How to Wrap a Present

This easy method for wrapping presents will help the presentation look just as good as the gift itself.


You've found the perfect gift. Now you have to make it look pretty, but you're mired in present-wrapping ineptitude! Don't worry. When you've finished this step-by-step guide, your gift recipient will think Martha Stewart wrapped it.

Why You Need This Skill

Once you know how to wrap a present, you'll know forever. You can pull out your gift-wrapping knowledge for all occasions to come. You can face last-minute gifts with the confidence that you can give them a good presentation in minutes. So gather your materials, find a box to practice with, and get wrapping. (And if you're still having trouble, study up on gift-wrapping mistakes to avoid.)

RELATED: 5 Simple Secrets That Take Gift Wrapping to a Whole New Level


Meg MacDonald

What You'll Need

  • Wrapping paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape

How to Wrap a Present:

  1. Gather gift-wrapping materials. Grab the present and assemble the wrapping paper, scissors, and tape. Clear a large, flat surface, such as a kitchen table.
  2. Secure fragile items within boxes. Make sure breakable items are wrapped securely and won't move around. (We recommend using tissue paper as padding.) Tip: Use a small piece of tape to keep the box closed.
  3. Measure the right amount of wrapping paper. Roll out your wrapping paper. Place the box in the center of the unfurled paper, upside down, so the seams of the paper will end up on the bottom of the package. Bring the paper up one side and over the top of the box, all the way to the opposite edge. Estimate how much additional wrapping paper you'll need to cover the side of the box that's not yet covered, then cut the paper. Strive for long, even cuts. If your edge is jagged, fold it under for a smooth seam.
  4. Secure the paper to the box with tape. Center the box on the paper. Bring one side of the paper up and halfway across the top, affixing it to the box with a piece of tape. (With some practice, you may be able to skip this step.)
  5. Fold the other side for a cleaner edge. Before bringing the second side of paper up and over the first, create a clean seam by folding over the last half-inch of the paper, using your fingers to create a tight crease. Now bring this side up, so it just overlaps the first one and affix with tape. Tip: Use double-sided tape for a cleaner look.
  6. Fold the paper on each side of the present. Starting on one end, fold down the top flap onto the side of the box, creating two little wings at the side. Flatten those in against the box, then fold the remaining triangle of paper up against the box. Fasten it in place with tape.
  7. Stand the box up and repeat folding to the other side. Set your box on end, with the side you just worked on facing down, and repeat step 6 on the opposite end.
  8. Add finishing touches. Add any ribbon, gift tags, or decorative bows to your gift. For gift-wrap extra credit, learn how to make curling ribbon bows. Tada: You've just wrapped a present perfectly.

When You Can Forgo Wrapping


Meg MacDonald

No need to wrap a gift card—just stick it inside a greeting card with a witty note, and you're done. Plush animals are good to go with a big bow tied around the neck. And your recipient will certainly forgive you if you don't wrap her new bike. (Though a big bow would be a nice touch here, too.)

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