Friday, December 14, 2018

12 Days of Christmas - 5 Gift Wrapping Tips and Tricks

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Do you wrap gifts for Christmas or do you just put everything in gift bags?  My mom is the gift bag type, but I love wrapping gifts.  Because I'm really good at it, and because I like how matching, wrapped boxes look under the tree (that's the first tip - if it didn't come in a box, put it in one.  Boxes are much easier to wrap.)  But I do think that it's made easier by having the right supplies before you sit down to wrap anything.  Here's what I use each year:

1. The Right Paper.  I think paper is important but not the most important.  Because you can make beautifully wrapped gifts with dollar store wrapping paper - I know I do!  Container Store wrapping paper never fails me, but I make sure to get it on sale.  Otherwise, I pick up rolls of white from the dollar store.  The wrong paper, though, is anything that's really thick.  You might think it would be easier because it won't tear, but it's really hard to get crisp edges with thick paper.  Think of a regular piece of computer paper.  The more times you fold it, the thicker it gets and the harder it is to make a crisp fold, right?  It's the same with too thick wrapping paper.  I see plain brown butcher paper recommended all the time for gift wrap since it's cheap and easy to customize, but it's just too thick.  Brown craft paper, fine.  Just make sure your paper isn't so heavy duty.

2. Sliding Scissors If you can make regular scissors slide through paper like butter, more power to you.  I cannot.  But that gliding motion is essential for nice edges, otherwise you risk tearing the paper.  Lucky for me, and anyone else who lacks that skill, they make a device for this.  It slides right through paper like butter.  I normally dislike keeping single use items around, but I just store this with my wrapping paper and use it at Christmas time, and I really think it's worth it since I love wrapping gifts so much.

3. Pop Up Tape Dispenser.  Like the sliding scissors, this is not totally a necessity but I love mine.  And I do use it the rest of the year so it's worth it.  I linked to the one on Amazon, but they have these at drugstores, Target, office supply places, pretty much all over the place this time of year, along with the refills.  I'm sure you've seen it.  It has an elastic band across the bottom, so you can slide it over your non-dominant hand.  Then you just pull out a piece of pre-cut tape, which are the perfect size for gift wrap use.  Having it pre-cut and easily accessible since it's resting on your other hand, it makes taping down those perfect creases really easy.

4. Glue Dots For truly perfect gift wrap edges, glue dots are your new best friend.  When used instead of tape, they're totally invisible yet hold the edges down perfectly.  As you're folding edges over, just stick glue dots at each corner.  You'll be amazed at how easy it is and how well it holds, even with heavier papers.  I also use these to hold ribbons in place, like when I make a large bow that I want to stay centered.  Speaking of which:

5. Wired Ribbon For Pinterest or Instagram worthy bows, you need wired ribbon.  Regular ribbon just won't give you the look you want.  If you're not familiar, wired ribbon just has a very fine wire woven directly into the fabric at either edge.  This wire allows the ribbon to be flexed into perfect loops, which then hold their shape.  Wired ribbon is so much easier to work with, and Michael's always has their ribbon on sale at this time of year.

Are you crazy like me, with everything already wrapped and under the tree?  Or do you still have gifts hidden away in closets to be wrapped?

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