On the street
On a scale of one through 10, where would you rank your gift-wrapping skills? What’s the hardest part?
A nine, I have no problems doing it.
The courtesy gift-wrappers at Weaver's department store share their tricks of the trade.
Gift wrapping: For some it’s one of their favorite things of Christmas, a way to bundle up the joy of the season in shiny paper and cheery bows.
For others it’s a holiday nemesis with ends of paper that never seem to quite meet up and tape that sticks everywhere but the box.
Those of you who fall in the latter category might want to take some lessons from the pros.
On Wednesday, the Lawrence Journal-World visited the young women behind the gift-wrapping counter at Weaver’s Department Store, which still offers free gift wrapping. College students Paula Kyriakos, Lisa Hilmes, Samantha Otte and Megan Ballock spend their winter breaks ripping wrapping paper, folding edges and taping ribbon to packages.
“I love wrapping gifts,” said Kyriakos, who has wrapped hundreds, if not thousands, of packages in the four years she’s worked there.
Here are their tips:
Make sure you have enough paper.
For starters, the women at Weaver’s say to pull the paper tight across the package to make sure both edges meet. Then add a little extra so there’s room to fold under the ragged edges.
Use a box.
The rule at Weaver’s is if you bought the gift at the store, it can be wrapped. That has the women wrapping brooms, lamps and down comforters. When possible use a box, Ballock said. It’s much easier. But if a package just won’t fit inside the confines of a box, make sure you have enough paper to cover the gift. If you have to, use more than one piece of paper. One for the top and bottom and another one or two for the sides should get the job done.
Fold, fold and fold some more.
To begin wrapping, place the top of the box face down (that way it will be the first thing the person sees when they open the gift). Then tape one edge of the paper to the middle of the bottom of the box to keep the box from moving around. The next step is to fold down the other ragged edge to give the paper a smooth look. Tape the folded piece of paper to the bottom of the box. For the sides of the box, point out the corners, tuck under each edge and fold down. Place the top end over the top of the bottom end and tape together.
For a crisp-looking package, Hilmes suggests running your fingers along the edge of the box to form creases.
Add sparkle with ribbons and bows.
Weaver’s wrappers create a signature look by using a cut piece of ribbon and folding it half. They cross over the ends of the ribbon and tape it to the package. On the top, they add a bow.
“Everyone knows a Weaver’s swoop,” Kyriakos said.
All the extra scraps of paper get saved at Weaver’s. They are great for wrapping jewelry boxes and lipstick cases. They also don’t use much tape. Often just two pieces are used for each side of the box.
Consider a bag.
Even with these tips, if you just don’t have what it takes to wrap a present, use a gift bag. Stuff some tissue paper on top and tie on a ribbon to give it some flair.