For me, the shopping is easier than wrapping the boxes. Which isn’t to say shopping is easy, it’s more to say that those gift bags that come with matching tissue paper and bows are to me what sliced bread was to the Pilgrims.
I’ve also resorted to the charity gift-wrap tables, or the in-store wrapping services, but sometimes I have a special gift for a special person that needs to look, well.. SPECIAL. Unless it’s done up in Tiffany blue I don’t figure the “wrapped by the professionals at Nordstroms look” sends the message I want to send.
You’d think that a guy who’s been in construction since the age of 10 (I was drafted by my father) could handle assembling a pretty good looking package without a lot of help, right? Nope. I’m living proof that’s not true. But I’ve learned a few things, and I thought, with Black Friday just behind us, it might be a good time to share.
Stock up on double-sided tape. Even the clearest clear tape shows. And that trick of making a little roll out of regular tape so you have two sticky sides, don’t even mention it!
Use really sharp scissors. One way gift wrapping is like construction — tools matter. And the condition of your tools matters too. Don’t use those kindergarten scissors, and please, don’t use your trusty Swiss Army knife. A clean edge makes everything else easier.
Master the basics. Once you know how to tuck the ends of a package in and secure them neatly, you’re on your way to looking like a pro. (Key word here is “neatly.”)
Use quality paper. If this gift is special enough for you to spend time wrapping it, it deserves some paper with weight. Besides, that other stuff tears too easily and frustration does not improve your wrapping skills any more than it does your construction skills. (Ask me how I know.)
Splurge on the ribbon. Or just get creative (see video below.) Ribbons and bows aren’t just girly things, although women assure me they like them. A beautiful package with a crappy bow is like a cake with no icing no matter the gender of your recipient.
Here’s a short video showing the basics, and giving some fun suggestions for unusual materials and presentations. I’m especially happy about this because she uses recycled materials.
And for that gift that has to be extra special, here’s a technique that LOOKS like you paid a pretty penny (or a LOT of pretty pennies) to have it done, but it’s really not that hard.
Now assemble your tools and get wrapping!
What do you want to know about DIY?
Do you have specific projects you would like to tackle? Not sure how to get started? Convinced that you won’t be able to get answers to your questions at the hardware store? Great! Tom wants to know.
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Photo: Flickr/Petr Dosek