Posted in A Day in the Life, tutorial

Gift Wrap/Bow Tutorial: Wrap It Up!


Every year I say to myself, “This is the year I learn to wrap gifts nicely.”  And every year I end up frustrated, just wrapping tape around paper, or throwing things into gift bags.  But this year, I did it!  I wrapped all but one gift nicely, and I disguised the ugly gift with a nice bow.  That’s the other thing I taught myself to make this year.  Nice bows.  Keep reading and I’ll show you what I did.

We wish you a merry Christmas!
We wish you a merry Christmas!

I have been told that the best gift wrapping is one piece of paper, and three pieces of tape.  Let’s see how I did.

I started with one of Thor's presents.  A book seemed an easy starting place.
I started with one of Thor’s presents. A book seemed an easy starting place.
I measured my paper so that I could fold the sides over and cover the book.  Oh--put your item face down so your paper seams end up on the backside of it.
I measured my paper so that I could fold the sides over and cover the book. Oh–put your item face down so your paper seams end up on the backside of it.
Close the sides of the paper like a double door, and put one piece of tape in the middle to secure it.
Close the sides of the paper like a double door, and put one piece of tape in the middle to secure it.
Next, use your thumb to tuck in the center pieces of the outside edges of the wrapping paper.  There is Monsieur le Snowhomme sneaking into the photo on my thumbnail.
Next, use your thumb to tuck in the center pieces of the outside edges of the wrapping paper. There is Monsieur le Snowhomme sneaking into the photo on my thumbnail.
When you have poked in the edges on either side, use your fingers to make seams in the paper so that you have angled edges.
When you have poked in the edges on either side, use your fingers to make seams in the paper so that you have angled edges.
Then, press one edge down over the side of the item/package, rubbing seams in so that there is a snug fit.
Then, press one edge down over the side of the item/package, rubbing seams in so that there is a snug fit.
Pull the paper up over the back side of the item/package like you are sealing an envelope and use a piece of tape to hold it in place.
Pull the paper up over the back side of the item/package like you are sealing an envelope and use a piece of tape to hold it in place.
Do the same thing on the other side and add it to the present pile!
Do the same thing on the other side and add it to the present pile!
My next trial was to wrap up a plush Bilbo Baggins with The Hobbit.
My next trial was to wrap up a plush Bilbo Baggins with The Hobbit.
I tucked Bilbo's sword, Sting, under him, and bound him to the book with a wide strip of ribbon.  I explained that it was for the good of the Shire.
I tucked Bilbo’s sword, Sting, under him, and bound him to the book with a wide strip of ribbon. I explained that it was for the good of the Shire.
Then, it was face down onto the paper for our favorite Middle Earthling.
Then, it was face down onto the paper for our favorite Middle Earthling.
Following the instructions from before, I ended up with a squashy, ugly gift.  I needed a way to hide the worst of it.
Following the instructions from before, I ended up with a squashy, ugly gift. I needed a way to hide the worst of it.

I watched several YouTube video tutorials on how to make bows, and they were all great.  Following is the gist of them.

You get your ribbon, and double wired is the best kind to use.
You get your ribbon, and double wired is the best kind to use.
Decide how wide you want to go, and make your first fold.  Your next fold will be just about twice as long.  I tried to capture a photo showing both my first and second folds.  Keep folding.
Decide how wide you want to go, and make your first fold. Your next fold will be just about twice as long. I tried to capture a photo showing both my first and second folds. Keep folding.
You will want your last fold to be about the same length as your first fold was, so just a little over half of the full length.  See?
You will want your last fold to be about the same length as your first fold was, so just a little over half of the full length. See?
Use your scissor to make slits on either side of the ribbon.
Use your scissor to make slits on either side of the ribbon.

 

If you fold down the sides of one half, your ribbon should look like this.
If you fold down the sides of one half, your ribbon should look like this.
Grab another length of ribbon and tie it so that your knot is right in the middle--that's what your scissor slits were for.
Grab another length of ribbon and tie it so that your knot is right in the middle–that’s what your scissor slits were for.
Then, start peeling back the petals of your ribbon and fluffing them up.
Then, start peeling back the petals of your ribbon and fluffing them up.
Peel and fluff until you are satisfied!
Peel and fluff until you are satisfied!

That is actually the VERY FIRST CHRISTMAS BOW I’ve ever made.  If I can do that on the first try, imagine what you can do!  I used that bow to cover the ugliest part of the Bilbo present.

I decided to make a Gift Guide for my present openers.  Using scraps from my wrapping paper, I cut out little squares and taped them to a stocking cut-out.  I wrote the names of the people whose gifts were wrapped in that paper next to each scrap.  The more in your family, the merrier this will make you when it is time to open the gifts.
I decided to make a Gift Guide for my present openers. Using scraps from my wrapping paper, I cut out little squares and taped them to a stocking cut-out. I wrote the names of the people whose gifts were wrapped in that paper next to each scrap. The more in your family, the merrier this will make you when it is time to open the gifts.
Now, it will be easy to identify which gift belongs to whom--especially since I have a tendency to forget.
Now, it will be easy to identify which gift belongs to whom–especially since I have a tendency to forget.

 

 

I'd also like to take a moment to remind you that there are children who might not have anything on Christmas morning, if not for your generosity.  I had the fortune of being the shopper for gifts purchased for a family, by my office.  With several of us sharing together, I think these little girls will have a happy Christmas morning--at least it won't be sad!  The clerk who cashed out my stocking and hat purchase said that her store had adopted a Women's Shelter for Christmas.  There are hundreds of ways to help.  I encourage you to find the way that makes you happiest.
I’d also like to take a moment to remind you that there are children who might not have anything on Christmas morning, if not for your generosity. I had the fortune of being the shopper for gifts purchased for a family, by my office. With several of us sharing together, I think these little girls will have a happy Christmas morning–at least it won’t be sad! The clerk who cashed out my stocking and hat purchase said that her store had adopted a Women’s Shelter for Christmas. There are hundreds of ways to help. I encourage you to find the way that makes you happiest.  (I was excited to shop for a girl!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author:

Happy. That about covers it.

6 thoughts on “Gift Wrap/Bow Tutorial: Wrap It Up!

  1. Your bow is beautiful; I am a bow slacker this year. It’s stick-ons all the way (and some curly ribbon for variety)!

    As an addition to your excellent instructions: I would suggest wrapping on a hard surface, which makes it easier to fold the paper in neat creases (and refold if necessary). We usually set up a folding table in the garage for this (in part because it’s then easier to hide the wrapping from prying eyes, haha). Also, my mother and my grandfather (the grand pooh-bahs of wrapping) swore by hiding all ragged edges (leave a bit extra and fold it over for the back seam, turn in the edge seams) and by creasing around all corners of a box.

    (I am also fond, for stuffed items, of the “candy roll” wrapping approach: roll it in tissue paper firmly, with a color/pattern layer on top. Tape it closed, then twist each side and tie it.)

    Your gifts look gorgeous. Now… how are you going to wrap up the BIG present? 😉

  2. Excellent tips! Thinking about it, I guess my family tradition was always just wrapping gifts in the middle of the living room floor at midnight. Ha!

    I still have no idea how we are going to present that dog. I can’t put him in a box, though. I would feel really bad about putting him in a box like an inanimate object.

    1. You could wrap up a gift that has (say) a leash and collar in it, with a note saying that the rest of the present is behind him / in the back yard / etc. Then hide the wrapped box until you’re ready to spring it. “Oh, wait, there’s one more here for Thor!”

      1. I like the wrapped leash idea. We’ve talked about that. I was going to wrap a box with a leash, and dog treats, and a training clicker…all the “stuff” he’ll want for the dog. The other thing I’m thinking about is asking him to close his eyes and just putting the puppy in his lap. I bought the dog a Santa suit. Poor dog.

      2. Or, or, or! If you’re feeling totally ambitious, you could wrap up a clue that kicks of a treasure hunt that leads Thor out to the puppy.

        (But: “close your eyes…” makes for a really good photo op.) 🙂

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