1. Choose good materials in good shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend lots, but be conscious of whether your materials look cheap or old. See-through paper is no good (unless that’s the look you’re going for), and when it comes to tape, dollar-store stuff just doesn’t stick. Reusing materials is a nice idea, but avoid torn tissue, wrinkled ribbons, and worn out papers and gift bags. Struggle choosing gift wrap that looks good together? Read "The Art of Choosing Gift Wrap: A 4-Step Guide to Picking Materials."

1. Choose good materials in good shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend lots, but be conscious of whether your materials look cheap or old. See-through paper is no good (unless that’s the look you’re going for), and when it comes to tape, dollar-store stuff just doesn’t stick. Reusing materials is a nice idea, but avoid torn tissue, wrinkled ribbons, and worn out papers and gift bags.

Struggle choosing gift wrap that looks good together? Read "The Art of Choosing Gift Wrap: A 4-Step Guide to Picking Materials."

2. Measure the right amount of paper. Paper should be large enough to wrap around the box with a little bit of overlap, plus enough overhang on either side to cover the ends of the box. Too much paper gets in the way and you end up with wrinkles and bulges; too little paper and, well, you can’t cover your box. Get the formula for cutting the right amount of paper.

2. Measure the right amount of paper. Paper should be large enough to wrap around the box with a little bit of overlap, plus enough overhang on either side to cover the ends of the box. Too much paper gets in the way and you end up with wrinkles and bulges; too little paper and, well, you can’t cover your box.

Get the formula for cutting the right amount of paper.

3. Pull paper tightly around the box. You don’t need to pull the paper as tight as a corset, but it should be snug and lie flat to avoid unsightly creases, gaps and bubbles.

3. Pull paper tightly around the box. You don’t need to pull the paper as tight as a corset, but it should be snug and lie flat to avoid unsightly creases, gaps and bubbles.

4. Fold over exposed edges of paper, both along the seam at the back and at either end. This hides crooked cuts for a cleaner look. Read more.

4. Fold over exposed edges of paper, both along the seam at the back and at either end. This hides crooked cuts for a cleaner look.

Read more.

5. Make crisp, straight folds to achieve a tidy look. If you have trouble getting a straight line, place a ruler on the paper and fold over it. Use the back of your fingernail or a bone folder to make the crease sharp.

5. Make crisp, straight folds to achieve a tidy look. If you have trouble getting a straight line, place a ruler on the paper and fold over it. Use the back of your fingernail or a bone folder to make the crease sharp.

6. Use double-sided tape whenever possible. Having the tape hidden makes for a less-cluttered look. Note that double-sided tape won’t stick to some papers, in which case you should test both clear tape as well as invisible tape to find which one shows less. Learn about the Top 3 Tapes for Gift Wrapping and When to Use Them.

6. Use double-sided tape whenever possible. Having the tape hidden makes for a less-cluttered look. Note that double-sided tape won’t stick to some papers, in which case you should test both clear tape as well as invisible tape to find which one shows less.

Learn about the Top 3 Tapes for Gift Wrapping and When to Use Them.

7. Cut ribbon ends cleanly. So they don’t fray, cut fabric ribbons on an angle using sharp scissors. Watch how.

7. Cut ribbon ends cleanly. So they don’t fray, cut fabric ribbons on an angle using sharp scissors.

Watch how.