Wrapping hacks: how to wrap the most beautiful presents this Christmas
Make a masterpiece: the quickest and easiest alternative wrapping methods to ensure yours are the prettiest presents under the tree
Japanese Gift Wrapping Method Take One
A couple of years ago, this video of two presents being wrapped at the Takashimaya Department Store in Japan. Using a Japanese wrapping-hack that enables you to wrap gifts at high speed and only using only two pieces of tape, these ladies ended up with beautiful, sharply wrapped presents in about 15 seconds. If their nimble fingers work too quickly for you to keep up with exactly what they're up to, then you can find plenty of video tutorials like this one to follow instead.
Japanese Gift Wrapping Method Take Two
If using two little pieces of sellotape still seems too extravagant, then this sweet tutorial for the Japanese 'diagonal wrapping' may be for you. Make sure you use beautiful bold wrapping paper colours and get some fancy ribbons to match. Our favourite ribbon shop in London is still VV Rouleaux but obviously ribbon from John Lewis (or whoever you fancy) will do.
Origami Style Take One: wrapping without any ribbon or tape
Crisis. It's Christmas eve, the shops are shut, the presents are scattered about the bathroom floor ready to be wrapped but, unfortunately, you've forgotten to buy any sellotape or ribbons. Don't panic, you're not going to have to give your relatives their Christmas presents inside a John Lewis plastic bag. Instead you can wrap your presents in a glamorous origami-style method. Announce that you're having an eco-friendly year this year and request that everyone holds onto their paper to use next year. Practice smiling with superior, eco-warrior smugness.
Origami Style Take Two: present pockets
You're going to need some sellotape for this one, but the resulting present wrapping, complete with an external pocket for extra little something (Christmas card, chocolates, entire other present) makes it worth the trick to Staples. If you can stomach advice from the woman who just won't calm down about gift wrapping, make it to the end of the video and she'll tell you how to make a gift bag. Quick, quirky and super cute wrapping that people will think you spent ages learning how to create. Perfect.
Alternative Wrapping Ideas: Just Don't Bother At All
If you just absolutely can't stand the idea of sitting down and wrapping presents, then don't bother. Put the effort instead into making these stylish bags and tie up your presents up in pieces of fabric. Use Birchbox's how-to guide for the step-by-step technique to getting this right. Obviously, if even that sounds too strenuous, just go out and buy some bags from Paperchase or something, Mr Grinch.
Wrapping those Little Gifts: bon-bon style
Little presents are often the hardest to wrap: they're so fiddly and awkwardly shaped and you end up with masses of bunched up paper looking award on either side. Hurrah, a solution: just use all that left over Christmas paper by turning your littlest presents into candy (or mini Christmas crackers). Use masses of paper and twist the ends, tied with ribbon, into little handles. Use this how-to guide to get it just right.
For the traditionalist: Martha Stewart Christmas Wrapping Guide
Japanese wrapping hacks, tapeless origami styles and advice on how to wrap tiny presents just aren't going to hack it this year -- you're presents are massive and a bit squidgy. Fortunately, the ever marvellous Martha Stewart has that covered. Turn massive soft toys into the most exciting thing under the tree and boring old socks into decorative Christmas logs. Just remember, you're going to need double-sided tape for the Martha method.
For the Mathematically Minded
How disappointing to discover maths really does have a use in the real world: mathematician Katie Speckles's explanatory clip on how to use geometrical exactitude to make jaw-droppingly perfect presents was viewed over 250,000 times last year. Don't expect to be able to create these mathematical masterpieces in a hurry, however. For this you're going to need wrapping paper, sellotape, a ruler, a calculator, basic working knowledge of algebra, endless patience and, hopefully, some jolly grateful family and friends.