Can you always find the perfect gift, but struggle to get the wrapping just right? Struggle no more: This easy method for wrapping presents will help the presentation look just as good as the gift itself.

By Real Simple Editors
Updated January 02, 2020
Advertisement

For some people, finding the perfect gifts is easy; wrapping those presents is the challenging part. (Of course, other people can be the opposite.) Whether you’ve resigned yourself to your present-wrapping ineptitude or you’re drowning amidst all that gift-wrap and tape, this video and step-by-step guide will teach you how to wrap a present perfectly.

Once you know how to wrap a gift—for any occasion, whether it’s Christmas or a birthday or just because—you can start looking for gift-wrap extra-credit. Learn how to make curling ribbon bows, or study up on gift-wrapping mistakes and avoid them with ease. At the end of the day, even if your curling ribbon falls flat or you can’t quite master the tucked edge, you’ll still have your knowledge of how to wrap a box (large or small) to fall back on.

You can pull out your gift-wrapping knowledge for all gift-giving occasions to come; you can face last-minute gifts with the confidence that you can give them a good presentation in minutes. Once you know how to wrap a present, you’ll know forever—though a quick refresher never hurt anyone. Gather your materials, find a box or easily wrapped rectangular object to practice with (if you aren’t crunched for time to get a gift wrapped), and get wrapping.

What You Need

  • wrapping paper
  • scissors
  • tape

Follow These Steps

  1. Gather gift-wrapping materials
    Assemble your present, the wrapping paper, scissors, and tape, and then clear a large, flat surface, such as a kitchen table.
  2. Secure fragile items within boxes
    Make sure that anything fragile within your box is wrapped securely and won’t move around or become damaged. (We recommend using tissue paper as padding.)

    Tip: Use a small piece of tape to keep the box closed.
  3. Measure and cut the right amount of wrapping paper for your box or gift
    Roll out your wrapping paper—but don’t cut it yet. Place the box or gift 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 the side 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 or so 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: Double-sided tape can be used 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. Tada: You’ve just wrapped a present perfectly.

    Get more gift wrapping help:

    Traditional Gift-Wrapping Ideas


    –Festive Holiday Wrapping Paper Ideas
    –Easy Holiday Gift Wrapping Ideas
    Creative Gift-Wrapping Ideas