ONE end - my paper was a little longer than that but since it wasn't very wide so wouldn't have been useful for other wrapping, I decided to keep it to add an effect later.

  • Cutting... Take the item off before cutting as the weight may prevent moving the roll easily to cut. Paper slicers (as in my picture) are useful for cutting paper from rolls but it's blade can be a bit temperamental. If you don't have a paper slicer fold the paper over, crease it well and use a knife or scissors to slice along the crease.

  • Alignment... 1. Put the item back on the paper until it's about centre. TRICK: Wrap the paper around until it overlaps then use your fingers to adjust the item until any straight edges of the paper line up (for me it was the side edges). This is important so that you can avoid accidental gaps and any folds/pleats you end up doing come out straight. Get creative: the overlap doesn't have to be in the middle! If you're wrapping a box, I sometimes put it along one side which gives it a bookish look. 2. Fold jagged edges in about 1cm - for ease, I only do it with the edge on the top layer of the overlap as it's the only edge that can be seen. If you have paper with a repeated pattern, you can try to align the fold to the pattern - this is very finicky to do on purpose so it's not a "must" but sometimes you just get lucky like I did with mine.

  • Seal... 1. With large and/or bulky items, I'd recommend sticking the bottom layer edge of the overlap to the item as it will prevent the paper from moving. 2. Once that inside layer is taped, you can tape the top layer or not. If you are going to tape it use double-sided tape. If you don't, just use a weight or your hands to hold it in place while you fold the sides.

  • Sides... 1. Swivel the item until you face one side of it. 2. Fold in the left and right sides of this side and crease the top and bottom to form trapeze shapes - one aligned to the top of the item, and one below. TRICK: While folding the sides in, use your index finger to hold the inside corner of the fold against the item then fold one side of the trapeze - repeat on the other 3 corners. 3. Fold the top trapeze down to the bottom edge of the item folding any excess paper. 4. Fold the bottom trapeze up. I used double-sided sticky tape along part of the edges of the trapeze to make it look neater. Since my edges were straight and they were a little long, I chose to wrap it around the top edge so you could see it from the top. You can also fold it in (like any jagged edges) so it's only visible from the side. You can reverse 3 and 4 for a more traditional fold but hey - start your own traditions. 5. Repeat on the other side.

Once wrapped, you can always tie a ribbon, twine or shoelace (as a friend suggested recently!) around it, too.

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