Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Gift Wrapping Tips

It's that time of year that I thought a few gift wrap tips might help a few folks out in the blogosphere. I work at an art gallery where we gift wrap items for free. I have to tell you that I can basically wrap just about anything given the right amount of tissue, a bag and a little ribbon. Let me share the way with you. But first, please excuse my blurry pictures. Demo-ing and photographing at the same time is not easy stuff, even though the Pioneer Woman makes it look easy-peasy all the time.

Let us start with a simple nest. The nest requires no bubble wrap and no box. This is how we wrap most of our beautifully handcrafted American art at the gallery that I work at. We use white tissue. For today, I'll be using newsprint.

Our subject: A gift of canned Spiced Applesauce (Yes, I made it.)

Lay out a double layer of newsprint, then wad up some paper for your nest.
Place the item to wrap in the middle of the nest.
Place a wadded nest of paper on top of the item being wrapped.
Now, take the tail of your bottom sheet and bring it up to the nest.
Wrap the sides of the nest.

Roll the nest over and tape down the top. Voila! Feel for any hard spots. If you have any, repeat the nest process overtop of the already wrapped nest until all edges are soft. Feel free to skip a box. You don't need one! Just wrap with paper.

Look! Now I'll show you how to tie a ribbon on a box so that you have a flat bottom. I learned this at the other gallery that I worked at. (They went out of business.) You know how sometimes you have flat boxes that wonk on the bottom? This will fix it.

Lay your ribbon over the top of your box. Make sure that you leave yourself a nice, long tail to work with.

Once you've wrapped the ribbon around the underside of the box, give it a little twist as you turn the corner.

When you tighten the ribbon up, you can see the twist a little better.

Once you've wrapped your ribbon on the underside of the box again, take your ribbon and cross over the twist that you made previously.

Cut the ribbon away from your spool now and feed your crossed-over-the-twist piece under the twist now.

Now your ribbon should be ready for you to tighten up. Pull the two ends and tie yourself a bow.

All done! Now see, that wasn't so bad! You did a great job! Give yourself a pat on the back!

Flat wrap AKA Traditional wrap

Getting a good flat wrap is easy, you just need to make certain that you trim enough off the edges. Don't think that if you have extra wrap on the ends that you can just tuck it in. It doesn't work. It just makes the end of your box look like the Christmas t-shirt display at Old Navy-- rumpled, crumpled and plowed through. You have scissors. Allow them to be your friend. Trim off the excess and go from there.

Tissue wrap

This is what we do at work. All you have to do is to set your item on two sheets of complimenting tissues. Make certain that the tissue paper is at an angle to you, so that you can pull up the tail, tuck in from the left, roll back over from the right (see the nesting photo #6 up above. Leave your top sticking up in this case) and give the middle a good securing with tape. Drop into a gift bag or cellophane bag. Use several colors of curling ribbon to tie the top. For an extra touch, cut two 4" pieces of wide ribbon (wired works fine), set them down in the middle of the curling ribbons in the shape of an X and tie them on. Voila! Gift wrapped and in no time.

Some things that I try to keep on hand:
1. Roll gift wrap for a variety of occasions. I can find it on sale/clearance often enough.
2. Neutral holiday tissue.
3. Cellophane floral bags in a few different sizes. People have told my mom that you can wrap anything in those things and it looks 10x more expensive. I'm not looking for she-she expense here, I'm just looking to get it wrapped nicely.
4. Curling ribbon in at least a few colors.
5. Tape. A basic, but we all run out. I prefer a tape dispenser, but mine has grown feet. I'm stuck with traditional tape on a roll. I'm very sad about it, too.
6. Cellophane basket bags. You know, they are handy when you have them and a bummer when you don't.
7. A few different sizes of boxes for gifts.
8. Printed cupcake liners for decorating the top of a jar of canned goodies. Remove the band from the jar, place a flattened cupcake liner down on the lid and place the band back on. Look! All decorated. Cheaper and easier than fabric.

Any gift wrapping issues that you need my help on? Let me know! You lurkers out there (there has to be about 90 of you on WFMW every week) are more than welcome to leave your questions, too! I promise, I may nibble but never bite! :)

Happy wrapping!

Next week: Christmas cookie recipes that work for me. I promise, they are easy and tasty!


Rebekah said...

Thanks for the tips! I especially like your ribbon pictures. :o) And - I never would have thought to use a cupcake holder to make a jar look pretty, love it though!

Lynn said...

Thanks for the great wrapping tips. It's good to know I can get away with just plain newspaper if need be ;)