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Start Wrapping Earlier
Say goodbye to Christmas chaos this year. Follow these simple gift-wrapping strategies to give family and friends one-of-a-kind packages this holiday.
Avoid a gift-wrapping time crunch and start wrapping gifts as you buy them. Add ribbons, bows, and tags later. Label presents with sticky notes so that you don't forget who gets what.
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Store Supplies in a Gift Wrap Bin
Don't let gift wrap from previous holidays get lost in closets, the bottoms of drawers, and other obscure locations. Keep your tissue paper, twine, and wrapping paper organized and accessible in a single bin (one that's large enough to accommodate wrapping-paper rolls); place smaller bins filled with labels and tags inside.
After-Christmas sales are the perfect time to stock up on paper and trimmings for the following year.
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Gather Gift-Wrapping Supplies
In addition to gift wrap, you'll need a variety of other items to help you get professional-quality results. Find the essential supplies on the next few slides.
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Use a T-Square
Use a T-square, available in 24- and 36-inch sizes, to help make straight cuts across wide swaths of wrapping paper.
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Use a Rotary Cutter
A rotary cutter cuts long straight or decorative edges on wrapping paper. Use it with a ruler to get quick, even cuts; swap out the blades to create decorative pinked and wavy edges.
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Use a Self-Healing Cutting Mat
Essential when using a rotary cutter or a utility knife, a self-healing cutting mat protects surfaces, keeps blades from dulling, and resists wear.
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Use Double-Sided Tape
Indispensable for wrapping, double-sided tape stays put and out of sight.
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Use a Clear Quilting Ruler
This see-through ruler, paired with a cutting mat, is the best way to cut your wrapping paper. The ruler makes it easy to center patterns on paper or lines on a sheet of labels; the grid lets you double-check alignment.
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Organize Your Non-Paper Items
Once you have all of your supplies, it's time to organize them. Martha's favorite containers for everything except the paper are shoebox-size stackable plastic or metal bins.
Divide the supplies into categories and label the bins accordingly. If you prefer, you can devote a small chest of drawers to your supplies, or, if you don't have a lot of items, use a sturdy tool chest with dividers or drawers -- this has the advantage of being portable.
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Recycled Gift Wrap
Don't toss away all the wrapping paper and ribbon that once covered other gifts. Instead, run it through a shredder (cut to size first, if needed) and use it for lining gift boxes or bags.
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Have a lot of gifts to give this year? Assign each family member a different color paper, and you won't even need gift tags. This is a fun way for everyone to identify his or her presents.
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Choose a Palette
If you don't have enough material to color-code, try choosing a palette to unify the gifts you wrap -- then vary the materials; everything you give will have your signature for the season.
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Kraft Paper Gift Wrap
Use kraft paper for an attractive yet sturdy wrapping. Once wrapped, add special trimmings and gift tags to your package.
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The secret to a beautifully wrapped box? Not using too much paper, which causes bulky, sloppy folds. Before trimming, wrap the paper around the box -- the ends should overlap just a couple of inches. When folded over the ends, the paper should extend a little more than halfway.Watch Martha Wrap a Perfect Gift
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Make a Box Tower
Make a bunch of boxes look elegant by stacking and tying them up in two giant ribbons. Each box is wrapped first in colored tissue paper, then frosted over with a sheet of glassine, available by the sheet or roll from archival-supply houses.
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Wrapping a Soft Item
To wrap something soft, such as a sweater or scarf, without a box, cut a piece of cardboard to size and place the garment on top. The base will help you make clean corners and keep the paper from sagging or ripping.
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Use Decorative Tape
Forget ribbon, this decorative tape gets the job done just fine. Made in Japan using traditional washi paper, the 50-foot rolls come in two widths and 125 cheerful colors and graphic patterns that transform any solid wrapping paper into something special.
You can buy rolls of Happy Tape individually or in a themed set and combine them to create vibrant and charming color combinations.
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Make Your Own Gift Tags
Make unique gift tags by cutting out designs or whole scenes using a decorative craft punch.
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Quick Gift Tags
Don't have time for homemade gift tags? Adorn store-bought tags with ribbon and greenery for an extra-special touch.
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Use Fabric Remnants
Transform fabric remnants into festive ribbons or unique embellishments on gifts.
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Store Wrapping Paper
When you're finished wrapping this year, make sure to store your supplies right away. Keep the old cardboard tubes that gift wrap comes wound around to store large, loose sheets of paper; use a rubber band to keep the paper from unwinding from the roll. You can also store papers inside wide, cardboard mailing tubes or poster tubes, which will prevent edges and corners from getting frayed, but it's hard to see what's inside, so don't forget to label.
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