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How to Wrap a Present (on a Budget!)

 If you're anything like me, you're probably already pondering how you'll find the time to wrap every Christmas present. This year, I don't want to spend a lot of effort or money on making my gifts seem nice. I've been caught in that trap before.

If you're anything like me, you're probably already pondering how you'll find the time to wrap every Christmas present. This year, I don't want to spend a lot of effort or money on making my gifts seem nice. I've been caught in that trap before.

Wrapping presents doesn't have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming. And let's face it: Presenting your present comes with a lot of pressure. We want it to appear nice when we arrive at the party or share beautifully-framed photos of our Christmas tree on social media. There are instances when it seems as though the outside of the package is more significant than the item within. It could even cost more—crazy!

To help you save money and wrap gifts expertly, I've put together eight simple methods. Now start wrapping, make some hot cocoa, and turn on some holiday music!

Step 1: Collect your wrapping supplies

You'll need to get everything ready before you can start. Start by making a list of everything you already own so you can determine whether you need to purchase anything else. Gift-wrapping materials can include:

  • Wrapping paper

  • A ruler or tape measure

  • Scissors

  • Tape

  • Ribbon

  • Gift boxes and gift bags

  • Gift tags

  • Tissue paper and yard plant trimmings (more on that later)

  • Photos of the people you adore (again, I'll explain why later)

  • Craft supplies and other items you already have at home

You may think that's a lot, but you don't actually need all of it. You're ready to go if you have wrapping paper, scissors, and tape.

Step 2: Box the present

Boxes that are square or rectangular are always simpler to wrap. Hence, the first thing to do with any gift that isn't already in a box is to place it inside one.

Avoid blowing your holiday budget by purchasing too many boxes from the store. You can use discarded shoe boxes, empty cereal boxes, or even Amazon delivery boxes. You can use any box.

No more boxes at home? No issue. Ask around if there are any boxes you can reuse at your neighborhood grocery store, department store, or liquor store. Everybody benefits from this. You receive boxes from utilizing for your gifts, and the shop discards some boxes that they would have otherwise discarded. Or you can pay $12.99 ($1.08 for each box) for a dozen holiday-themed shirt boxes on Amazon! No need for wrapping paper.

Pro Tip! Before you box or wrap your gifts, remember to take off or cover all price tags.

Step 3: Measure the present

If you measure your gift, you can use exactly the proper amount of wrapping paper and cut back on wastage. The best tool for that is a tape measure.

Start by taking a measurement of the box's top length plus one end's height. Then divide that sum by two. For instance, the box would be 13 inches long if it were 12 inches long and 1 inch tall. That's a length of 26 inches when multiplied by two. Pro tip: I always like to add an extra 2 inches to allow room for the wrapping paper to overlap and be taped. You would thus want a piece of wrapping paper that is 28 inches long for this example box. To measure the breadth, repeat the process now!

I'll give you some suggestions for the final stage if you have a huge or unusually shaped item that won't fit in a box or gift bag of a standard size.

Step 4: Choose your wrapping paper

I am well aware that a gift wrap set at a specialty store can easily cost more than $100. But surely you're smarter than that. Is anyone really going to care that you spent so much on pricey wrapping paper in the bustle of gift-opening craziness? Do not, people!

Every year, People spend billions of dollars just on package wrapping. Also, you need more wrapping paper as you purchase more items. If you aren't attentive, your budget will quickly become unmanageable.

Here are some suggestions that won't break the bank:

Purchase butcher paper from Amazon. For $10, I discovered one that is 100 feet long and 18 inches broad. That will wrap a lot of presents, my friends. When using the paper to wrap presents, have your kids color, stamp, or draw designs on it to further personalize and make it stand out.

You might also purchase tissue paper in place of wrapping paper. Although it is not as thick, you can purchase a 20-count package at Walmart for about 98 cents. All you need to do is add some colorful ribbon.

And if you're only using one color of paper, don't worry. Using ribbon and other inexpensive items you probably have lying around the house—or even outside in the yard—you can easily dress up your wrapped surprise. (More on it to come!)

Step 5: Wrap the box

Lay your box on the wrapping paper with the face down. Make sure the wrapping material is tightly adhered to the box by pulling one of its long sides over it. With a piece of tape, affix the edge to the center of the box. Use double-sided tape to conceal all of your tape by placing it below the paper's edges.

Pull the second long paper edge over the first paper edge by pulling the second long side of the paper. Make sure the paper is tightly adhered to the box, then tape the edge. For a good, completed edge, fold this long edge over by about one-half inch before bringing it up.

It's now time to secure the ends. To make smaller triangle shapes (at approximately 45-degree angles) and longer flaps, push the sides of the wrapping paper inward. Create a clean edge along the box by folding over one edge, then tape it down. For the other edge, repeat the procedure. It's beneficial to fold over a tiny bit of the edge to give the paper a finished edge before folding it down and adhering.

On the opposite end of the box, repeat the same procedure.

Step 6: Add a ribbon

After wrapping the present, you can add colorful ribbon to produce a variety of styles. The simplest method is to just measure a ribbon's length to wrap around the box's midsection. Pro tip: If you're crafty, you can make bows and ribbons from leftover fabric strips, or you can simply purchase the inexpensive stick-on variety from Amazon.

Get imaginative and try different ribbon placements and sizes on the box. You may make your own bows with ribbons by following easy how-to videos online. Using ribbon will help you conceal the box's tape seams.

Step 7: Add some decorations

You may dress up your box a little in a number of ways if it is wrapped with butcher paper:

  • Your children can color on it.

  • (The colored dot stickers are fantastic.) Add stickers.

  • Use colorful markers or pens to make patterns.

  • Employ stamps and a stamp pad.

  • Clip pictures out of magazines or old calendars.

  • Cupcake liners of various sizes should be flattened and stacked.

Here's my favorite piece of advice: Go into your yard and cut a few clippings off a plant or tree. It's ideal if you have holly, evergreens, or any other ornamental bushes. If you have a live Christmas tree, you can even find some parts to clip from the back or inside the branches. For the same result, you can also purchase fresh thyme from your local grocery store. To give the box a new, organic touch, secure the foliage underneath some ribbon.

Step 8: Add the gift tag

Add a gift tag at the end to indicate who it is from and to. You can make your own or use ones that are already made. Another excellent application for tiny pieces of wrapping paper is this.

Print photographs at Walgreens or Walmart for approximately 9 cents each for a personalized touch. Cut the images into circles, identify the source on the back, and use a ribbon to fasten the picture to the box. The recipient will definitely grin after receiving this!


Using a cylinder shape to wrap

Tissue paper can be used to wrap cylinder-shaped items like candles and perfumes if you don't have a suitable box. Why tissue paper? Because it will not easily shred at the edges and is more forgiving than wrapping paper. To ensure complete coverage, use two or three sheets of tissue paper.

Simply place the object in the center of an edge of the tissue paper, and tape it in place. After that, roll the object in the tissue paper and tape the seam. Next, twist the ends and secure them with a ribbon at each end. Here's your last piece of advice: By sliding it down the edge of your scissors, you can give the end of practically any ribbon a curled appearance. It's very simple to accomplish (check out YouTube for instructions), and it gives your gift a very festive appearance.

Wrapping bulky gifts

You'll need to exercise a little creativity when giving large gifts like bicycles, TVs, sporting goods, doll houses, and so forth. You might enclose the object with one, two, or three-dollar shop plastic tablecloths decorated for the holidays. Or you could simply use a couple of enormous waste bags, attach a big, inexpensive ribbon to the top, and call it a day. (I am aware that sounds somewhat unglamorous. But, in this instance, the enormous present will undoubtedly be of greater importance to them than the packaging.)


Great Gifts Don't Have to Be Expensive

Giving is the most fun you can have with money, and I say all the time. Any gift, when wrapped, can improve the experience for everyone and demonstrate extra consideration for the recipient. But what counts most is what's inside the package! Don't go overboard and spend a fortune wrapping the gift, then.

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