Finding the perfect gift for a grandkid or a friend’s birthday party is so much fun at Teaching & Learning Stuff. You’ll find fun gifts in every section of our store.
Best part? We’ll wrap it up for you for free. Those weird shaped boxes can be really tricky, but we practice! You’re going to look awesome when you show up with a spectacularly wrapped gift.
Want to wrap it yourself? Here are a few pro tips:
Cut the paper the right size
I know everyone says this. Because it’s true! You want paper that wraps all the way around the box, plus 3 inches, or plus the height of the box, whichever is smaller.
Going the other direction, the paper should extend about 3/4 of the height of the box on both ends. If the box is 4 inches tall, you’ll need about three inches extra on each end.
Wrap the paper to the corner
Here’s our first little-known “secret.” When you wrap the paper around the box, bring the edge of the paper all the way to one corner. If you’re right handed, that’s probably the upper right corner.
Lay the box on the paper close to the right edge. Wrap the paper over the top of the box, and line up the edge with the corner of the box. Push the box gently to the left to make everything snug. Hold the paper down with the heel of your hand. Pick up remaining (right) edge of the paper that’s under the box and tuck it under the paper so that the short end is under the larger paper. The cut edge should be visible along the box’s corner.
Put a couple pieces of tape along the paper’s edge. You’re half-way there!
Nice and tight ends, with perfect little triangles
First check that the paper on both open ends is equal. Those boxes can “shift during travel” as they say.
Top strip down
Here’s where the corner trick pays off. Take both thumbs and start at the middle along the top edge. Push the paper down over the end close to you, and run your thumbs towards the left and right sides of the box. When you get to the ends, pinch the paper that went down the end into he corner. You should have nice neat little triangles on each end of the paper now. See how much easier that was?
Fold in those side triangles
Those perfect triangles? Fold them in left and right towards the box.
Bottoms up – almost.
Almost done. Crease the triangles you just made on the bottom strip. If you’re feeling formal fold over the long rough edge. If you’re in a hurry, just leave it. Kids won’t notice; I promise.
But wait! Here’s trick two. Pause this end for a sec. Spin the box around and repeat everything so far on the other end.
Bottoms up – for real
Now that both ends have just one last strip of paper, slowly tip the box up on to its end. That folds the strip close to you under the box. Take the fingers of both hands and fold the strip on the top end towards you, making a nice crisp fold. Easy peasy. Tape it down.
Roll the box over 180° and the work’s pretty much done for you. That last strip just needs a little tug to make it crisp, and some tape.
Wrapping Weird Shapes
Sadly, not everything comes in a box. Stuffed animals, weird card with blobs packages, and heaven forbid balls.
Even Santa doesn’t like wrapping these bad boys.
Make an envelope
That’s right, we’re going rogue.
Make a flat tube
Measure around the package or thing. Leave some wiggle room, then add about 25% or 4 inches, whichever is smaller. You don’t want this to be tight like wrapping a box. Some extra room is a good thing.
Put that blob shaped thing out of the way in time-out. Let it think about not being a box.
Mark where the “extra” starts. Fold the extra towards the middle of the paper, then bring the other end over to meet the fold. Like you’re folding a giant paper burrito. The “extra” flap should be on the inside. Push all the folds flat, and tape along that loose edge.
Close the bottom
Fold the bottom up twice (for a nice pretty edge) and tape it down.
Prepare the top
Fold the top over twice too (yes, with nothing inside – trust me). When I do this step at the store it freaks everyone out because they think I’ve forgotten the present! This fold-over should be nice and big. Bigger than you think it should be. Don’t tape it down, but make sure those folds are REALLY set. Smash ’em down hard.
In they go!
Open up that fold (the one without tape) and open the bag by pushing your hand inside. In goes the present.
Close it up
Find the left and right sides of the envelope (those first folds from way back when) and pinch them flat. Pull them away from each other and the whole top of the bag should flatten out. If you made that last double fold nice and big, it will be easy to re-fold with the present inside. A final couple pieces of tape and you are D.O.N.E. Like a pro.