9 Gift-Wrapping Hacks to Save Your Sanity

9 Gift-Wrapping Hacks to Save Your Sanity

These quick and simple solutions will help you wrap gifts in a snap.


Don’t let wrapping woes take the joy out of gift giving. These nine tricks will help you save time, money, energy, and precious brain cells during the busiest time of the year and beyond.

1. Store bows, unspooled ribbons, and gift tags in a clear plastic, over-the-door shoe organizer. Your supplies won’t get crushed, tangled, or bent, and you’ll be able to see everything at a glance.

2. Protect tubes of wrapping paper by storing them in the legs of old tights. The fabric will keep the paper from ripping and unfurling, and you can drape the crotch of the tights over a hanger to keep the rolls from cluttering the floor of your closet.

3. Buy a big roll of kraft paper and you’ll never find yourself wrapping birthday gifts in holiday paper again. This classic brown wrapping makes a great base for gifts for all occasions and can be jazzed up in infinite ways. Decorate it with ribbon or string, markers or crayons, stickers, washi tape, stencils, stamps (store-bought or homemade using a cut potato), small toys or candy, DIY paper snowflakes, feathers, beads, pine branches, pinecones, flowers, or herbs. If you don’t have a roll of kraft paper, the plain inside of a grocery bag can create the same effect at no cost.

4. Use unconventional containers to trick snooping gift-guessers. Stuff PJs into empty wrapping paper tubes, wrap a tie in a clean mason jar, and give DVDs, CDs, or video games in empty cereal or cracker boxes. You’re on your own with that tennis racket.

5. Gift bags take all the fun out of ripping into a wrapped gift, but for the sake of practicality, it’s nice to keep some on hand in a variety of sizes just in case. Gift bags mean you don’t have to stress over odd-shaped presents (like that tennis racket!), and the bags can be reused several times, which is good for both the environment and your wallet.

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6. Fill a box with wrapping supplies and then don’t let them get co-opted for other uses throughout the house. For added security, make a tag with masking tape or make a “GIFT WRAPPING” label with a label maker so everyone knows where the supplies belong. Depending on how much effort you dedicate to gift wrapping, items in your box could include scissors, regular tape, double-stick tape, decorative tape, writing implements, adhesive remover, a ruler, a bone folder, and sticky notes (see no. 7 below).

7. If you’re the type who wraps multiple gifts at once and then deals with bows and tags in Phase 2, keep some sticky notes with your wrapping supplies so you can label the gifts immediately after you wrap them (and avoid having to unwrap everything to figure out what’s what).

8. Don’t forget to remove the price tags from your gifts! If you have trouble remembering this step, write yourself a little note on a spare gift tag and then tie it to the handle of your dedicated gift-wrapping scissors. Now, every time you start on a new gift, you’ll have a personalized note to help you out. (Save your fingernails by using a bone folder and/or adhesive remover to take off tags easily.)

9. Think of the person you know with the easygoing attitude and outrageous sense of humor. Now imagine giving him/her a gift wrapped so atrociously not even its mother would love it. This is your chance to use up paper scraps, ugly ribbon, and crumpled tissue paper all at once, so consider this a challenge and take your design to the extreme. If you present your hideous masterpiece to just the right person (maybe not your mother-in-law?), you’ll give everyone a laugh and you might even start a new tradition.

What gift-wrapping hacks have you used?

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