Once you’re armed with your wrapping paper, scissors and tape, it’s time to get to work. Here are vanGerwen’s top tips for an Insta-worthy present:
1. Measure Your Paper
There’s such a thing as too much wrapping paper—and too little. “Paper should be large enough to wrap around the box with a little bit of overlap, plus enough overhang on either side to cover the ends of the box,” explains vanGerwen. “Too much paper gets in the way and you end up with wrinkles and bulges; too little paper and, well, you can’t cover your box.”
2. Wrap It Tight!
For best results, make sure your wrapping paper is tight around the package. “It should be snug and lie flat to avoid unsightly creases, gaps, and bubbles.” Personally, I find it helpful to tape the inner edge of the paper to the package so you can pull it taut as you wrap the paper around.
3. Fold Exposed Edges
This next tip is ingenious, so easy and effective: "Fold over exposed edges of the paper, both along the seam at the back and at either end," says van Gerwin. "This hides crooked cuts for a cleaner look."
4. Keep It, Crisp
Just like your French fries, the edges of your packages should be crisp. Our gift stylist recommends using your fingernail to create sharp, defined creases.
5. Hide The Tape
If you want to get really extra about your wrapping, you’re going to need some double-sided tape in your arsenal. This allows you to hide it inside, resulting in a super neat appearance. However, depending on what paper you use, the double-sided tape might not stick well: “Note that double-sided tape won’t stick to some papers,” says vanGerwen, “in which case you should test both clear tape as well as invisible tape to find which one shows less.”
Once your package is wrapped, it’s time to decorate. You can go with a traditional bow or combine it with another little decoration for an added touch of holiday spirit. “I like to add embellishments like bells, tree ornaments, and sprigs of greenery to make gifts festive,” says vanGerwen. Not great with ribbon? She also recommends using pretty washi tape to give your package a little extra pizazz—no bow needed.