That's a wrap! Gift wrapping tips from the world's most foremost expert


Don't let the presentation of your carefully selected gifts do a disservice to the time and thought that you have given to your handpicked (or handmade) presents. We spend so much time choosing just the right thing we really should convey this love in our gift wrapping too.

We spoke to gift wrapping expert Arona Khan to get her top tips for presenting your gifts with wow factor...

Arona Khan - Gift wrapping tutor on CraftCourses


First off, how did you get into gift wrapping?
I was always known for my gift wrapping. Knowing I was keen to have my own business, a friend suggested I write a book on the subject.  Soon after he met the sales director of a major publishing house at a cocktail party. My book Wrap It Up was published less than a year later!  
When did it really take off? 
My consultancy started soon afterwards following the success of demonstrations at a major trade show which attracted so many people you couldn’t walk past the stand! 
Harpers & Queen later described me as the world’s first gift wrapping consultant.  Since then my work has taken me around the world including Japan where I was introduced as the world’s foremost gift wrapping expert.  Closer to home clients include 10 Downing Street, Selfridges and Kelly Hoppen.

Shoe - VISA campaign


Are some papers better than others – how do you choose?
Most important is to consider the shape of the gift.  If it is an awkward shape it is often helpful to choose a flexible material - unless you are using my signature ‘pouch’ technique!
What is your favourite item to gift wrap? And your least/most tricky?
A favourite is something that is a challenge, like the iconic shoe I wrapped for an international VISA campaign.  
A bottle of red wine which I wrapped live on BBC1 was tricky because I had to do so on the arm of a chair.  Thankfully I didn’t drop it! 

Ideal Home - Christmas workshop

What is the most requested gift wrapping workshop and what are the benefits?
My one-day gift wrapping courses are very popular because in just a few hours attendees learn lots of top tips and invaluable techniques.
They leave amazed at what they’ve learnt and are always especially excited about my invaluable cheat pleat and pouch.
The biggest benefit of these workshops is that you learn how to achieve the best results in the shortest time.

Beautiful Christmas stars - reusable wrapping!


What is the most unusual thing you have been asked to gift wrap?
A box of Kleenex.  The reason it needed to be wrapped could be used in a movie!
(Editor’s note: We’re intrigued!)
What is the key to wrapping a bottle of wine?
Measuring the paper and not having too much giftwrap at the base.  Otherwise you end up with what I call a bunny rabbit tail that prevents the bottle standing up!  For those keen on recycling, an offcut of paper transformed into a cummerbund (wide sash) is a must.  It is quick, easy and can also be reused time and again!

Top Tips

  1. To get started ensure you have sharp scissors and adhesive tape that won’t show! Double-sided tape has been a favourite though now, as much as possible, I suggest techniques that don’t require tape so the giftwrap can be reused 
  2. Wrap, don’t mummify!  For a box with rectangular ends measure paper equal to the depth of the side.  Reverse that for a square box so you have paper equal to half the depth at each end.  Trim off the excess
  3. When using a roll of giftwrap calculate the amount of paper required by running a length of ribbon or string around the gift then cut what is required
  4. Use glue dots or double-sided foam pads if wrapping with giftwrap that doesn’t take sticky tape
  5. If using curling ribbon ensure you curl it with the scissors shut!

If you would like to brush up on your gift wrapping before the big day take a look at Arona's workshops in East Sussex where she covers all the topics you could wish for including festive hampers, Christmas bows and bespoke gift bags.

Maybe also consider making your own special wrapping paper, gift bags, cards and tags to make the presentation of your gifts even more unique with one of these workshops >

Don't worry if you can't make it to one of Arona's workshops - take a look at some other gift wrapping courses around the country >

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