Gift wrapping can be a hassel or a fun way to express your creativity. Either way, these tips can help make the task more enjoyable. (Pixabay)

Holiday gift wrapping tips and tricks

Streamline your process to avoid the hassle

Checking off all of the items on your holiday shopping list is a great feeling. But sitting down to wrap all those parcels can be a bit daunting.

While some find it relaxing and a chance to embrace their artistic side, others find wrapping gift after gift a bit tedious. Whichever side you land on, here are a few tips to help streamline the process and make the task more enjoyable – or at the very least tolerable.

When it comes time to start, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to hunt for tape, scissors, ribbons and other supplies while mid-present. Make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need within reach before you sit down. You can even set up a temporary table or TV tray near where you are working to contain all of the tags, bags, tape and more, so it doesn’t get in your way.

With that in mind, it’s also important to choose the right location to set up shop. A large, flat, sturdy surface – such as a dinning room table – is preferable to wrap parcels on. Avoid wrapping on surfaces such as carpet or rugs as they can give gift wrap a wrinkled look and can increase the amount of time needed to wrap. Those surfaces also make it easier to accidentally tear or rip gift wrap.

Wrapping a square or rectangular object is the easiest way to start. If you’ve mastered this but start to falter when it comes to oddly shaped items, try placing them into plain boxes before wrapping. Gift bags are also a great alternative for these types of gifts and can be a great time saver if you’re in a hurry.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spends roughly $800 on holiday-related purchases. That means there’s a lot of gift wrap that can be required, which can also add to that total. A great cost-effective option is wrapping gifts in clean plain paper which can be customized with personalized sketches, stamps or a fancy bow. You can also tie these packages with twine and a sprig of evergreen to give parcels a rustic look.

Black Press sells what are referred to as “roll ends” which are last section of the large paper rolls that all of Black Press’ publications, including the Goldstream News Gazette, are printed on. These rolls are only available at the press in Saanich, 200-770 Enterprise Cres., but are a great cost-effective alternative to traditional gift wrap. Just call ahead to make sure there are some in stock – 250-727-2460.

Alternatively, if you think gift wrap is wasteful you can repurpose other materials into beautiful gift wrap that can be used again and again. A square of leftover fabric, for example, or a piece of an old t-shirt or sweater can be transformed into a piece of art housing a present. Fabric bends and moves which makes it more forgiving when wrapping and you can gather the ends and tie them into a bow as a way to skip using tape altogether as well.

Where a lot of people stumble is labeling parcels while wrapping. Try wrapping each recipient’s gifts in a different colour or style. That way you don’t have to tag each parcel. Just make sure you jot down a key so you can decode this colour system when it’s time to unwrap.

But wrapping presents doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’re really short on time or don’t want to deal with the added stress, a lot of local businesses offer gift wrapping in-store for a small fee. A number of organizations will also be in local shopping centres wrapping gifts by donation. This is a great option and you can support a good cause while you’re at it.

Find the entire holiday edition of West Shore Family online.

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