Known as the ‘Gift Wrap Guru’, Jane Means is a gift wrapping specialist and adviser who has worked alongside some of the most exclusive luxury brands in the world. A regular on TV and an acclaimed author, she has literally written the book on gift wrapping (it’s called Gift Wrapped) so she certainly knows all there is to know about how to wrap Christmas presents.
One of the most stressful parts of the festive season, once you’ve carefully selected all the perfect gifts for your loved ones you still have the arduous task of wrapping them ahead of you. It’s easy to quickly get lost under a mound of glittery paper, ribbons and sticky tape and even the best efforts can descend into chaos if you’re dealing with tricky present shapes and unusual gifts. Whether you're wondering how to wrap ribbon around a present or would just like to learn how to gift wrap like a pro, here Jane shares her top tips...
How to Wrap Bottles
A bottle of bubbly, someone’s favourite wine or even a reusable water bottle is an ever popular choice for Christmas presents. But the asymmetrical shape can make them a headache to wrap and present stylishly.
Items that are tall such as bottles are sometimes tricky to wrap. Flexible materials such as tissue, cellophane, fabric, and crepe paper are often better to use than wrapping paper as they mould around the shape. I love to use tissue and cellophane as it’s easily available and can be recycled
- It’s a good idea to cut some ribbon first and place your bottle in the centre of the tissue and cellophane
- Grab the edges and pull up to the top of the bottle so neat pleats are formed. Swap hands halfway around and repeat
- Secure the tissue and cellophane with a pretty bow… you could also add a decoration such as a tassels, baubles or some sticks from a country walk
- This method is quick and easy after some practice!
How to Wrap Tins and Jars
Circular or hexagonal tins or jars can be very challenging to wrap for many so I prefer to use a good quality paper for this so you can avoid any accidental tears.
- Measure your paper first allowing enough to go around the tin plus a little extra. The paper at the lid and base should measure just over halfway
- Gently pull the paper into the centre so it resembles a bicycle wheel
- Secure with double sided tape
- Add decorations and embellishments onto tins as this will hide any mistakes
- If you are wrapping a hexagonal tin you will find that you will have less pleats which are larger in size
How to Wrap Plants and Flowers
- Plants often have soggy bases and can be troublesome to wrap
- A paper tablecloth moulds around the plant pot easily. They are extremely versatile and they don’t dissipate like wet tissue
- Available from supermarkets and department stores they are inexpensive and come in an array of colours
How to Wrap Vouchers and Flat Presents
- You will need an oblong of paper with enough paper to go around the flat object and approximately 4cm each side
- Fold over the long sides and with some clever folding and double-sided tape you can easily transform any offcuts of giftwrap into versatile pouches for your gifts
- Accessorise with ribbon and embellishment and voila, you have a gift wrapped masterpiece
How to Wrap Large Presents
If you’re wrapping a particularly large gift such as a bike or a pizza oven, you may need something a little stronger than everyday gift wrap. For larger gifts that come in boxes, you could use fabric, paper tablecloths or cellophane from a florist, these materials are much more durable than gift wrap and are less likely to tear before Christmas morning.
For large gifts that are an awkward shape, a bike is a great example, you could use a festive-themed bed sheet in place of wrapping paper. Start by standing the bike on top of the bed sheet. Bring the bed sheet around the bike, then bring the two sides in and tie them into the centre in a knot. Fluff out the sides so it resembles a bow and then use baubles and other decorations to add the finishing touch.
How to Wrap Other Awkward Presents
Not all gifts have a traditional shape, but this doesn’t mean they have to look untidy under your tree. Whether it’s an unusually shaped toy, a teapot or a pair of bookends, there’s one quick and simple gift wrap method that’s perfect for odd shapes.
Start with tissue paper that’s much larger than the item you’re wrapping. Tissue paper is easier to work with and is more forgiving than traditional wrapping paper. Place your item in the middle of the tissue paper and gather all the edges around it to form a parcel. Cinch the top of the tissue paper and use string to tie it securely.
How to Wrap Everything Else
Gift wrap like a professional with these tips and tricks for even the simplest of gifts. From books to pyjamas, these relatively easy-to-wrap gifts can be taken to the next level with a little practise.
The most important thing to remember is to take some measurements before you start. This will avoid cutting off too much gift wrap, or worse, not having enough. Make sure that the roll of paper you’re using is two to three inches longer than the total of each side of the gift and secure sides with double sided tape for a cleaner finish. Add the finishing touch by laying it face down on a roll of ribbon (roughly five times as long as the gift). Pull each end of the ribbon and bring the right end over the left, turn the box around and thread each end under the ribbon that’s already in place. Finish your masterpiece by tying the remaining ribbon into a tidy bow.
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Add the Finishing Touches
Make your presents look picture-perfect with some final festive flourishes. Whether you choose to keep it traditional with dried orange slices and holly berries, or prefer a glittering finish with sequinned ribbon and jingle bells, these decorative details will be the star of the show this festive season.