How to Wrap a Present

Sure, you can show up to a holiday get-together with a bare present. You could also arrive without pants on. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Here’s a step-by-step guide to gift wrapping—so you can drop some serious paper this season. (Figuratively, of course.)


  • Wrapping paper of choice
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Twine, ribbon or a festive bow
  • Cinnamon stick + rosemary (optional, but snazzy)

Easy Gift-Wrapping Alternative

If you’re a true master of your domain, you’ll already have the above items lying around your place. Wrapping paper can be store-bought, but it doesn’t have to be. For a cool alternative, try using a recycled brown paper grocery bag. To garnish your package with some bespoke holiday flair, try a cinnamon stick and a sprig of rosemary.


Rule numero uno: Make sure the price tag is removed from the gift. (Your aunt doesn’t need to know how much that “expensive-looking decorative soap” really cost.) Save yourself the embarrassment and get to peeling.

Whatever you do, make sure the price tag is removed from your gift.


First thing’s first, figure out how much paper you’ll need. Not measuring wastes paper and time. Here’s how to do it properly:


  1. Unroll the paper and lay the gift facedown.
  2. Fold the paper’s pre-cut side over one half of the present.
  3. Fold the paper’s rolled side over the other half. This estimates the amount you’ll need to cover the full back of your present. Unfold and cut along your imaginary line. (Hint: It’s better to overestimate here, and keep your scissors handy for trimming the excess.)
  4. Once cut, fold the two sides together and secure in the middle with tape.

But hey, go easy on the tape. You don’t want to end up plastering yourself to your present.


Now, let’s take care of those open ends.


Here’s how to stop a nosy nephew from getting a sneak peek:

  1. Starting with an open end facing you, fold in the right side of the paper to make a triangle against the edge of your present. Repeat with the left side.
  2. Fold the triangular flap up and secure with tape.
  3. Repeat with the other open end.


Want to add some rustic charm? Outfit your present with string or twine.


  1. Lay your wrapped present facedown. Make sure your pre-cut twine length is about 5x as long as the box. (You can also use ribbon, too, depending on your style.)
  2. Put the twine on the top of the gift and center it.
  3. Wrap it around to the opposite side of the present. Cross the two ends of the twine and pull it tight.
  4. Turn the box back over so the cross is on the bottom. Pull the twine up over the two remaining sides.
  5. Tie the twine into a tight bow, using your finger to hold it down while you’re crossing the loops.

For added flair, use the excess twine to tie the cinnamon stick on top—and don’t forget your gift tag.

Ready to be a wrap star but fresh out of gifts? Take your style quiz, sign up for a Fix and let us know who’s left on your shopping list. Your expert stylist will find the perfect gift for the men in your life (we style women and kids, too). Shipping, returns and exchanges are always free. Gift-wrapping still not your forte? If wrapping presents isn’t for you (hey man, you tried), go with a Stitch Fix gift card. It’s quick to print or email and will arrive just in time for the holidays. 

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