You Want to Know How to Wrap a Present

 How to Wrap a Present the Easy Way

A gift wrapped in pretty red material and a bottle wrapped in tissue paper - Parade Handmade


Hi there! You are on the hunt for gift wrapping tips and tricks and have found your way here to Parade Handmade where our business is gifts and gifting ideas. I will therefore endeavor to give you an idea of what's to come so you can skip to that part if you need to...

Sticky paper tape string ribbon scissors and other things needed for gift wrapping - Parade Handmade

Skip to the end for a list of questions to ask in preparation for wrapping!


Skip to..

Part 2  Alternative gift wrap ideas..

Part 3  Chord, string or ribbon etc.

Part 4 How to wrap a present without sticky tape.

Part 5  Wrapping ideas for odd shapes.

Part 6 - How to wrap a present using a bow.

Part 7 - Wrapping flowers.


There was a time when the obvious thing to do was to grab brown paper, string and scissors in order to wrap a gift. Somewhere along the way things changed and people developed expectations around gift giving. They wanted more and more glitz and ostentation. Gift wrapping went crazy and people became daunted about actually doing it right. Getting 'the look' right.

I reckon you can't go wrong as long as your gift doesn't end up looking like it has dropped down the stairs. Do it with intention and but a bow on it. Add a little greeting card and/or a tag and Voila!! No drama, at least in the doing of it.

Plastic sticky tape was once very fashionable and handy as was glitter.

Alternative things to use instead of plastic sticky tape - Parade Handmade

I was no different in my approach to wrapping. Oblivious to the dammage caused to the environment but now I have stopped buying either of them. I still have a little tape for emergencies and recycle plastic if I still have it or it comes in a package etc but most has gone to the bin.

It is really beneficial environmentally to curb the demand for these things by finding alternative Eco friendly ways to carry out various tasks. That is simply as it should be.

When it comes to gift wrapping the world is your oyster.

Different materials you can use for wrapping instead of shop bought paper - Parade Handmade

Always assess the situation before you start. You can use this gift wrapping check list at the bottom to jump start your ideas.There are no right and wrong ways to do anything just preferences and perhaps less troublesome approaches and your own desirable outcomes. Either way you could start with nipping around the house to gather up some bits you want to use and some you might use but don't know yet if you really need them.


What are these things? If you have any appropriate wrapping paper, pick that out. If not but you don't wish to go shopping then think a little outside the box..You only need a covering. Something pretty or at least appropriate. Have you any nice material you could use or even old wrapping paper, magazines (if the item is not sensitive to the odd bit of ink from the pages) the same goes for newspaper. Wallpaper can be really pretty as the stiffness add another dimension.

If you only have plain white paper perhaps you could stamp something all over in a random pattern with ink or paint. A random scribble, bubble or dot with a marker or a few simple stripes on part of it would work very well too. You can splash colour on or stick a few bits and bobs to it. There is no end to the possibilities.


After that you need something to secure it such as string. A few strands of wool, chord, an old belt, a long paper strand, ribbon, twine, straw, strips of material etc will do just nicely. Something long that would withstand being made into a bow or a simple knot. Just get the best matching thing or what looks the best to you. You don't need plastic sticky tape at all. Believe me. The quirkier the better when it comes to wrapping a present so don't worry about using unusual means.


How to Wrap a Present Without Tape (Plastic Sticky Tape)?

Very often you can do without any kind of sticky stuff! Folding the paper and securing it with your tie of choice works perfectly. Sticky tape was always just an extra layer of security which is usually unnecessary.

If you really want to secure your gift then I suggest you buy a roll of paper tape which is great. It works like a stamp. I place a clean kitchen sponge or other sponge on a saucer or in a small bowl and then water to keep it moist. Then it's easy to moisten the tape without licking it.

Alternatively you can use stickers instead of tape, either plain white ones or coloured ones. You could even cut strips of paper and glue them to the paper where you would need to secure it. Just tie it until it sticks which wouldn't be very long. An alternative to glue is nail varnish or a mix of flour and water (thick like yogurt).


Wrapping Ideas for Odd Shapes

You have an awkward shaped thing to wrap? No problem. I worked in a gift ware department years ago and I always loved wrapping. I had always loved it before that too and working in that environment didn't damage my enthusiasm. The only thing that made me laugh was when inevitably people wanted to camouflage the gifts from being discerned before the appropriate time. This is all well and fine. My problem was when someone bought a standing lamp, tall wine rack or plant stand and wanted to have it camouflaged!!! Aghhh! Hilarious and impossible given the resources and time available. I am sure it could be done alright but not seriously with paper and bow. A huge crate or enormous box would do it but paper would inevitably split. 

Back to your dilemma. If you have an item that you cannot gift wrap easily consider putting it in a container like an old cardboard box and supporting it in there with scrunched up paper or put a few old envelopes through the shredder (or rip them up) and use that in the box for padding.  

Another way to gift wrap an irregular shaped item is to cut a big square of paper and place a square of card in the center. Pop your gift on that before gathering up the sides of the paper and securing with your tie of choice. Start with the four corners first, gathering them loosely into your fist and then adding the sides into the mix one by one. The sides being shorter can be tucked liberally in between the pieces you have already gathered together.
If you think the sides of the gift will stick out through the paper consider wrapping the gift loosely in a few layers of paper inside the gift wrap. However, if the gift has delicate parts such as a china figurine with fingers etc then it should probably have an original secure packaging method. If that is gone for any reason, then you could perhaps secure the figurine to a sturdy base with a tie of some sort or even by slicing a hole in a card base to position your piece. Then lower a tall lid over the piece like an upturned box, making sure it is wider than the gift and has no chance of knocking the delicate pieces.. Add a little gift tag (on a string a piece of card with a little hole for ribbon and a picture from a magazine, a drawing, a sticker etc on one side and 'with love to and from' on the other. That covers a multitude.


How to Wrap a Present Using Bow

 A pretty gift wrapped in red material and a green ribbon - Parade Handmade

A bow is always pretty or a fourish of some sort at least gives your gift another dimension. A bow, a flower, a sticker or two, a gift card swinging on the side or stuck on the top. There are endless ideas if you put your mind to it. You could put a little window with a frame around it so the recipient could take a peek...Anyhow, if you are using bow consider the colour scheme of your entire gift or just your wrapping and try to match or contrast with it. A little hint if you are ever tying a bow on anything at all.. To make sure the bow doesn't hang upside down, after you tie the simple knot, tie the bow from the side you don't want the extra ribbon to fall. ie. Tie from where the loops will be, not the spare ribbon than falls. (See below) ..

Gift wrapping ideas for a bunch of flowers.


I learned something from a reputable source lately. A bunch of flowers is held in your hand and can be seen from all sides. A wreath is round and a bouquet is flat with a back where you don't really show.. it is to be placed flat or shown against a wall. I never knew there was a distinction between a bunch and a bouquet. I just thought a 'bouquet' was bigger and fancier. You learn something new every day.

There are again, many ways to wrap a present. Flowers not the least among them. As with irregular shapes you can stabalise a bunch of flowers in a jug or vase or even a box in order to wrap them. Florists often tie a double bag of water at the base or at least a wet tissue secured so the roots don't dry out too quickly.

I usually place the flowers in the middle of a big sheet of wrapping paper or Eco cellophane if I can find it and bring the sides up. Then finish off with a big bow and a gift tag. I have warmed to the bouquet style now though, so that might be my next move.. To begin you lay the stems with the tallest to the back (on the table half way down the cellophane which is very long piece that can fold over and down to the bottom to be tied later..) Then continue building the display of flowers placing foliage to the back as a backdrop and support to your flowers. Lay everything in a balanced way keeping colour and proportion in mind. For example, you don't want a huge hydrangea hanging down over a daisy or all the dahlias over to one side and the irises the other. You wouldn't put all the pink on one side and all the foliage the other. Try to keep the display to a desired width just so it is manageable. It doesn't matter if it's a bit unruly though. So don't worry too much. That will add to the natural appeal.
When you are happy with your display, bring the paper or cellophane down over it to meet the other side at the base where the stems end. Wrap it securely there with an elastic band, string or wool etc. Add your gift tag by punching a little hole somewhere it will be seen and tie it on with a bit of ribbon. Ta-dah!

Questions you Need to Ask Before Gift Wrapping a Present

1) What is the occasion?

2) Do you need to camouflage your gift or hide it from prying eyes?

Perhaps it simply needs a cute bow and that would cover it?

3) Does it need protection from anything?

(Getting scratched? Getting smashed or broken like a clock or a set of wine glasses? Getting crushed or bent like a poster or a photograph? Heat sensitive like chocolate or a cake?)

4) Is it too heavy for a paper bag?

5) Do you need to protect the receiver from getting hurt by prickly cactus spines?

6) Does it roll around and would it need to be secured in one place?

7) If it is a live animal..

(I don't advocate the covering animals for surprises at all as it makes the animal too vulnerable and gives them a fright with all the noise etc). Make sure there are air holes and all appropriate welfare and safety issues for the animal and people involved, are covered.

8) Do you want it to be seen through the gift wrap? Is it flowers or a plant?

What size is it?

9) Do you have a clean and clear space to lay it out and wrap it?

10) What do you have at your disposal for gift wrapping? Wrapping Paper? Newspaper? Material? Blank paper? Wall paper?


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