I like to wrap gifts in boxes so that you untie the ribbon, and pull off the box. No wasted paper, and the box can be re-used for another gift. A friend who received a gift in this manner told me that she and her sister call that "Soap-Opera wrapping."
I originally thought that I would have to wait until Christmas to give you a step-by-step but the opportunity arose, so I grabbed it.
Funny story: one of my husband's co-workers has spent the better part of this year and last in and out of the doctor with his wife. When this started, I was also spending the better part of my time in and out of the doctor, so they commiserated about waiting rooms, etc. Not wanting to pry, my husband never asked the nature of her illness, but he assumed it was chronic because her doctor trips continued after mine had tapered off. Then, mid-summer, Husband comes home and says "You know, I think it might be something degenerative, because Co-Worker bought his wife a tricked-out minivan so that she could get around easier." Fast forward to last week and husband comes home and says: "You remember how Co-Worker's wife was at the doctor a lot? She's having twin girls. In November." Right. Chronic and degenerative. Something like that.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled for them. I purchased appropriate gifts and wrapping (Paper-Source) and got to work:
Step one, cut a piece of paper large enough to wrap inside the box top/bottom.
Using craft glue (or double sided tape if your glue bin has been glued shut) fix the top/bottom to the paper - this will keep it from sliding around while you secure the sides. I ran tape around the perimeter to prevent odd lines or bubbling.
You want the edges of the paper to be as smooth as possible so I run the tape up against the edges and corners. Also - when you find that it's time to wrap inside the lip, I cut two diagonal slits so that there's as little folding as possible.
Because it's a gift, and we're not all Martha Stewart, I do have some folding on two sides - much the way a traditional wrapped package is folded.
Secure any loose ends with tape and proceed to the other part of the box. Repeat all steps.
Then you pack the box, and tie a ribbon. (Can you tell I was losing my natural light by now?)
Et Voila! A sweet, pretty gift that can be re-used. Also nice about this - when you go to a shower or any event with a large amount of gifts, yours will stand out for it's simple chic-ness. It's a skill I've honed and I always feel so proud for putting in the extra time to wrap my gifts when I set it on the table amongst all of the generic bags and tissue. In fact, I'd venture to say that if you can't spare the time to wrap a gift properly, it's well worth your money to pay someone to do it for you. Any story offers that option.
Because it's hard to tie a ribbon and take photos of the stages, one of these days I'll recruit my husband to take video. But that's another post for another day.