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Gift-Wrapping 101

It's all about the packaging. Get a lesson on creating decorative bows and wrapping beautiful presents.

Gift-wrapping expert Sue Witkowski of The Container Store shares some foolproof tips on how to wrap the perfect gift box. Plus, learn how to make your own poufy pom-pom bows that will make the gifts under your tree stand out from all the rest!

Wrapping Tips from expert, Sue Witkowski:

1. So let's wrap! The method I'm using will create a wrapped package with very few seams showing. First, take the seam all the way to the edge of the box to determine the overlap and gently crease the gift wrap as a guide. It looks best to have the gift wrap go to the edge of the box instead of meeting in the middle. Flip the remainder of the gift wrap over to gently make another crease.

2. Double-sided tape is one of the best secrets of wrapping professionals! Double-sided tape is always hidden. Use one piece of double-sided tape and place it on the box in the center. Pull tightly and press down on the gift wrap to secure it to the box. Next, secure the gift wrap flap to the edge of the box with three pieces of double-sided tape. Pull tightly and press down to secure the gift wrap onto the box.

3. Next, I'll complete taping both ends of the box. Take one piece of double-sided tape, put it on the inside of the gift box and fold one side flap down. Always complete one end of the box and then move to the other end. Crease the first flap, flip the box over and then crease the second flap on the same end.

4. The first fold you want to secure is the flap from the bottom of the box. Fold the flap down and gently crease. Lift the top flap up and gently crease any excess gift wrap over the bottom of the box and fold it underneath. The fold will be taped down. Use three pieces of tape to secure the flap. Flip the box over and repeat the same process on the other end of the box. Gently crease the edges to give the box a crisp finished touch on all edges. Now you have a beautifully wrapped box!

How to Make a Bow:

1. I like to use 3 yards of ribbon for a 5" diameter Pom Pom Bow, which is a standard size. If you want a larger bow, you'll use more ribbon. Start by going down about 5" from the edge of the ribbon and begin folding the ribbon over, making big loops using your hands as a guide. Keep folding until all the ribbon is in a little spool. Don't be afraid to cut off extra ribbon at the end.

2. Be careful not to crease the ribbon, as you flatten and make two slanted cuts. The samples you have are already cut for you. If you're using wired ribbon, it may not be necessary to "notch" your ribbon. Repeat the process on the other end. It's really important to note that you have to leave about ¼" in the middle  don't cut all the way through to the center!

3. Bring the notched ends together in the middle. Take a wire tie or cut ribbon and twist or tie tightly around the middle.

4. To form the bow, pull the inside loop out and down on one side of the bow, and then pull the next inside loop up on the other side. Again, pull one loop down and then one loop up, twisting the loops alternately.

5. Repeat this process on the other side. Each time you pull out the loops, your bow is bigger and fuller. Fluff the bow a bit and cut the tails to the appropriate length in proportion to your bow.

6. To make pretty, professional cuts on the tails of the bow, fold the ribbon in half and cut upwards towards the bow.

7. Now, you have a beautifully wrapped box with a bow. Don't forget to add on tags, tie-ons and added-on embellishments -- for the perfect package presentation!

Sue Witkowski
The Container Store at Santana Row, San Jose

The Container Store hosts FREE in-store wrapping and bow demonstrations every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 4pm throughout the holidays.

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