Gift-wrapping tips and tricks

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    Special to The PREVIEW

    Much of the focus of each holiday season is on gift-giving, but all those gifts will eventually need to be wrapped. 

    Stacks of presents just waiting to be covered with paper and ribbon can overwhelm gift givers, prompting them to put off wrapping gifts until the last minute. Hesitant wrappers with a pile of gifts to wrap can use these tricks to make the process go smoothly.

    Find inspiration

    Instead of looking at wrapping as yet another chore, try to envision how the recipient will feel peeling open the paper and finding the gift inside. Wrapping can be the prelude to the gift itself, and intensify the anticipation. The wrapping paper or style also may draw on aspects of the gift itself. For example, a knit scarf can be placed in a crocheted stocking.

    Handle oddly
    shaped items

    Wrapping rectangular boxes can be a snap, but what about something that’s round or full of angles? Think about placing oddly-shaped items inside another item to make the shape more uniform. Shoe boxes, coffee cans and even paper towel rolls can hold items. Then place the wrapping on these containers.

    Cover prices

    To enable easy exchanges or returns, do not cut off the price tags of gifts. Instead, place a festive sticker made by yourself with the best printer for stickers over the dollar amount, but leave the scan bar visible. This way the gift recipient can return the gift with ease if necessary.

    Keep supplies at the ready

    Devote a bin or bins to wrapping supplies and tools. Having scissors, paper, tape, ribbon and more in a designated spot will cut down on having to hunt and peck when it comes time to wrap. 

    Martha Stewart suggests getting a rotary cutter to cut long straight or decorative edges on wrapping paper. Rotary cutters may be easier to use than scissors, especially when paired with a ruler.

    Wrap on a firm surface

    Devote a table or counter to wrapping gifts. This will keep the paper taut and neat and make it easier to cut and position. You risk tearing the paper or puncturing it when working on carpeting or bedding.

    Color- or pattern-code gifts

    It’s easy to visualize who gets what gift when each recipient has his or her own special wrapping paper. This is also a handy idea when wrapping gifts from Santa, as it will differentiate the Santa gifts from the ones being given by Mom and Dad.

    With a few helpful pointers, wrapping gifts can be easy. And for those who prefer to skip the wrapping themselves, many malls and retailers offer complimentary wrapping for a small donation to charity.