Get Wrapped Up In Gift Wrapping

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Of all the occasions during the year, the holiday season certainly puts your gift-wrapping techniques to the test. With dozens of presents to trim, tape and tinsel, you'd best know how to wrap a gift correctly.

If you can use a little gift-wrapping help, consult these step-by-step tips and you'll be an expert in no time.

1. Have all of your materials within reach. You'll need gift wrap (paper on a roll presents a more polished looking finished product than pre-cut wrapping paper squares, which often leave deep creases), translucent tape, scissors, gift tags, bows/ribbons, if desired.

2. Rectangular gift boxes are the easiest to wrap, so if your gift is an awkward shape, try placing it in a gift box first. Place the box on a table alongside the gift wrap and pull out enough wrapping paper to wrap it widthwise around the box with 2 inches of slack. Also make sure there is enough wrapping paper at each end of the box to cover the ends completely when the wrapping paper will be folded over them. It's better to overestimate than underestimate.

3. Mark the length of paper you need with a pencil, and cut straight across.

4. Place your gift box face-down on the paper. Pull up one edge of the paper on the long sides of the box and tape to the center of the box. Do the same on the other side, but fold the paper down about an inch to form a neat edge and then secure with tape.

5. Visually gauge the amount of paper you have at each end of the gift boxes (the shorter ends of the box). Trim away any extra paper so that the remaining flaps are long enough to cover the box, but short enough to fold over smoothly into flaps.

6. Turn the box so that one short end is facing you. Grasp the left and right edges of the wrapping paper and push the sides in so that top and bottom flaps are formed in a"V" shape. Make sure the edges are pushed in as far as they will go without ripping the paper. Tape the edges to the box. Repeat the process with the other short end of the box.

7. If you are affixing ribbon, make sure that the box is face up with the clean side of the wrapping paper showing (taped, crease side is down). Pull out a long length of ribbon and cut.

8. Lay the ribbon across the long length of the box so that the box is centered beneath the ribbon. Wrap the ribbon ends underneath and crisscross so that you can now bring up the ribbon on the short width of the box back to the top. Tie in a knot and then a bow. Or, place a self-sticking bow over the ribbon knot.

-- From Metro Creative Connection

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