How to Properly Wrap a Gift

We only used five pieces of tape to wrap this present. Read on to learn how we did it! We'll also show you how to wrap a present if you don't have enough paper.

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An hour or less




Less than $20


Yes, there is a correct way to wrap a present! Spread some holiday cheer with this step-by-step guide for how to wrap a gift.

Tools Required

  • Paper cutter
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Materials Required

  • Present Box
  • Wrapping Paper

presentFamily Handyman

Make the wrapping part of the gift itself with a beautifully wrapped present. It’s easy to wrap a present if you make all your folds and cuts carefully and when you’re done, top it off with a bow!

Spread some holiday cheer with this step-by-step guide for how to wrap a gift. We’ll also show you how to wrap a present if you don’t have enough paper.

Plus, check out these eye-catching holiday lights on homes from around the world.

Project step-by-step (13)

Step 1

Measure Out the Paper

  • Measure out wrapping paper by rolling the present box width wise along the rolled out paper.
    • Note: Do not cut the wrapping paper from the roll just yet.
  • Instead, place the box in the middle of the wrapping paper top side down and make sure the paper goes all the way up both sides when folded.

measure out wrapping paper

Step 2

Cut the Paper

  • Once the paper is measured out, cut wrapping paper with a safety design paper cutter along the grid line that is closest to the top side of the box.
  • If your wrapping paper doesn't have a grid line to cut to, use the edge of the wrapping paper roll to cut a straight line.

cut wrapping paper

Step 3

Fold Over One Edge

folding wrapping paper seam

Step 4

Tape Along Folded Seam

  • To make the wrapping have clean-edges do not tape the paper directly to the box.
  • Instead, tape the folded seam along the paper on the edge of the box.
    • Note: This method gives the present wrapping a more professional look.
  • Finish taping along this side of the present.

tape folded seam present

Step 5

Tuck in the Paper on the Corners

  • To prevent the box from sliding while wrapping the sides, place the box on its side.
  • Next, push down the paper on either side edge of the box, so the paper holds the box in place.

tuck in present corners

Step 6

Fold the End and Tape the Flaps Together

  • Lay the present flat once again.
  • Once the ends are hugging the corners of the box, you will notice four triangle shape folds on each of the box's corners.
  • Use your fingers to crease each fold and fold the upper and lower flap together.
  • Bring the lower flap up to box and crease the overhang and tuck it under the paper and secure with tape.

folding upper and lower present flaps

Step 7

Repeat on the Other Side

  • Turn the box around and repeat this exact same process on the other side of the present.
  • Push the present corners inward.
  • Crease all triangle folds and tape the folds together.
  • Conceal the folds with tape.

tape present folds

Step 8

Crisp the Paper Edges

  • For crisp edges, crease all sides of the box with fingertips.
  • Use your fingertips and not your fingernails to crease the edges.

Plus, stay organized with this gift wrap organizer.

crisp wrapping paper edges

Step 9

How to Wrap a Present if You Don't Have Enough Paper

  • Place the present in the middle of the wrapping paper at a diagonal.
  • Make sure each side of wrapping paper meets each corner of the present.

wrap a present with not enough paper

Step 10

Fold Corners In

  • Fold the wrapping paper corners in and tape them to the present box.

fold corners in

Step 11

Fold Edges Flush

  • Fold the edges of the wrapping paper up on the side until they are flush with the edge of the box. Secure with tape.
  • Repeat this step on the other side of the present.

fold present edges flush

Step 12

Fold in Final Edge

  • With the final edge, repeat the same idea of folding the bottom corners in enough, so that the bottom edges will lay flush against the adjoining corners.

fold present edges flush to side

Step 13

Secure With Tape

  • Fold the final flap in across the top of the box and secure it with tape.

Up next, if you're still looking for the perfect gift, we've got some great ideas for everyone on your list.

Secure final present flap