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Gift Wrapping Mistakes

5 Mistakes You'll Make While Gift Wrapping (and How to Fix Them)

With the holiday season coming up, many of us may wonder not only what to get our friends and family, but how to present it to them. Gift wrapping expert and past winner of the Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest Alton DuLaney is here to provide tips to help any level wrapper ace this holiday season.

1. Missing Materials

Put in the Prep Work: Most people start wrapping gifts and realize halfway through they are missing materials or didn't think through the project enough, and ultimately need to start over, which can add to their gift-wrapping frustrations. Take a few minutes to think through how you want to wrap your gift before you start, and make sure that your work space is set up. I always start with laying out my paper, two sets of scissors — one for ribbon and one for gift wrap — and a versatile tape that seamlessly blends into wrapping papers regardless of design.

2. Too Much or Too Little Paper

Tackle Wrapping Paper, Once and For All: Another common mistake people make when they're wrapping boxes is that they end up with too little or too much paper. Avoid under- or over-cutting the paper by using the "four finger rule." Place four fingers on both sides of the package as a way to measure where you should be cutting the paper. But don't worry if you do find yourself in the middle of a gift-wrap snafu! If you cut your paper too short, add a colorful belly band to hide the gift wrap gap — an inexpensive way to fix a common issue! If you cut too much paper and you get thicker, bulkier ends, trim down the edges while you are wrapping to remedy the problem.

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3. Taking the "Easy Way Out" With Gift Bags

Upgrade the Easy Route: Gift bags are sometimes considered the "easy way out" when it comes to gift wrapping. However, the mistake is not taking the easy route, but rather not adding a creative flair to make your gift pop. You can show your imagination and thoughtfulness through the accessories you use to spruce up your gift bag. Think patterned washi tapes, a nice ribbon or bow to embellish the handle of the bag, or even a tissue paper that coordinates with the design of the bag. These are simple add-ons that can make any gift look holiday ready. Remember, it's important to put the present in presentation, even if it's an "easy" gift bag!

4. Hastily Wrapping Your Gifts

Don't Forget Your Finishing Touches: Once the gift is wrapped, many people think the process is over, but adding an embellishment takes your gift wrapping to the next level. For me, this means making sure that my gift has crisp, clean edges. I always press the edges and corners of the package with my thumb and forefinger to add the perfect finishing touch. This easy last step will really make all your gifts look professionally wrapped this holiday season!

5. Letting Nerves Get in the Way of Creativity

Be Creative: The biggest mistakes gift-wrappers can make during the holidays is to have a fear of messing up, and letting that fear get in the way of a fun gift wrap. If you're nervous you may mess up a more advanced wrap, experiment with different types of wrapping materials and embellishments instead to really wow your friends and family. For example, instead of a classic holiday paper, try using newspaper to wrap a gift for a friend that loves to read. You also can think outside the box when it comes to embellishments by topping with objects that align with the gift inside. Giving a pair of shoes for the holidays? Try looping a shoe Christmas ornament through a ribbon and tying onto your gift.

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