How to gift wrap like a pro!

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

My friend Emily is a whizz at wrapping. She used to be a visual stylist at Fortnum and Mason – one day her duties would be creating beautiful window displays, the next she’d be wrapping Christmas presents for the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting. It’s little wonder she’s got an eye for detail.

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

This year I decided it was time to brush up on my wrapping skills. Naturally, the first person I thought of was Emily. She’s now helping small businesses with all their styling needs – so I made sure I was next in line. Want to learn the secrets of great wrapping too? Step this way…

What will you need?

Good, thick paper – Emily likes the old-fashioned brown kind.

A decent pair of scissors

Double-sided sticky tape

Ribbons, tags and greenery to decorate

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

Take your time and get things right

1. Lay your present on a sheet of paper and get a feel for its size – you’ll need a lot less paper than you think.

2. Pull the top of your paper forward over your box.

3. Fold the edge over the side of the box by about an inch.

4. Press down firmly to create a defined fold line. Repeat for the other edges.

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

Be precise. It’s a bit like origami

5. Unfold your paper. Your folded lines show you how long your piece of paper needs to be. Now you need to work out how wide it needs to be. Use a pencil to mark out the edge of your box on the paper, then add an extra allowance for the sides of the box. Make sure there’s just enough to cover the ends.

6. Cut out your piece of paper. It won’t look like much when you’re used to wasting as much paper as I do.

7. Now you’re ready to wrap. Lay your box back on your paper, carefully matching the fold lines. Place a piece of double-side tape on the top edge. Roll your parcel up towards this top edge and stick down as neatly as possible – ideally so it lines up one of your edges.

8. Neatly fold the ends of your parcel. Attach three pieces of double-sided tape to hold in place securely.

Now you know the basics, here’s the fun bit: making those neat parcels look pretty! 

First up, here’s a simple way to add greenery to your parcel:

Use a pencil to mark out the edge of your box on the paper, then add an extra allowance for the sides of the box. Make sure there's just enough to cover the ends of the box.

1. Take a piece of ivy and attach a small piece of double-sided tape to the stem. Trim it until it’s roughly the same size as the ivy stem.

2. Stick to your ribbon.

3. Attach an extra decoration to a piece of florist’s wire. Try pinecones or nuts.

4. Wrap the florists wire around the ribbon and twist to secure. Flatten the ends of the wire neatly under your ribbon.

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

Next, we created this beautifully traditional design with velvet ribbon and thistles fit for a Scottish castle… 

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

1. Start by attaching your ribbon. don’t worry about twisting and knotting – just use your trusty double-sided tape.

2. Secure the ends of the ribbon on the bottom of your parcel.

3. Twist florist’s wire around a small bunch of thistles, or greenery.

4. Attach to your ribbon using the wire, twisting and hiding ends.

5. Create a decorative bow to hide the wire. Cut a length of ribbon and pinch into a bow shape.

6. Hold this shape in place with wire – leaving the ends long. Add a small piece of ribbon to create the illusion of a bow. Fix in place with a piece of double-sided tape.

7. Use the long ends of wire to secure your ribbon to the parcel.

8. Trim the ends of your ribbon at a neat angle.

Feeling inspired? Here are some other ideas…

Add a hint of luxury with copper…

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

Create a gorgeous children’s gift with a blackboard pen and felt shapes…

Emily Bradley, Bear Cub Creative: tips for wrapping

I love all of Emily’s ideas and I’m feeling inspired to tackle my own pile of wrapping! They’ll be no excuses for wonky corners and torn paper this year…

A big thank you to Emily Bradley of Bear Cub Creative for her help with this post. Emily is available for window dressing, product styling, shop layouts, training and event styling.

 

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