As an online gifting company, we have our fair share of knowledge about gift wrapping, décor additions, present personalising and overall, creative ways of preparing gifts for your loved ones. Take a read below on what we think are the essentials for all things gifting related! We’ve also added some of our favourite Mother’s Day gifts, each of which has been beautifully wrapped by our expert gifting fairies. To begin, we asked our head of gifting Tayyieba Scott some ‘wrapped up’ questions:
What are the 5 most important tools you need to wrap a gift:
- The product, of course. Take into account the size of the present and the shape.
- Wrapping paper, enough to cover the whole product. You can also use newspaper, old brown paper, or even a black plastic bag.
- Scissors, right or left-handed. We suggest long-bladed scissors, not a standard paper cutter. We use an 11cm bladed scissors.
- Tape, we choose the pre-cut option that you can buy from any stationery shop. It should be the one that comes with the tape holder for easy use.
- Ribbon, raffia or string. This can also help hold the wrapping in place in certain hard to reach spots.
How long does an average wrapping of a gift take?
It depends on the gift, some take 5 minutes but others can take about 20 minutes. The truth is a square gift is a simple structure with easily foldable corners. A hat box full of chocolates takes that much longer because we have to fold pleat’s into the wrapping paper and sometimes need an extra set of hands to fold.
What is the record amount of gifts you have wrapped in 1 hour?
This has never been tested but it could be a great team building exercise or competition for my department. I do know that the most hampers packed by one person in a day was about 90 hampers. But personally, I have wrapped 78 square chocolate boxes in just one hour. Once you get into a rhythm, the process does quicken up.
Advice for people who prefer to wrap their own gift
- Always make sure you cut the wrapping to the correct size and that your sides look neat and tidy.
- Have the correct tools on hand.
- Add embellishments.
- Don’t cut the ribbon off the roll until your bow has been made, or else it might be too short.
Why do you think gifts should be wrapped versus placed in a paper bag with tissue paper?
The way we see it, a gift is personal and has the potential to be more than just a physical hand over, it is an exciting experience. For that reason, the first interaction is ‘sight’. We believe that a paper bag is impersonal and the easy way out. Picking colours, textures, and prints is all part of the gifting process and the sentimental aspect is what we are big on! So, take some time and make the effort.
What are the top 3 rules for wrapping gifts?
- Make sure that your measurements of your wrapping are the correct size for your gift.
- Carefully fold paper to accommodate the size.
- Once you are ready to tape, trim off the excess paper to contour the gift.
What would you use instead of wrapping paper to wrap a gift?
I have personally been in the position where I didn’t have enough wrapping paper and knew people would expect me of all people to have the correct tools. So, I did some research. I took a double piece of newspaper, sprayed painted it with silver spray paint, let it dry for 15 minutes and then used it. I have also seen a gift that was wrapped with a black plastic bag, it was quite different as she cut out triangle’s in certain places so it looked like a textured and patterned black wrapping paper.
What else can you place on wrapping paper if you don’t have ribbon at home?
- Glitter the gift- use some Pritt glue on the top side of the wrapped gift paper. Draw vertical, horizontal or a diagonal line and then shake some glitter onto the sticky lines. Leave to dry and then shake off excess glitter into the bin. You can also make circular, heart-shaped or square lines and do as above. This is a nice touch for baby gifts, toddlers, young girls and anniversary gifts.
- Add a flower if need be, again if it’s to a personal friend or relative. You can literally dry out any flower but we do, however, suggest a rose. Place the rose in the middle of a thick book and close it for 24 hours. Let the flower dry and then attach with double-sided tape. You can also use a fresh cut flower if you need some extra pazaaz and don’t have time to dry out the flower.
- Stickers for children. Children love animation and bright colours. Use a primary colour wrapping paper such as blue, green, yellow or red and add stickers wherever you see fit.
- Lego – use double-sided tape to create the initial of the receiver of the gift.
- A lavender sprig. This I use when it is a female family member.
- Wire bows or wire squiggles.
- Punched paper circles. Using a stationery punch, punch holes in colourful paper. You can use a variety of coloured papers, and stick them on with glue or Prestic. This gives the polka dot effect.
- Food colouring cotton balls. This was something my niece learnt in art class. They took circular cotton balls and dipped them in cups of food colouring. They let them dry through the day and then had multiple variations and tones of colours to use on cards and wrapping paper. She stuck them on with double-sided tape and it looked like a 3D pom-pom parcel.
- Splash paint. This is an easy technique. Just dip the brush into some oil based paint, pull back the bristles and release onto the paper. Do this outside in the garden so that there is less of a mess.
- Spray painted bubble wrap cut into shapes. This was one of my best intentions, I had bubble wrap from the gift I was wrapping and some old red spray paint. I cut out some heart shapes, stood 15 cm’s away from the wrap and started to lightly spray as I didn’t want to burn the plastic. It dried within minutes and I stuck it on a gift. It was so unique that I still get comments from my best friend about this creative gift wrapping choice.
- Tea dyed paper cutouts. This I used once only but had a cool effect. I took white printer paper, dipped a tea bag in some hot water and immediately stroked the white paper with the tea bag. This had a beige and brown tone and made for a rustic option. I cut the dried paper into six miniature cards that flapped open and stuck them on the wrapped gift and wrote six reasons why I was thankful that my aunt had us over for the long weekend. They become known as lost vintage love letters.
Do you dream about wrapping gifts?
No, the truth is I often Pinterest new creative ways of wrapping, tips, tricks and hacks that will make our wrapping system at NetFlorist quicker and easier. I also am a visual person, probably why I do what I do, but I like to watch videos of how and why we can wrap gifts in a new and improved way.