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.
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.
WHAT YOU NEED
- A sheet of paper to fit the gift
HOW TO MEASURE PAPER FIT
HOW TO WRAP
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.
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.
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.
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.
5. Fold the flap over the item and then repeat step 4 on the opposite side.
6. Insert the unfolded flap into the folded flap. Sharpen the creases at all edges for a clean, finished look.
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:
- 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.
With a combination of inventive wrapping designs, inspiring personal essays, and step-by-step techniques, Megumi Inouye invites readers to transform the act of wrapping into a gratitude practice.
Drawing on the gift-giving traditions of her Japanese heritage, Inouye explores how the act of giving a thoughtfully wrapped gift can be a creative, caring act for both the giver and the receiver. Using recycled and repurposed materials, Inouye’s approach inspires readers to think intentionally about the presentation of every gift, whether it's a tip for an unseen hotel housekeeper, a simple gift of fresh fruit for a neighbor, or a special birthday gift for a beloved family member. Detailed step-by-step photos teach Inouye's artful approach to every aspect of wrapping—including tape-free folding, paper and fabric bows, clever message tags, and one-of-a-kind approaches for odd-shaped items—and guide readers in creating their own unique gift presentations.