Following these little tricks while gift wrapping will give every present a polished edge—and they don’t cost a thing.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated November 11, 2020
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You’ve mastered neat folds and portioning out the right amount of wrapping paper. You’ve studied plenty of gift wrap ideas. You have your gift wrapping strategy down pat—but your gift wrapping efforts are still falling a little flat. Fortunately, the world’s most famous gift wrap artist, Alton DuLaney, has easy fixes that can give wrapped gifts a little extra flair. (And they don’t cost a penny.)

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Pink gift wrapped boxes with gold ribbon - gift wrapping secrets
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1 Create working seams

Fold all exposed edges of the wrapping paper under themselves to hide the cut edges. This creates new, non-white seams that are the same color and pattern as the rest of the wrapping paper.

“[The gift] is going to appear almost seamless,” DuLaney says. (It will also hide any crooked or jagged cuts.)

2 Line seams up

The new working seams will be a little thicker than raw cut seams, but they can all but disappear when lined up with the edges of the box. Fold everything down, so all the seams are at or near the bottom of the box, and adjust the folded seams until the thicker folds are in line with the box’s edges.

RELATED: How to Wrap a Present

3 Tape along the edges

When the working seams are lined up with the bottom edges of the box, the tape also has an unobtrusive place to go: right along the edge. DuLaney prefers Scotch Gift Wrap Tape ($8; for its satin finish, which practically disappears on most wrapping papers.

4 Sharpen folds

Once the gift has been neatly taped up, run a thumb and forefinger in a pinching motion along every edge of the box (especially on the top, which will be most visible). “It sharpens up the fold,” DuLaney says.

5 Give ribbons bold ends

With wide fabric or wire ribbons, DuLaney folds the ends in half crosswise (or hamburger style) and cuts the fold at an angle, giving the trailing bits of bows or elegant knots pretty forked ends, which help to soften the ends and give gifts a traditional polish.