Author and expert Jane Means runs gift-wrapping courses throughout the UK, and has worked with the likes of Dior, Harrods and Selfridges, to name but a few. Who better, then, to give us her tips on making our Christmas gifts look as beautiful on the outside as they do inside…
Buying your materials early gives you plenty of choice. A perfect tool kit would include sharp scissors, a handy tape dispenser, double-sided tape, wrapping, tags and ribbon. Avoid buying Christmas patterned paper so you can use it throughout the year. Choose an alternative like dots or check.
Writing your tags first ensures you don’t forget what you are wrapping. This is one of the most common mistakes people make when wrapping multiple presents at Christmas.
If buying sheets of paper, they should always be gently rolled (with the pattern on the inside) so you don’t get unwanted creases.
Christmas, with its plentiful packaging, leftover food and gift wrap galore can be a significant offender when it comes to rubbish. Some simple tweaks can give old paper a new lease of life (plus make your presents look beautifully unique).
Adding pleats into paper (even plain white) will look super luxurious with some crisp ribbon to accompany it. Likewise, brown paper is a classic favourite and can be teamed with pretty much any colour ribbon or accessory. It also looks great with foraged foliage – at no extra cost.
I always fold the edges under to hide away rough paper edges. For boxes, try and disguise the seam on the edge of the box and always use double-sided tape.
The biggest mistake is using too much paper and sticky tape. Visually measure the gift beforehand and try to disguise your tape under ribbon if you aren’t using double-sided tape. Presentation is everything.
For really bulky and large shapes, wrap the item in a paper tablecloth. It is much easier than joining paper and is inexpensive.
Ready-made bows are a great choice for the time-poor. Go the extra mile by adding personal touches such as a bunch of herbs for a keen gardener or even a silk scarf for someone special. If you’ve a whole host of tree decorations that you never use, recycle old baubles and decorations to give your gifts an eye-catching finish.
Find Jane in person at her pop up Belgravia gift-wrapping shop in December, at 14 Motcomb Street, SW1.
Discover more festive inspiration over on our website.