Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How To Properly Wrap A Gift Box

I have been asked many times how I do such "neat" gift-wrapping jobs, so I decided I would share step-by-step instructions in pictures to show you exactly how I wrap a simple gift box. It really all comes down to the fact that I take my time with each one and make sure that I make nice square cuts and careful folds.  I also try not to leave any raw cut edges of paper showing in the final wrap.  It does require some extra folding, but it's worth it for a pretty gift-wrapped box that will be beautiful under the tree.

It also helps if you have a designated gift-wrapping station that you can keep conveniently accessible so that you can wrap gifts as they are purchased.  Otherwise, you will probably end up with a pile of gifts that you are frantically trying to wrap on Christmas Eve.  It's important to take your time with each one and not be rushed.  So gather your things together and keep them in one handy place until the season is over.  

The Consumables

  1. Papers that coordinate with your decor or theme
  2. Coordinating ribbons and embellishments
  3. Coordinating tissue papers
  4. Coordinating tags or scrap booking card stock (that can be cut with a paper cutter)
  5. Gift wrapping tape

The Tools

  1. Scissors
  2. Paper cutter to get nice straight tags (pictured below)
  3. Adhesive application gun shown in picture below (optional, but I use it to attach ribbons and embellishments when I don't want tape to show)
  4. Yardstick

Now, I'll show you how to wrap that gift!

Step 1

Fold tissue paper to fit inside the box.  You will take a sheet, and if it's really big compared to the box, fold it in half.  Then, fold it over on itself in the center until the two edges fit inside the box.  Here are some samples, starting with a view from the side, so that you can see how the tissue should be folded over onto itself in the center.

Once you have it folded, settle it down inside the box, centered, with the flaps open to receive the gift...Like this:

Step 2

Put the gift inside the box.  This is a small shirt box and I'm wrapping a child's t-shirt.  I've folded the shirt so that it's a pretty presentation after it has been opened.  Remember, first impressions are everything.  You want that "wow" moment when they see the gift.  It just wouldn't be the same if you couldn't see part of the artwork, so proper folding and positioning of the gift is important.

T-shirt featuring original artwork of Rita Marie
is available through Society6.  Link here.

...and, then fold over the flaps of tissue paper so that it looks like this:

Put the lid on and move on to step 3.

Step 3

Pick your wrapping paper and get ready to cut it.  A lot of wrapping papers today have a cutting and measuring grid printed on the back that helps a lot.  This paper has that grid, so it will help me keep my cuts nice and square.  If you don't have the grid, you will need to measure, so a yardstick comes in handy for this.

Place the box onto the paper so that you will have the first edge allowance that will wrap up and over about one third the width of the package.  Then bring the other side up and over the first edge an inch or so.  Now make your fold. 

Cut away any excess paper that will not be needed for this gift.  Just remember to keep a couple of inches folded under.  See next pic.

Save that little piece for a small gift.

This photo (below) shows the way it should look at this point.  Now, lift the folded edge of the paper up and over the top, slightly overlapping the first edge.  This is where it will be taped down.

Step 4

Taping, folding and more taping...

Picking up where the pic above left off, tape into place.  Put the first piece (about 1") of tape along the seam in the center.  Then follow with a piece on each end, close to the ends. It's hard to see the tape, but it's there...look real hard!

Now, you will fold in the ends...Use your fingers to push the ends in- Push the paper all the way into the corners as far as it will go and then crease down the diagonal fold.  If you look up inside at each corner, it should make perfect triangles...See the triangle at the bottom right on the bottom of the package on the table?  Do this four times on each end...two times at the top, and two times at the bottom.  If you need to flip the box over, you can.  Just make sure that those corners underneath there are pushed up in there nice and square, and creased.

Now, with the back taped seam side of the package facing up, working on one end of the package, fold down the upper flap and crease between your forefinger and thumb.  Then, make a crease along the bottom fold (I use my fingernail for this crease), keeping the top flap pushed all the way down into that crease.  Holding the top flap in place, now fold the bottom flap up and crease the excess that extends over the edge.  Make a fold along this crease line.  Now, when lifted up to tape into place, you should have a nice folded edge, and not a raw edge of paper.

Tape into place using 1" pieces of tape.  You should only need two pieces, one on each end.

Step 5

Now, flip the package over so that the top is up.  Run your finger and thumb around all corners and edges to make sure that you have good creases.

Step 6

Decorate and embellish...the fun part!

Once again, try to pick something that will coordinate nicely with the paper.  Think of it like this: It's the belt or jewelry for your outfit.  Pictured here are some of my options...I like to use ribbon that comes from the fabric department of a store.  It's sometimes a better quality and price. Just check- you always need to be thinking outside of the box.  Check in the hardware section, too.  They have twine that makes a nice ribbon for a rustic Christmas gift. You could use yarn, or ripped up strips of fabric.  This idea is a little far out, but you could put a chain around a package for an industrial styled Christmas.  Just use your imagination.

One package ended up with this wired tinsel that could just be twisted and then manipulated, so I just curled it.  Then I used a glittery silver snowflake scrap booking embellishment to stick on the name tag, which was just a cut piece of card stock.

Another one got vintage white seam binding and a vintage ornament...

And, I have this little vintage car that I picked up from an estate sale...I feel like it's going to end up embellishing a package for a little boy in the family.  Isn't it cute?

And, that's all there is to it!  Just have fun and get creative with the decorating part.

I hope you've found this informative and helpful if you needed to learn to properly wrap a gift box.  

I will be back in a couple of days with another Christmas project...It involves old chippy paint chair legs and silver-plated pieces.


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