Gift Wrapping Tips from the Experts

Posted on Dec 21 2012 - 9:30pm by Jessica Johnson

If you’re doing it right, gift wrapping is so much more than slapping some paper and tape on a box and calling it a day. I find there’s nothing so satisfyingly thoughtful as a well-wrapped gift

Not sure where to start? I’ve collected some tips from wrapping experts to help you up your game.


Of course the basic things you need are a sharp pair of scissors, a roll of tape, and some wrapping paper. But a few other items can really help you make the job easier and better.

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Martha Stewart’s gift wrapping supplies  include using a T-square, a rotary cutter with straight and decorative attachments, a cutting mat, a clear quilting ruler, and—a must-have item for the best wrapping—double sided tape.


Christine Fritsch, author of Gifted Wrapping, suggests experimenting with more than one type of paper per gift, especially for large boxes. You can layer papers with various colors, patterns, and textures to give your finished product an eye-catching appeal.

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Martha Stewart’s money’s on using simple brown kraft paper for good-looking but durable wrapping. She also suggests gift wrapping with glassine, available at archival-supply houses, on top of tissue paper for a sophisticated look.

Ribbons and decorations

Gracie Stier-Johnson, owner of a specialty paper store in Wisconsin, swears by using wired ribbon to create a basic bow that will hold its shape and then tying three more around the first to make the ribbon bloom.

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Martha Stewart has more good ideas on this front. You can use decorative tape instead of ribbon, or apply fabric remnants as decoration and embellishment.


Where to wrap? Advice columnist Heloise recommends using an ironing board as your wrapping work surface.

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Martha Stewart advises streamlining your folds and corners by not using too much paper, so the edges just overlap. When wrapping a soft item, use a piece of cardboard to create a firm surface for the gift to rest on.


Wrapping can be much more Zen than you’d ever expect. Not only is the process itself meditative and satisfying, but the act conveys deep meaning.

According to Megumi Inouye, 2008 runner up in the Scotch Most Gifted Wrapper Contest, “The whole idea about wrapping is the spirit.”

It’s all about the intention of the gift being reflected in its presentation. “These days, everyone wants to get right at something,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Wrapping is an attempt to pause and reflect who we are and what we’re giving.”

Jessica Johnson