You’re a big kid now: Learn to wrap a present

So, you’ve crossed off every name on your gift list and you’ve got all the gifts laid out in front of you. There’s one problem: They don’t come wrapped. There’s a good chance that up until now either someone else did all the gift wrapping, or you were young enough that it was ‘cute’ that your package looked as if you had the dog wrap it for you. It’s not cute anymore. You are an adult. You can do this. Here’s how:

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  1. Gather your supplies: You’ll need the gift you are wrapping, some wrapping paper, a pair of sharp scissors (dull ones will tear the paper which will give you a headache), and some clear tape, matte or shiny is up to you, and a box and some tissue paper.
  2. Lay out the paper: Unroll or unfold your wrapping paper on a clean and dry surface like a big table or the floor. Avoid carpet or your bed because soft surfaces can be cut with your scissors and mess up the paper. If the gift is a weird shape, don’t try to wrap it like that. Put it in a reasonably sized box. If it’s something fragile, wrap it in tissue paper.
  3. Once the paper is laid out place the gift on the edge of the wrapping paper and loosely roll it over (like in the photo) so you know how much paper you need. When you’ve got enough to cover the package, leave a little extra and then cut the excess off and put it off to the side.
  4. Next, do the same thing in the other direction. Place the gift at the bottom of the paper and loosely roll it toward the top until you’ve got enough. Try to make your cuts as straight as possible, and if the sides are longer than the sides of the box, trim them up a bit.
  5. Place the gift in the middle of the paper and fold one side over, then tape it to the box in the middle. Take the opposite side and fold it over, pulling it tight. If there’s a ragged edge, fold the paper over to make a hem and then tape that part of the paper to the box as well.
  6. Take a deep breath and relax. That was the easy part. Now it gets hard. Turn the box so the seam is facing one of the sides and one side of the leftover paper is facing you. You’re going to fold the paper like an envelope. The side with the seam will be the bottom of the package and the side opposite that will be the top. One side at a time, fold the paper in on the sides of the box (the sides being neither the bottom nor the top) so that it meets in the middle. It will probably fold over itself and that’s okay. Smooth out the side nearest to the top by creasing the paper so there is a neat(ish) triangle on the top side.
  7. Once you have the top side looking as neat as possible, do the same with the bottom side, but you don’t have to be as particular since it will be mostly covered with your very neat triangle from step 6. Then, fold the bottom side triangle up toward the top side, folding it under a little if it’s too big. Tape it down, then take your nice neat triangle and fold it over, smoothing it neatly over any potential creases. Tape it down and repeat on the other side of the box.
  8. In theory, you now have a neatly wrapped gift. Add a bow, some ribbon, and a gift tag if you want to make it look a little bit fancier. Avoiding taping anything that you aren’t sure of so you don’t have to rewrap the gift. Congratulations! You did it!

Okay maybe you didn’t do it. There’s a decent chance that you didn’t. Wrapping gifts is actually hard. If you’ve got through all this stuff and accomplished little more than a ball of paper wrapped in tape, there is a solution. Loosely wrap your gift in tissue paper, no tape needed here. Take the tissue wrapped gift and place it in a gift bag. Artfully (or haphazardly, your call) place some more tissue paper in the bag, covering the gift. Voila. You’re finished.

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