Gift Wrapping 101!

This week starts our once a quarter feature of Dina our gift wrapping guru as a guest writer! She'll be sharing amazing wrapping tips and projects to inspire you year round She is starting with sharing basic tips for getting your wrapping technique down!

Let's start with the basic supplies:

  • Sharp scissors (preferably used only for cutting paper)
  • Double sided tape (I prefer Scotch brand)
  • Good quality wrapping paper, specialty decorative paper, or vintage finds
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Bone folder

I love to wrap gifts!  I love it because it’s another way of showing the recipient how special they are and how meaningful the gift is.  I put as much or at times more effort in how I present the gift than finding and purchasing the gift itself.  To some it sounds crazy, but to others who feel the same way, we are giddy over the process.

It doesn’t matter how little or extravagant the gift is, I choose my method of wrapping according to the personality of the recipient or what I feel fits the gift.  I prefer a β€œless is more” approach to styling my wrap, choose very special supplies and execute the wrap the cleanest way possible.

Although the supplies are basic, the quality of your supplies will speak volumes when you begin to wrap your gift.

Scissors:  I have several types of scissors and keep specific ones for specific projects.  It’s important to have sharp scissors so that you don’t tear your paper (some may be delicate and thin) and only keep them for paper cutting.  For example, you don’t want to use β€œhousehold” scissors that have been used to cut wire or tacky tapes because they ruin the blade and can tear your specialty papers. 

Tape:  The secret is out!  Double sided tape is the key to keep the look of your wrap clean and crisp, while showcasing your beautiful paper.  I always use Scotch brand tape and keep it in a heavy weighted dispenser.

Paper:  Let’s talk paper…I love, love, love paper!  For me, this is the best part of wrapping.  I love the feel and texture of good quality paper because it creases and folds wonderfully and has a distinct way of β€œwrapping” around your gift.  My first love was the brown β€œmailer” paper you would find in rolls at the office supply stores.  This was many, many years ago before the Kraft paper craze began.  I remember coming across this paper and realized that the thickness it has was key to how I wanted it to feel when someone opened my gift versus the thin paper you would normally find.  I used this paper for so many years and would adorn it with vintage ribbons and beautiful, natural finds from my backyard garden to use as toppers.  Today you can find so many different and unique types of quality papers.  You can buy handmade papers by the sheet (this is my favorite) or rolls of solid or decorative papers. My favorite places to find papers are Paper Source, Sugar Paper, Jonathan Wright and Company, Soolip, and Artist and Craftsman Supply.

Ribbon, twines & such:  Since I prefer to decorate my wraps more simply I like finding beautiful and natural adornments that stands alone.  I search for delicious hand dipped silk ribbons, double sided satin ribbons in rich colors, unique textures and materials from different places.  Twines are great to have too.  They are simple yet fun and just the right kind of touch depending on the gift and paper choice.  My favorite toppers (to name a few) are things such as pinecones, twigs, leaves and branches, and herbs.

Bone folder:  This is a must!  This tool will help make crisp creases and is a great extension of your fingers when folding the tight corners.  Any bone folder will do.  You can get the classic shape or a thicker, Teflon bone folder used for bookbinding.  

Once you have all the basic supplies you’ll be ready to wrap a gift at any time!  


The Giftwrapping Guru

A few months ago we did a gifting project highlighting the amazing gift wrapping talent of our dear friend and fellow maker Dina! This month we'd like to share a bit more about her passion and talent. In upcoming months we'll also be having  her post some fabulous gift wrapping inspiration and tips! We recently sat down with Dina and her furry friends to learn more about where and when her love and skill for gift wrapping began. Take a look below!

Dina with her doggies Sophie, Jack and her kitty Zeus!

I. When and how did you discover a love and talent for gift wrapping?   Was is it something you had to practice to learn or did it come naturally? 

I discovered my love for wrapping gifts when I was in high school.  I realized that I must love it if I was willing to wrap every gift that was to be placed under our Christmas tree every year.  Well after high school I realized that I might have the talent for it when I no longer wanted to use β€œsticky bows” as toppers and decided to search for something different from my backyard.  I had these huge trees and 2 of them were Pine trees.  I would pick up sticks, pinecones and beautiful leaves to adorn my gifts –this is when I knew I had found a great love of mine!

What came naturally to me was problem solving the uniquely shaped gifts, but the actual β€œart” of wrapping definitely came with practice, practice, & more practice!  I had to practice to nail down technique and how to measure efficiently. 

2. Your wrapping style is much more than just about picking pretty paper. There is always another amazing dimensional and creative level you add to your presentation. What elements do you think of in order to take your gift wrapping to the next level? 

I actually try to keep it simple.  I always make choices based on the person I’m giving the gift to.  I choose my color or design choices with what I think they will like or what matches their personality.  Then I think of a unique or clever way to show my love for wrapping their gift & add a little surprise of some sort. 

3.  Is there an occasion you enjoy wrapping gifts for the most? 

Absolutely, it’s during Christmas!  I get to wrap a bunch of gifts at one time and for several days, making choices for so many different people and pets too!

4.  What are some the standard tools you use and best types of paper you would recommend? 

Standard tools are: 

1.      Sharp scissors for cutting paper

2.      Sharp scissors exclusively for cutting ribbon

3.      A bone folder

4.      A heavy tape dispenser

I feel the best papers are the heavier weighted papers and fine, handmade papers.  I buy my paper from Paper Source and small stationary boutiques.  I prefer single sheets to rolls and love the classic craft paper.

5. What would you advise as first steps for someone who wants to get a gift wrapping technique down? 

My advice is measure twice and cut once.  It’s all in the measurements.  If you measure correctly before you wrap the paper onto the gift, it will make wrapping much easier and more enjoyable.