Gift-Wrapping Lessons & Advice From A Pro
Gift-Wrapping Lessons & Advice From A Pro

Gift-Wrapping Lessons & Advice From A Pro

4 minutes read

Yes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. But you can’t deny that a well-wrapped present makes the experience of gift giving and receiving a whole lot more fun.  

For some, gift-wrapping can be a therapeutic activity, for others, it’s tedious work. Whichever camp you find yourself in, learning a few hacks on how to wrap presents can make the process much more enjoyable and efficient. To help you out, we consulted gift-wrapping expert Jane Means (who has over 25 years of experience in the field!) to learn everything there is to know about how to wrap presents 

Here’s what we learned.

Jane Means holding a present she wrapped
Jane Means

The dream gift-wrapping toolkit

“Your gift-wrapping toolbox should consist of sharp scissors and a good selection of other materials,” says Jane Means, who launched her gift-wrapping company in 1995 when she noticed a gap in the market. Ever since, Means has worked with some of the best luxury brands, including Carolina Herrera, Aqua di Parma and Harrods (to name a few). 

Other supplies she lists as vital for your gift-wrapping kit include double-sided tape, gift-wrapping paper of your choice and some ribbon or twine. She also recommends keeping some tissue, paper tablecloths and fabric remnants handy to wrap presents with tricky shapes.

Choosing your wrapping paper

Let your wrapping paper reflect your personal style. There are so many directions you could go in – from simple and understated brown paper to loud and extravagant wrappers with bright prints. 

Whatever you choose, try to pick options that do the job without harming the environment. “Opt for recyclable papers printed with vegetable ink and ideally printed in the UK, such as ours!” says Means. You can buy her range of eco-friendly wrapping supplies on her website. 

She adds: “Avoid wrapping with foil glitter and plastic and try to reuse paper wherever possible. Brown paper is also a great option as it’s tough, inexpensive and recyclable.” 

We love the Reversible Pink + Green Dahlia Gift Wrap, £12.50 (for five sheets), designed by Means that features a delicate dahlia-inspired pattern and is printed using a vegetable dye.  

It’s also worth looking into eco-conscious options when choosing your tape. Our pick is Kraft’s Eco Paper Tape Meadow And Wild Flowers, £6.50 – a paper tape that’s pretty to look at but also 100% recyclable.

Presents wrapped in brown paper

How to wrap presents

Means’ first advice is to buy all of your materials early to avoid any last-minute panic. “Set aside some time and make your space your own by working on an empty worktop or dining table,” she says. “Play some music and have all of your gift-wrapping materials to hand.” 

She breaks down the process into three key steps: 

  •  “When wrapping a box, the measurements are key. So, ensure that you do not have too much access paper and cut it down to size.” 
  • “Try and get the paper as tight around the box as possible. And use double-sided tape to give a professional finish.”  
  • “Finish by tying a pretty bow and decoration, and your gift will look amazing.”

Wrapping awkwardly shaped presents

Sometimes, gifts don’t come in pretty, easy-to-wrap boxes. If you don’t want to place it in a cardboard box, there are other ways. Means recommends rethinking your wrapping paper.  

“For awkwardly shaped gifts, opt for flexible wrappings such as tissue, cellophane, netting and fabric remnants,” she says. These will wrap around curved surfaces (or any other irregular-shaped objects) easily, unlike traditional wrapping paper. “For extra-large items, a paper tablecloth is a great option as it’s a large size, inexpensive and makes the wrapping a lot easier.” 

Ideas to try

To make your present look extra special, incorporate a festive trinket or two into your packaging design. 

“Decorations make gifts stand out,” says Means. “So, you could tie in eco-embellishments such as sticks, wired cones, greenery and dried flowers. They also disguise any mistakes.” 

Get creative about the elements you add. We highly recommend looking into your kitchen cabinets for inspiration. Think cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, and fragrant rosemary sprigs. They would all look great tied together and sitting atop your present. Plus, they will smell great. 

Means suggests tying some fresh foliage to your ribbon. Not only will it scent the present, but they’re also easily accessible and serve as an earthy, festive element. As Means explains, “greenery can be written on with a gel pen, thus making it an eco-friendly gift tag.” 

Next read: Christmas Make-Up: The Looks For Day & Night This Holiday Season 

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