Gift Wrapping 101

We’re probably all finished or at least down to the wire with gift buying and are ready to wrap (pun intended) it all up!

When I working in retail many, many years ago (20), gift bags were not the way to go.  One of my tasks working in the display department was to wrap empty boxes for displays and do the gift-wrap wall so customers would gladly pay for a “professionally” wrapped gift.  Trust me.  I was good at gift-wrapping.  And I learned a few things along the way.

Believe it of not, 99.7%* of gift recipients prefer to unwrap a gift instead of pull it out of a tissue-paper-filled bag.

What do you prefer to do? Unwrap or dig-for-your gift?

I thought so. You prefer to unwrap a gift.  Who wants to dig for their gift unless you are an archeologist?

So, here are my (ergonomically correct) thoughts on gift wrapping.

  1. Decide now if you want to wrap all of “John’s or Jane’s” gifts in the same paper/ribbon color or if you want to use whatever paper you have on hand.  If you decide on one particular paper pattern/color per recipient, you will need at least one roll of said pattern/color of paper devoted to each recipient.  Or specific color of ribbon.  I love the two-sided wrapping paper!
  2. Do NOT wrap gifts at the dining room/ kitchen table.  The typical table height of 29-30 inches is not high enough and you will hurt your back.  Do wrap at a 35-38 inch tall counter.  Your back will thank you.
  3. Gather ALL your wrapping supplies together: paper, tape, scissors, ribbons/bows, tags, and/or any other embellishments you wish/have on hand.
  4. Write out the tags BEFORE you wrap any thing.
  5. Wrap the BIG gifts first so you can use any scraps of left over paper for the smaller gifts.
  6. Tag each gift as soon as you finish wrapping it.  Seriously, you will forget even if you have a specific color/pattern of paper for each recipient.
  7.  Attach ribbons/baker’s twine/premade bows/embellishments to the package.
  8. Stack gifts under the tree OR hide gifts.

Good luck with your gift wrapping.

I actually do all of these things before I wrap any gifts.  I have learned the hard way to not trust my memory. And my back thanks me every year.

BTW, Mr. Aitch either gifts with gift bags or has the gift sent already wrapped.  Some people just don’t have the confidence with paper wrapping and that’s ok.

*made up factoid

Professional gift wrapper

When I worked in retail many years ago, one of my duties was to wrap boxes in the store’s approved gift wrap to be displayed on a large board.  Customers would then select the package they liked and the professional gift wrapper would wrap their purchase.

wrap 3During the Christmas season, the store hired a part-time person or two to work just in the gift wrap area in the evenings and weekends.  And I would help out during the day hours.  Sometimes I would also come in on the weekends to work as well.

My daughter was hired two years in a row for the job.  She and I watched the video on the correct way to wrap a gift.  It was quite interesting.  We watched how many pieces of tissue were used to line a shirt box.  How to wrap regular sized boxes.  How to wrap odd sized boxes.  How to fold in the corners nice and straight.  How to make a perfect bow.  No stick-on bows for sure!

wrap 5

The gift wrap service was not free so it had to be worth it.

Yes, we were professional gift wrappers.

The gift wrap area had all the papers on a rack so all you had to do was unroll the paper and pull on the cutting edge to get it separated from the rest of the roll.  There was a shelf under the wrapping surface with the store logo-imprinted tissue paper.  Ribbons were also on a hanging bar with a pair of scissors near by.  A tape dispenser, gift tags, and gift embellishments were also close by.

Shirt boxes, lingerie boxes, large boxes for towels and coats, sweater boxes and tie boxes were stacked on the floor for easy reach.

It was almost perfect.

The only issue was that the wrapping table was too low and my back hurt after wrapping gifts for several hours.

When gift bags became all the rage, people stopped wrapping gifts.  That area in the store where I used to work no longer exists and I’m sure it doesn’t exist in a lot of stores any more.

wrap 7

But it’s much more fun for a child to rip open a wrapped gift than it is to reach in a gift bag and pull out the gift.

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

I love to wrap gifts.  It’s an art.

So do you wrap or bag?