How To Wrap A Gift with Just Wrapping Paper

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Have you ever wondered how you mom used to do it? You know, using just wrapping paper to completed wrap a gift?

Or how gifts end up so beautifully wrapped in that Japanese video that went viral a few years back?

Well, wonder no more! Here’s how you can wrap whatever you want with just a few pieces of paper. No tape, no glue, no ribbon. Just straight up paper.

Here we go!

Step one: gather your materials.

First, get your present. Now this technique that we’re about to learn will work with literally any present, but it does need to be in a box.

So if your present comes in a box, you’re all set. But if it doesn’t, go rummage around and find a box that your gift will fit into.

Once everything is all boxed up, go get your wrapping paper.

Finally, you’re going to need some scissors.

That’s it! You’re ready to start.

Step two: get your wrapping theory straight

Before you actually wrap your gift, you need to understand what you’re actually doing.

The goal here is basically to wrap your box in such a way that all the paper folds in on itself and the very last piece will tuck into itself so it doesn’t go anywhere.

That’s the basic idea anyways. Don’t worry – just like tasting wine, it gets easier with time.

Step three: cutting your wrapping paper

Next, you’re going to have to cut your paper. Now unlike when you’re wrapping a box with tons of tape, the key to wrapping a present without tape is to be PRECISE.

Yes, precise.

You need to get the right size of paper. It should be a piece of wrapping paper that’s cut to the size of your box.

You want a piece that is large enough to go around your box once, then add a few inches.

You can measure this really easily by:

  • Taking your box
  • Putting it on the edge of your paper on its front
  • Flipping it over itself until it’s tipped three times across all the faces of your box.

Your box should now be standing on its side with the face that was originally on the top now facing you like a TV would face you.

Then, you just add two inches and cut the paper.

Since wrapping paper comes rolled in a giant rectangle, you need to square your cut piece.

To do this, all you have to do is fold over one corner until it touches the opposite side. You’ll see some paper that the folded section didn’t cover – cut this off.

Now, you have a perfect square and you’re ready to start actually wrapping.

Step four: position your box

In order to wrap a present without even a scrap of tape, you need to work the angles of the paper.

Most people start wrapping by squaring off their present. So for example, you might put the smartphone you got your significant other right in the middle of the paper, or tight along one side.

This is 100% wrong (intuitive though it may seem).

What you actually want to do is put it into the middle of the paper and rotate the box 45 degrees. Now, the box is off center from your square of paper.

Step five: pull your first corner

Now that you’ve got your present box positioned right, what you want to do is pull the corner furthest away from you up and over your box. You want to pull it up and over to the point that the entire TOP of the box is completely covered with the paper.

As soon as the far corners disappear, you’ve pulled it far enough. The ‘tip’ of the corner of the wrapping paper you just pulled over will overhang and flap around a bit – this is fine (we’ll get to it in a minute).

You want to crease a line in the paper where it meets the base of the box, and then let it drop.

Step six: pulling your second corner

Next, pull up the corner that’s closest to you. It probably won’t cover the present, but that’s ok! You’ve just measured where you need the present to be, so don’t be tempted to move the whole thing. Hold this piece of paper in place.

Step seven: dealing with the sides

Now that you have the bottom edge of the present covered, you need to cover the sides.

  • Put your left hand on the top of the present, holding the paper in place from step six.
  • Reach out with your right hand and fold the paper that extends from the right of the present in and over the top of the box
  • Form a crisp, clean seal at the edge

Now, have two sides done.

Simply repeat with the other side and you have three sides done!

Step eight: dealing with the top

At this point:

  • We have the bottom side wrapped
  • We have both sides wrapped

All that’s left to do is the final side and the top. You might be thinking that some tape would be pretty good right now.

But you’d be dead wrong. Here’s what you do:

  • Crease the sides of the unfolded section. Take your finger run it along the inside edge of the unfolded corners from the base of the box to the edge of the paper.
  • Fold the unfolded corner up and over the top of the box. This should fold all the way over and drop down the far side of the box since you measured it at the very start.

Step nine (last step!): tuck in your last corner

So at this point, you should have the top corner pulled over the top of the box and be left with an overhanging corner of wrapping paper.

All you need to do now is tuck this corner in on itself, underneath all the other folds from the wrapping. Because of how this has been wrapped, this will be strong enough to hold it all together.

And you’re done!

Did you like this post on how to wrap a present without any tape? Be sure to check out our post on how to pack like a pro!

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