Paper €5 (3pack or plain brown roll from €1.50) and twine (patterned €3-€3.50 single pack or plain 3pack for €3) from IKEA. Gift tags from TkMaxx for €1.50-€2. Foliage is from our local florist (€15 for a bunch of eucalyptus), Appassionata flowers on Drury Street D2 is one of our favourite florists.
1. Preparation is key:
It may sound obvious but ensure to have everything to hand before starting your gift wrapping. There is nothing worse than sitting down on Christmas Eve to find you forgot to buy sticky tape. The key tools include, some scissors, tape, wrapping paper, twine / ribbon, name tags, and a pen. Invest in a tape dispenser; this will save you time searching for the end of the tape that takes forever on a conventional roll, if you have double sided tape, even better. Wrapping on hard surfaces opposed to carpet will ensure a tidy wrap and no split corners.
2. Measure & Cut:
Measuring out your wrapping paper before you begin will save frustration along the way. A quick and easy way to do this is to place your gift flat on the wrapping paper and roll it over on its 4 large sides (top, bottom & sides) across the paper, giving you the area needed to cover all sides, plus add two inches for an overlap and trim the excess. When it comes to the two open ends, try having as little as is possible to avoid bulky sloppy folds, no more than three quarters the height of the gift/box should be sufficient.
Pink paper €1-€2 per roll & ribbon €1 (per reel) from Flying Tiger. Orange speckled paper from €1.50, scissors €3 & tape dispenser €1.90 all from IKEA. Gift bag & tags from TkMaxx.
3. Awkward Shaped Gifts:
Gift boxes and bags are your friend in this case, available at TK Maxx, Tiger and most high street stores. The easiest trick is to wrap in nice tissue paper and place in a gift bag. Alternatively, boxing gifts prior to wrapping will save heartache and a jumbled mess under the tree come Christmas Eve, and gives you the opportunity to add personality with your wrapping skills.
4. Position & Wrap:
Firstly, remember to remove that price tag; you’d be amazed how easily you could forget to take off that label. Use some steam or a hot cloth to remove those dreaded tough stickers. Place your present face down on to your paper so the back will have the wrapping joint. As you fold over, tape the paper together to hold the main section in place so you can easily move to the trickiest part, the ends. There are many ways you can do the open ends but we start by pushing the top of paper inward, turning the two sides into triangular flaps, fold in the side flaps to the centre and tape, and fold the bottom flap up to overlap all like an envelope, taping to secure. Repeat on the other open end. Finish all sides by squeezing the corners of any edges to get a sharp crease at all folds around the box.
Paper €5 (3pack metallic) & ribbon €1.50 (3pack) from IKEA. Velvet ribbon €5 & gift tags €1.50-€2 from TkMaxx. Large white pine cones & feather baubles from Meadows & Byrne. Gold shaker baubles €11 (set of 4) & Gold tree in glass bauble €6 from Next.
5. Ribbon or Twine:
Wrap ribbon / twine around the entire length of the box and also widthwise to make a cross feature where your bow is tied on top. Double knot the ribbon and tie a simple bow, using fingers to shape the loops and cutting loose ends at a 45-degree angle. For a tousled look, curl the ribbon, ensure to close your scissors and place the ribbon between your thumb and the top of scissors before pulling swiftly but gently up through to the end of your cut-to-length ribbon. Alternatively, for a more relaxed rustic look, twine is an easy yet stylish option.
6. Name It:
Last but not least, label your presents as you wrap so you don’t forget who gets what, nothing worse than forgetting what has been wrapped in what paper. You don’t want to undo your work. Also, remember a nice pen to scribble a name and festive sentiment, if you have a calligraphy pen at hand all the better but a roller pen works just as well.
And that’s a wrap!
Photography: Andrea Flanagan