Midday Fix: Gift wrapping tips from The Container Store

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Donita Vanderspeigel

The Container Store

Roosevelt Collection - 150 W. Roosevelt, Chicago


Seven Wrapping Essentials

Double-Sided Tape
Sounds simple, but using double-sided tape is a secret the pros use for a flawless finish.

Quality Scissors
Nothing can ruin a wrapping experience like a dull pair of scissors that shreds wrapping paper or cuts ribbon unevenly. Select a high quality pair of scissors and use them ONLY for ribbon — doing so will prolong the sharp cutting edge. Tie a piece of ribbon around the handle so you’ll remember. Consider Rolling Scissors or other solutions designed specifically for making cutting gift wrap easier.

Ribbon Wire
This is an essential tool for securing handmade bows. Plus, it can be used as a fun and playful addition to your present.

Gift Boxes
Stock up on gift boxes of varying sizes so you always have something to wrap with. Choose boxes that fold flat for easy storage.

Tissue Paper
Available in a rainbow of colors, tissue adds a special touch when you use it to wrap the present inside the box. Choose colors that coordinate with the gift wrap you’ve chosen for a purely professional presentation. When wrapping fragile items, place crumpled balls of tissue around the item after wrapping it for additional protection.

Gift Totes
It happens to everyone — there are times when you just don’t have time to wrap a present! Keep a supply of gift totes in varying sizes for last-minute wrapping emergencies.

Gift Packaging Storage
Keep all your gift wrapping essentials neat, accessible, and in first class shape with a gift wrap organizer. Keeping supplies organized will make gift wrapping easier and more enjoyable. Choose from a wide variety of organizers to suit your storage needs — from organizers that hang from a closet rod to ones that can be stowed under a bed.

How to Wrap:

Begin with the box face down on the gift wrap. Cut the paper with approximately two inches of overlap on both ends of the box. Two inches are the right length for the standard size shirt box, but larger size boxes need more overlap. Take the seam all the way to the edge of the box to determine the overlap and gently crease the gift wrap as a guide.  It looks best to have the gift wrap go to the edge of the box instead of meeting in the middle.  Flip the remainder of the gift wrap over to gently make another crease. Double-sided tape is one of the best secrets of wrapping professionals.  Double-sided tape is always hidden.  Use one piece of double-sided tape and place it on the box in the center.  Pull tightly and press down on the gift wrap to secure it to the box.  Next, secure the gift wrap flap to the edge of the box with three pieces of double-sided tape.  Pull tightly and press down to secure the gift wrap onto the box. Complete taping both ends of the box.  Take one piece of double-sided tape, put it on the inside of the gift box and fold one side flap down.  Always complete one end of the box and then move to the other end.  Crease the first flap, flip the box over and then crease the second flap on the same end.  The first fold you want to secure is the flap from the bottom of the box.  Fold the flap down and gently crease.  Lift the top flap up and gently crease any excess gift wrap over the bottom of the box and fold it underneath.  The fold will be taped down.  Use three pieces of tape to secure the flap.  Flip the box over and repeat the same process on the other end of the box.  Gently crease the edges to give the box a crisp finished touch on all edges.  Now you have a beautifully wrapped box

How to Make a Bow:

Use 3 yards of ribbon for a 5” diameter Pom Pom Bow, which is a standard size.  If you want a larger bow, you’ll use more ribbon.  Start by going down about 5” from the edge of the ribbon and begin folding the ribbon over, making big loops using your hands as a guide.  Keep folding until all the ribbon is in a little spool.  Don’t be afraid to cut off extra ribbon at the end. Be careful not to crease the ribbon, as you flatten and make two slanted cuts.  If you’re using wired ribbon, it may not be necessary to “notch” your ribbon.  Repeat the process on the other end.  It’s really important to note that you have to leave about 1/4” in the middle – don’t cut all the way through to the center. Bring the notched ends together in the middle.  Take a wire tie or cut ribbon and twist or tie tightly around the middle.  To form the bow, pull the inside loop out and down on one side of the bow, and then pull the next inside loop up on the other side.  Again, pull one loop down and then one loop up, twisting the loops alternately. Repeat this process on the other side.  Each time you pull out the loops, your bow is bigger and fuller.  Fluff the bow a bit and cut the tails to the appropriate length in proportion to your bow. To make pretty, professional cuts on the tails of the bow, fold the ribbon in half and cut upwards towards the bow.


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