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Our guide to gift wrapping includes a host of clever tricks and fantastic finds to ensure you create the prettiest presents under the tree this year.

For many of us, the sight of a towering stack of presents to wrap is an exciting prospect, offering the chance to get creative and indulge in all our wrapping whims. The promise of layers of patterned papers, glittery tapes and piles of perfect trimmings makes it the most fun of all the Christmas chores. But if you feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought, there’s really no need to worry as we’ve got loads of great ideas and expert tips to help.

Remember that gift wrapping doesn’t have to be complicated as you can create a super stylish look using just a single colour wrap and some beautiful ribbon. Read on and be inspired by our round up of gorgeous gift wraps, quirky accessories and creative ideas.

Before you get started, ensure you buy enough wrapping paper and include a few extra rolls of versatile plain colours – if you have any leftover they can be used for other occasions. Remember to label your gifts immediately after wrapping them so you don’t forget who they’re for.

Finally, don’t forget the essentials – plenty of sticky tape, several pairs of scissors and the obligatory Christmas tunes to keep you company!

GREAT TIP: Save wrapping scraps, no matter how small, and use them to create decorative touches. Thin strips of patterned paper can be wrapped around plain presents for extra detail. Or use a decorative punch to create small shapes you can stick on for added flair.

If you’re in need of a little extra help with your Christmas presents, then look no further as we’ve asked expert Jane Means to share her best tricks for stylish and stress-free gift wrapping. Take a look at her simple step-by-step guide to dealing with difficult shapes and be inspired by her creative tips for wrapping the perfect present.

How to wrap a circular tin

Circular tin wrapping

You will need:

  • Gift in tin or tube
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • Ribbon
  • Embellishment
  1. Cut the paper to the right size so you have enough to go around the tin. Place the paper face down with the tin on top. Measure the height of the tin and cut a strip of tape the same height and stick to the paper on what will become the outer edge. Peel off the tape’s backing, wrap the paper around the tin and stick down.
  2. To finish the ends of the tin/tube, make a series of pleats. Take the underneath layer of paper and fold so that its straight edge goes exactly across the centre of the tin.
  3. Pull on the paper with your thumb and finger so that the next crease falls exactly across the centre of the tin a short distance around and fold the crease. Move around the outside of the tin/tube, repeating the creases and folds as you go. Don’t push the tin/tube too hard as it could shift inside the paper.
  4. When you’ve finished the last crease you may end up with what I call a remnant fan; if you do, simply trim it off and then stick the last strip down. Repeat at the other end.
  5. Take the ribbon up one side of the tin so that it hides the paper join and cut to length. Tie the ribbon and secure an embellishment – I’ve used a bunch of mistletoe – if you like. Complete the bow and trim the ribbon

Jane’s top tips and tricks

  1. First impressions count and the wrapping is as important as the gift itself.
  2. Cut your paper down to size so folding the corners is manageable. You only need a small overlap.
  3. If possible use double sided tape otherwise use very small amounts of sticky tape which can be covered with ribbon.
  4. Add some staggered pleats in to your paper to give a luxurious Japanese look.
  5. For bottles and awkward shapes use cellophane and tissue which moulds around the shape. A great alternative is a metallic paper tablecloth cut to size.
  6. Use a simple metallic paper which can be used all year round and not dedicated just to Christmas.
  7. Keep the wrapping simple and ensure there is a focal point. By using a plain paper, you can add wired ribbon and a frosted berry decoration without overpowering the eye. If you use a patterned paper, use a bold plain ribbon in contrast.
  8. For a rustic look use brown paper and raffia and tie in dried oranges and cinnamon sticks. The paper can also be sprayed with a festive scent to add fragrance.
  9. To make a gift bag, use a stiff paper to wrap a box. Leave one of the ends open, remove the box and add some ribbon or piping cord to make handles.
  10. Be organised with everything to hand and work on a table. Some music and a glass of wine always eases the burden on Christmas Eve!

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