How To Properly Measure Paper for Wrapping Presents

The most common mistake people make when wrapping is measuring their paper wrong. Have too little and, well, you’ll have a hard time covering your box. Too much and you’ll struggle with bulky folds. Cut the right amount and you’re on your way to a perfectly wrapped gift.


The width of your paper should be equal to the width of your box, plus twice the height. For example, for a 12-inch wide box that’s three inches high, the paper should be as wide as 12+3+3 — so 18 inches.


The height of your paper needs to be enough to wrap around the box, plus one to three inches to allow for overlap. For example, if the three-inch-high box is four inches deep, the paper should be 3+4+3+4+2 — so 16 inches tall. The easiest way to measure this is to roll your box along the paper.