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How to Wrap Oddly-Shaped Gifts


Every year, I envision wrapping presents for my family perfectly, just like in those Christmas movies we love so much. But it never, ever happens that way. Why? I don't think the boxes in Elf actually had gifts in them. 

But in the real world, we have to wrap things like guitars, baby walkers, and T-ball stands. How do you wrap that stuff and keep it looking pretty under the tree? We talked to Alanna Sweeney of Kate's Paperie, and she shared her fabulous tips: 

  • If the gift isn't too oddly shaped, use a stiff paper and wrap as you would a box, creasing the paper firmly along the edges of the gift. 
  • If you have a bunch of small gifts, package them in a basket or wooden crate (like one they sell tangerines in). This works really well for gourmet food, cosmetics, and bath products. Wrap everything in cellophane to keep it contained, and dress it up with ribbons. You can also put small gifts in holiday tins and add a festive ribbon.
  • Make the box part of the gift itself. Your sister who loves vintage fashion would think it's cool to get something in a hat box. Your foodie friend might like to get goodies in a tote from a gourmet grocery store.   
  • If you can’t find a box, you can soft wrap almost any item by using tissue paper or a piece of cloth. Place the gift in the center and gather the paper or cloth neatly around the item, and secure at the top with a ribbon. 

What if you're wrapping...

  • Sit-on toys, like trikes, baby-walkers, or other big stuff? A soft wrap would work best, or keep it simple with a big bow.
  • Big stuffed animals? Tie a giant bow around the neck, and you’re done.
  • Musical instruments? Use soft wrap or a simple bow.
  • A play house or play kitchen? If the play house is already set up in place, cover the doorway with wrapping paper and let the recipient tear through it to get inside. 
  • A baseball bat? Depending on the size of the bat, it may fit in a poster tube, which could then be wrapped with a soft paper, and tied at both ends to look like a big piece of candy. Or wrap it in a soft white paper and wrap a red ribbon spiral-wise around it—voila, a peppermint stick!
  • Golf clubs? Tennis rackets? Other sports equipment? For golf clubs or tennis rackets, you can make them look like flowers or lollipops by soft-wrapping the head of the club or racket in colorful paper. Several golf clubs in a golf bag could become a bouquet of flowers. Basketballs and soccer balls can be wrapped with a soft paper or cellophane and tied at each end, to look like hard candies.
  • Furniture? A giant bow is probably easiest, but with a little creativity, you can make the furniture itself part of the wrapping. For example, if you’re giving someone an armchair she would use for reading, you could wrap a few books she’d love, place them on the seat, and then tie a bow around the whole chair. 

Note: For many of these items, a soft wrap or simply a big, beautiful bow is the best strategy. If you need a really giant bow and can’t find a wide enough ribbon, you can make one out of a good stiff wrapping paper - just cut long strips and tape them into loops in the form of a bow. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to cover the entire gift to make a festive presentation.