If you’re anything like me, your Christmas shopping might be complete but wrapping has yet to be done. Yesterday was my last day in the office for the year so today I’m tidying up around the house, taking care of some business, and wrapping presents. As the oldest of five, I was often tasked with wrapping my siblings presents on Christmas Eve since my parents are last-minute shoppers. So I know a thing or two about paper, bows, and bags and thought I’d share a few of my trusty gift-wrapping hacks as well as some from around the web.

1. Use gift boxes. Gift boxes can either supplement or replace wrapping paper depending on the present. Use them to make soft items like clothing easier to wrap. If you want to skip the wrapping part altogether, just place your present in a gift box and add a bow.

Image via Classic Chic Home

2. Use one style of wrapping paper for all your gifts. Not only is it simple, it looks wonderfully cohesive under your tree.

3. In direct opposition to the last tip is to use different styles of wrapping paper for different families. This was very helpful for my parents, aunts, and uncles when making stops at multiple households. It cuts down on confusion and makes it easy to know which gifts are going where. Example: Use green paper for the Johnsons and red paper for the Reeds.

Image via Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!

4. Line up the edges of your wrapping paper on the bottom of the gift. This will help ensure a smooth wrapping process going forward. Here’s a very detailed tutorial on perfectly wrapping a box from Marigold Haske at Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!.

5. Curling ribbon adds an extra touch to any wrapping job, whether it’s a box or a bag. When curling curling ribbon, be sure to follow the existing curve. This will prevent torn ribbon and weak curls. Here’s a short demonstration:

6. Hide large items. Look, nobody wants to wrap a bicycle. Slap a bow on larger items and hide them in a closet or the garage then bring them out ceremoniously on Christmas morning. Or you can send the recipient on a mini hunt for the item to build up anticipation. If you have mischievous curious little ones in your home, you might have to recruit neighbors or relatives to help with the hiding! I have not so fond memories of the punishment that followed me “finding” my brothers’ matching scooters in my parents’ closet one year.

Image via Going Home to Roost

7. Don’t have a gift tag? Use a Sharpie. You might want to recruit your friend or family member with the best handwriting for this one but it’s a quick and easy alternative to running out for gift tags and, if you have gorgeous handwriting, can actually be an upgrade to the presentation. 🙂 Click the photo above for an easy tutorial.

Image via Organized31

8. Use bags and boxes for oddly-shaped items. Here’s a tutorial for making your own bags out of upcycled fabric from Organized 31.

This is the last post before Christmas and I hope these gift-wrapping hacks reach you in time. I’ll be back next Tuesday with a guide to after-Christmas clearance shopping. Happy Holidays and thanks so much for reading!

P.S. More gifting ideas:

8 Inventive Gift-Wrapping Hacks