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  • Steff Booth

Christmas gifts, all wrapped up!

It’s that time of year again. Santa has done all the Christmas gift shopping and now just needs to get everything wrapped up ready for the big day. With a little bit of preparation and the right tools, you too can get Christmas all wrapped up in a flash. Here are my tips on getting ready for the big wrap:

Wrapping Paper

Although my family will be getting really sick of it by now, I invested in a few bulk rolls of paper a few years ago. It’s definitely not as pretty but it’s so much more cost effective than the 2 and 3 metre rolls that you would get from the major retailers at Christmas time. I try to liven it up a bit every year by using different coloured ribbon and tags but there’s still a few years left to go on my current rolls!

Paper is a much easier option to use than foil, so I would stay well clear of that – you need at least two pairs of hands to wrap with foil so leave well alone unless you have help. Some wrapping paper comes with a grid pattern on the reverse which makes it easier for cutting in a straight line but you don’t usually find out that your paper has this feature until you open the pack.

I would always go for rolls of paper rather than the folded alternative. Although folded paper is easier to transport and store, it is only really useful for small gifts and even then, the fold will spoil the effect of your wrapped gift.


Anyone who spends any amount of time wrapping gifts has to invest in a tape dispenser of some kind. They save you time by making quick work of providing the right amount of tape when you need it, they save you money in the long run by reducing the amount of wasted tape which gets wrapped around itself and they save your frustration by preventing tape, paper and fingers getting stuck together at the most crucial moment.

  • A tape block is a heavy dispenser which holds a roll of tape. A cutter at the end of the block, allows you to pull off the size of tape you require using only one hand so you can hold the paper in place with the other hand

  • A personal tape dispenser attaches to your hand/wrist and is filled with pre-cut pieces of tape. As you pull a piece of tape out, the next one is automatically ready for you to use when you need it. This was my preferred method for years, as you never lose where you’ve left the tape

  • As my wrapping skills have improved over the years, I now prefer to use double sided tape which allows you to create a ‘seamless’ package, especially when wrapping straight edged gifts


If you’re using a tape dispenser, you really only need one pair of sharp scissors with which to cut your wrapping paper and ribbon, and the larger the better. If you don’t have a tape dispenser, it’s better to use a smaller pair of scissors to cut your tape so that the glue doesn’t build up on the blades – this may affect the neatness when cutting paper.

Really sharp scissors will allow you to ‘glide’ down the paper without having to move your hand in a cutting motion – this makes for a much straighter cut.


Nothing makes a parcel look more special than co-ordinating ribbon. Available in a host of colours, materials and sizes, ribbon will really finish off a gift whether for a male or female recipient.


I once had a friend who was very pleased with themselves after wrapping all their Christmas gifts in record time only to find that they hadn’t tagged any of them. This resulted in having to reopen many of the gifts to identify which gift was for whom before re-wrapping them.

Instead of paying an inflated price for pre-cut tags, why not make your own? Some ideas:

  • Disposable luggage tags

  • Stick on / transfer lettering

  • Shapes cut from last year’s Christmas cards

  • Squares of colour co-ordinated cardboard

Other Frippery

I’d like to think that I’m pretty good at wrapping gifts but I have to admit that my sister is definitely the queen of wrapping. Each Christmas, she amazes us with fancy paper, ribbons, tissue, tassels, cellophane bags, bells, bows and all sorts of other frippery. And it makes me smile to know that we both recycle every year. We’re not quite as bad as my Nana who used to iron and reuse wrapping paper but I have seen the same ribbon appear on more than one occasion.

It's back-breaking work and some people just hate wrapping gifts so if you'd rather be making mulled wine than wrapping gifts, give Girl Friday Harrow a call - she'll be happy to help!



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