How to wrap your Christmas presents

When it comes to Christmas presents it's the thought that counts, and there are few better ways to demonstrate your kindness than by lovingly wrapping your Christmas presents. We've put together a little how-to guide to help you make your gifts look extra special, whether you choose to use gift boxes and bags, or you opt for traditional paper.

Accessories like bows and ribbons will add a little extra flourish to your presents, while tags will help you tell your wrapped gifts apart. Take a look at our guide and you'll soon have elegant presents to place under the Christmas tree for friends and family this year.

Wrapping gift boxes

Christmas presents come in all shapes and sizes. This means that some items are more awkward to wrap than others. One way to get around this - as well as adding an extra surprise for the lucky recipient - is to put the present in a gift box. This will ensure they have no idea what it is while making your job easier at a busy time of year.

Wrapping a square or rectangular box is relatively simple. A simple way to help cut down on creases and keep the process easy is to wrap the present on a hard surface like a table or wooden floor, as opposed to a carpet. All wrapping paper from Tesco comes with grid lines on the underside of the paper to help make the process even easier.

Next you will want to unroll a length of the wrapping paper and place the gift in the centre topside down. Make sure there is enough paper at each side to cover the box with an overlap of an inch or two. Fold both sides of the paper over the box, covering it completely. Try and keep the edges of the paper parallel with the edges of the box. Then secure the two edges of the paper with sticky tape.

The next step is to wrap the ends of the box. There should be sufficient extra paper at either end to do this. For neatness it is advisable to have the same amount of extra paper at either end. If one side is longer than the other, trim it with scissors. A ruler will help you to measure the wrapping paper.

Place your fingers in the middle of the excess paper on one side and fold it inwards to meet the box tightly. At this point there will be some paper left sticking out at the top and the bottom - make a crease along the top and a crease along the bottom. Repeat this process for the other side of the box.

Once you have finished these steps you can fold the top section down and the bottom section up so that they meet. Stick them together, using double-sided tape for an even neater finish. You will need to do this at both ends of the gift and you should be left with expertly wrapped presents.

Wrapping awkwardly shaped gifts

If you don't have a box available for an awkwardly shaped present,a gift bag can be a lovely alternative. But, if you want to persevere, wrapping unevenly shaped presents is definitely possible with a little creative thinking.

One trick is to place the item on a large sheet of wrapping paper and pull all the edges inwards to gather them in the middle of the gift. Tie them together with a nice ribbon to create a sack-like effect. This is certainly festive and also offers a great way to wrap multiple gifts at once. Tesco stock a range of matching bags, ribbons, and tags that should be ideal for a variety of different items.

Another method is to wrap the different sections of the present separately and simply stick the sections together. This works well with larger items like tennis rackets or bikes and tricycles that come with accessories. Be aware that it might be obvious what's under the wrapping!

Ribbons and bows

A well wrapped present with nice wrapping paper is a lovely touch in itself, but if you want to go a step further you can accessorise it with a bow or a ribbon. These can be adhesive decorations that simply stick to the wrapping paper, but if you are feeling adventurous why not use a colourful piece of ribbon to create a bow for a timeless gift wrapping idea?

First things first, you need to buy a ribbon that's long enough. Find a ribbon that is twice as long as the width, length and height of your item put together, with enough extra to tie the bow. This will give you plenty of material to create the classic ribbon-tied look.

To begin, place the ribbon along the top of the present at the centre. Now bring the ribbon underneath and back over so that it is effectively doubled across the centre of the gift. Hold the ribbon at the centre and pull it across so it makes a right angle to itself.

Hold the fold with your thumb and lift the box up and pass the ribbon around the gift width ways till it meets in the middle giving you a cross shaped pattern. Then take the end of the ribbon and pass it underneath the cross at the top to tighten.

This should leave you with two ends of ribbon at a diagonal angle to the right angled cross at the centre. Create the bow by tying these two ends together. To make a standard bow simply tie the two ends as if you were tying your shoelaces and that's you done.

To create a bunny-eared bow, make two loops out of the ribbon, both of equal size. Cross them over each other and bring the one underneath through before tightening. If there is excess ribbon eft over, simply trim it with scissors.

If you are confident about your wrapping skills you can forgo the sticky tape in favour of the ribbon.

Gift tags

Gift tags not only let you write a short message to the recipient, but they also enable you to remember whose present belongs to whom, so there are no awkward moments under the Christmas tree!

You can buy ready-made gift tags, or if you are feeling extra environmentally conscious you can reuse old Christmas cards. If you are looking to create a more coordinated look with your gift wrapping, make sure that when you purchase your wrapping paper you pick a similarly coloured gift tag, or opt to choose a gift wrapping set that includes both.

Wrapping paper

There is a wealth of different gift paper out there and there's never more choice than at Christmastime. You can select a festive design complete with winter patterns, reindeer, and other Christmas themes and if you don't use it all, save it for next year. Kids will love paper created especially for them.

If you don't have much wrapping left to do, or you know there are a few birthdays coming up that you will need wrapping paper for, you could opt for a more seasonally neutral pattern, or go for a simple and elegant solid-colour paper. Anybody feeling extra creative could always create their own too. An easy way to do this is to purchase some plain brown parcel paper and colour it with your own festive stencils. Though remember that even the nicest wrapping paper will get ripped up eventually!