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How to Wrap a Present

Wrapping a present is a kind gesture that can show someone how much you care. It's easy to wrap a present if you make all your folds and cuts carefully. When you're done with the basic Wrapping, you can give the present a unique touch with bows and embellishments. When finished, you'll have a beautiful gift to present to a loved one.


EditMeasuring the Paper

  1. Remove all of the price tags. Leaving the price tag on a present is generally considered improper etiquette as the recipient doesn't need to know how much you spent. If you cannot remove the sticker, get a black pen and black out the price.
    Wrap a Present Step 1 Version 7.jpg
  2. Place the gift in a box. It's much easier to wrap a present using a box. You can buy boxes for gifts in the same department store aisle where you buy wrapping paper. You can also use an old box, like a shoebox, you have lying around your home.

    • It's also a good idea to seal the top of the box with tape to prevent it from coming open during the wrapping process.
  3. Unroll the wrapping paper. Work on a flat surface, like a hardwood floor or table. Unroll the wrapping paper across the table. Unroll enough wrapping paper that the paper is about twice the length of the box. Do not cut the wrapping paper from the roll yet.

  4. Lay the box topside down over your wrapping paper. Place the box in the middle of the paper, with the top facing down. Place it about halfway between the edge of the wrapping paper and the roll of wrapping paper.[1]

  5. Wrap the paper over the box. Take the edge of the wrapping paper and wrap it around the box so it covers about half the box. Then, roll the tube of the wrapping paper over the box all the way to the other end of the box. The box should now be completely covered in wrapping paper.[2]

  6. Cut the paper so the wrapping paper overlaps. The wrapping paper should overlap just slightly on top of the box. Cut a straight line across the upper layer of wrapping paper so it overlaps the bottom layer by a few inches or centimeters.[3]

EditWrapping a Box Shaped Present

  1. Tape one side of the paper to the box. Once you’ve cut the paper to the right size, you can let go of it. Put the roll of paper aside and grab Scotch tape. Fold one end of the paper over the box and press it flat against the bottom of the box. Place a piece of scotch tape near the middle of the box to secure the paper.[4]

  2. Fold over the other side of the paper and tape it down. Fold the other side of the paper over the top of box. Overlap this paper slightly with the paper you just taped down. Place a piece of tape on the center of the box, securing the top layer of paper to the bottom layer.[5]

    • This piece of paper will be the visible paper on the box. If you want a straighter edge, you can fold the end of the paper inward to create one before taping it down.
    • If you're wrapping a very big present, you may have to use several pieces of tape just to make sure everything stays in place.
  3. Tuck in the paper on the corners of the box. Two sides of the box will still have unfolded paper sticking out. Starting on one side, push both ends of the paper inward so they hug the corners of the box.[6]

  4. Crease the triangle-shaped folds. Once the ends are hugging the corners of the box, you will notice four triangle shape folds on each of the box's corners. Use your fingers to crease each fold to secure it.[7]

  5. Fold the upper and lower flap together. At this point, on the top and bottom of the box, there should be two trapezoid-shaped flaps. Push the top flap down and crease the edge to secure it. Then, push the bottom flap upward so it overlaps with the top flap. Again, crease the edge to secure the fold.[8]

  6. Secure the sides with tape. Take a piece of scotch tape. Tape the upper flap to the lower flap, placing the tape at the center of the box's side. This side of the box should now be fully concealed by wrapping paper.[9]

  7. Repeat on the other side. Turn the box around and repeat the exact same process on the other side. Press the wrapping paper at the box's corners inward. Crease all four triangle shape folds. Push the upper flap down and then the lower flap upward. Conceal the folds with tape.[10]

EditWrapping a Cylinder Shaped Gift

  1. Measure your object. Measure the circumference of the object using a measuring tape. Add to the circumference. Then, measure the rough length of the object from top to bottom and the diameter of the flat side.

    • To measure the circumference, wrap the measuring tape around the curve of the object.
    • To measure the diameter, measure the flat side of the object from one end to the other.
    • If an object has one flat side that's bigger than the other, measure the diameter of the bigger side.
  2. Cut out your tissue paper. Cylinder objects should be wrapped in tissue paper instead of wrapping paper. Cut the tissue paper into the shape of a rectangle. The rectangle's width should be the object's circumference plus . Its height should be the diameter plus the length.[11]

    • For example, say a circle's circumference was , its length was , and its diameter was . Your rectangle would be by .
  3. Place the object in the center of the paper. Spread your paper out on a flat surface. Place the object in the rough center point of the paper.[12]

  4. Wrap the paper around the round side. Wrap one side of the tissue paper at a time around the rounder side of the cylinder. One side of the paper should overlap the other side slightly. Tape the upper layer of tissue paper to the lower layer at the midpoint of the object.[13]

  5. Twist both ends to enclose the cylinder. The paper on the flat side of the cylinder should still be sticking out. Starting on one end, pinch the paper at the base of the object and twist it around two or three times. Then, wrap a piece of tape around the twist to secure it. Repeat on the other side.[14]

    • The wrapping job should resemble the wrapping of a piece of candy, like a Tootsie Roll.

EditAdding Embellishments

  1. Flip over the box. When adding embellishments, you want to work on the top side of the box. Flip the box over, so the edges of the paper are not visible on top of the box.

  2. Add a To/From tag. It's always a nice touch to add a To/From tag on a package to give it a personal touch. You can use store-bought tags, which you can find at most department stores. You can also make your own To/From tags by cutting cardboard paper into the shape of tags, covering them with decorative paper, and writing a personal message with a pen or pencil.[15]

  3. Tie a bow around the gift. Use a thick ribbon, which you can purchase at a department store. Turn the present upside down, so the seams you taped earlier are facing upward. Tape down the end of the ribbon in the center of the box. Loop it around the package length-wise until the ribbon circles the package completely. Cut the ribbon and tape down the other end.

    • If desired, you can create a double bow. Repeat this process, but this time wrap the ribbon around the package width-wise.
  4. Add stick-on bows. If you want to save some time, use stick-on bows instead. You can buy these at any department store. The bows should have a sticker on the bottom you press against a present to secure it to a gift.

  5. Use fake berries or herbs as embellishments. You can buy fake berries and herbs at a local gift shop or craft store. You can glue these onto your presents as a fun, decorative embellishment. This works great for winter holidays, where things like red berries and holly are traditional decorations for the season.[16]

  6. Tie bells around the ribbons. If you're going to tie a ribbon in place anyway, try adding some bells. String some bells through the ribbon before wrapping it around the present to add some flare. This is a great embellishment for the holiday season.[17]

EditThings You'll Need

  • Wrapping paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Tissue paper
  • Bows
  • Ribbons
  • To/From tags
  • Fake berries, leaves, etc.
  • Bells

EditPrintable Wrapping Paper

Printable Patterned Wrapping Paper

Printable Flower Wrapping Paper

Printable Heart Wrapping Paper


  • Clear postal tape is the best for wrapping gifts that are going through the mail, or that will be wrapped far in advance.

EditRelated wikiHows

  • Make a Floral Bow
  • Curl Ribbon
  • Tie a Bow
  • Wrap Large Presents

EditSources and Citations

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How to Wrap a Present


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