Wrap a gift using just two pieces of tape
I’m a master wrapper. I have no professional credentials, but as a kid, I was in charge of wrapping a good portion of the family Christmas gifts—even the ones meant for me. But you don’t need 25 years of practice to wrap like a pro—here are my (very obsessive) secrets:
1. Select the right paper. It should be stiff enough to crease, but not too bulky. The thin stuff rips too easily, but the ultra-thick paper practically requires packing tape to tame.
2. Unroll a portion of the paper and simulate wrapping the gift so you know how much to use, and cut accordingly. Allow for a little extra so you have enough to fold the edges under (more on that later).
3. Place the package upside down in the middle of the paper. Bring each of the long sides up so the edges meet in the center of the package. Make sure to fold the edges here—raw paper edges are a sign of an amateur wrapping job.
4. Sharply crease each flap (again, no raw edges!), then fold in at the ends to make two triangles. The top triangle should fold down first so the second triangle points toward the bottom of the box. Fold the tip of the point to make a straight edge and place the tape across it horizontally.
5. Adorn with a ribbon, not a sticky pre-tied bow (slacker move), and arrange it to cover the tape on the sides and the seam along the bottom. Yeah, I know, it’s totally anal. But that’s how you achieve master-wrapper status—at least in my family.