How to Wrap a Book without Tape

Discover how the presentation of a gift can carry meaning beyond the gift itself with this step-by-step excerpt for wrapping a book with gratitude, creativity, and care from The Soul of Gift Wrapping.

Photo © Erin Ng.

I originally designed this style as a wrap for books and shallow boxes, but it works equally well for all box sizes, square and rectangular. It has become my all-around favorite tapeless wrapping method. I’m particularly fond of how it easily unwraps—like an unveiling—giving books, especially, a pleasurable reveal. Books are one of my favorite things to give and to wrap; I feel grateful to the authors who share their stories, creative skills, and perspectives, which I can then gift to others.


  • A sheet of paper to fit the gift
  • Scissors


Width of item: The paper should wrap over the top of the book or box and cover approximately three-quarters of the item in each direction, once from the left side and once from the right. Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.
Length of item: The paper should wrap at least 2″ over the top and bottom of the book or box. Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.


1. With the design side of the paper facing up (if your paper has a design), fold the right edge approximately ½” along the full length of the paper. Repeat to create a double fold.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

2. Turn the paper over so that the double fold is facedown on the right side. Mark or crease the point at which the paper folds around the top and base of the book or  box.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

3. Using these marks, strongly crease the top and bottom of the paper to match the length of the item. Place the item inside the top and bottom flaps, aligning it to fit within the crease lines. Turn the package so the left side is on top.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

4. Pinch the paper at the top corners of the item at an angle, creating triangle shapes. The top flap will lift slightly, guiding you to the next step.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

5. Fold the flap over the item and then repeat step  4 on the opposite side.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

6. Insert the unfolded flap into the folded flap. Sharpen the creases at all edges for a clean, finished look.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.


Step 1 offers room for a lot of creative variation. The downward vertical fold is what will be visible on the front of the package. Try:

Photo © Erin Ng.
  • Tearing the paper’s edge
  • Pleating the edge (note that you need to add width to the paper if pleating)
  • Shaping the edge with scalloped, serrated, or other craft scissors

Excerpted and adapted from The Soul of Gift Wrapping © by Megumi Lorna Inouye.

Megumi Lorna Inouye

About the Author

Megumi Inouye is a gift wrapping and packaging artist. Known for her sustainable wrapping designs and creative innovations, she encourages repurposing, utilizing everyday things around us and using organic and recyclable items. She attributes her passion for gift wrapping to her Japanese heritage and the cultural values that underlie the meaning behind the art of giving. Her work has been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and in Yahoo! Lifestyle, American Craft Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Megumi splits her time between San Francisco and Sonoma in Northern CA. You can find her online at


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