You’ve hit the mall, Amazon and everywhere in between.You’ve finally checked off every gift you’ve needed to buy. Now, comes the part that make many people cringe: gift wrapping. Even for those of us who don’t mind it, gift wrapping is often a frustrating, time-consuming task that feels more like a bah humbug chore than a cheery holiday activity.
Spending my college years working in a small family-run jewelry store, I survived several holiday seasons as the store’s only weekday gift wrapper. Over the years, I discovered several ways to ease the pain of this never-ending process and help you tackle that pile of gifts like a pro.
Here are a few little tricks guaranteed to take your gifts from boring to beautiful without driving your self insane this holiday season.
Invest in quality wrapping paper and ribbon
Cheap wrapping paper rips and cheap ribbon breaks when both are pulled too tightly leading to wasted materials and unwanted frustration for you. Spending a little extra for good materials will save you time and money in the long run. I really like the giant rolls of wapping paper sold at places like Sam’s Club. It’s sturdy and gives you enough to wrap all your gifts for this year and several years to come. For good ribbon, check out Michael’s and A.C. Moore for a wide variety of colors and textures. Both stores often offer coupons for additional savings.
Don’t forget about the tissue paper
While some consider it an extra, I view tissue paper as a necessity. It adds a special touch to boxes, bags and any packages that you need to mail. It also prevents fragile items from breaking in transit. I prefer to use the colored paper over the plain white kind. It can be subbed in if you run out of wrapping paper or to wrap things wrapping paper can’t easily be used on like t-shirts without boxes and oddly shaped things like tumblers.
For gift bags, hit the dollar store
Since they are subjected to tugging and pulling a ribbon and wrapping paper, gift bags are the one place where you can save some money. Dollar stores often offer a wide array of patterns, colors, and sizes that perfect for all your holiday gifts.
Hang on to those Amazon boxes
If you’re ordering a lot of gifts online this year, don’t dispose of those packaging boxes so quickly. You can often repurpose many of them as gift boxes for larger items, such as handbags and fleece blankets. Your recipient won’t know it’s not a standard gift box until they unwrap it, and you’ll keep yourself from going crazy trying to dig up boxes or find packaging alternatives.
Create a comfortable and roomy workspace
Wrapping gifts on the floor or at too-short table will only lead to a very sore back and possible strains. (I pulled something in my knee one Christmas season at work wrapping getting up from the floor after working on particularly large box.) Likewise, not having enough room to work can get very frustrating, especially when trying to roll out and cut the right length of paper. Find a space that gives you plenty of room of work and sits a comfortable height that prevents straining on your back muscles. Depending on the number of gifts you need to wrap, you could be in this position for a considerable amount of time.
For a little extra style, pick up a pack of tinsel garland
Whether you go with silver, gold, red or green, tie a little snip of this sparkly garland to the top of your boxes for an easy way to add extra touch of holiday cheer.
Have good scissors and a tape dispenser on hand
Your tools are just as important as your materials. Dull scissors and cheap tape can cause as many headaches as easily ripped paper and break-prone ribbon. Invest good products that get the job done without the hassle.