double sided tape
curling ribbon (optional for bow)
Step 1. Start by cutting a piece of wrapping paper to the appropriate size. This is one of the most important steps to wrapping a neat package. Usually when packages look messy, it's because of too much extra paper. Cut your paper so it reaches about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the box, like in the photo.
Step 2. The same goes for the paper's length, cut enough to cover the box with a few inches, no more, to spare. To make a neat seam, fold a small hem up on one end of the package, as in Photo 2.
Step 3. Fold the sides of the paper in to cover the box with the folded hem on the outside of the box.
Step 4. Secure with invisible tape.
Tip: Invisible tape isn't really completely invisible (but it does make for good illustrative photos). If you want a perfect package with no tape showing, use double sided tape placed under the edge of the top flap to secure your packages rather than tape placed in the traditional manner shown above
Step 5. To fold the sides of the package, fold in the sides of the paper on the short end of the package towards the middle.
Step 6. Fold the seamed edge of the paper down and the paper from the front of the package up. Secure with tape or double sided tape on the underside. Repeat on the other side. Add bow or other ornamentation if desired.
7. Repeat on the other side, for a neatly covered box.
I look at the photo at left and am amazed that I actually wrapped the package. For years I was severely challenged when it came to wrapping gifts. Some people would assume my toddler great nieces or nephews (or even my dog) had wrapped the lopsided mess of tape and wrapping paper before them. Others were more politely discreet in their gift wrapping evaluations. Nonetheless, I finally decided to do something about it and conquer the great mystery of neatly (and dare I say even stylishly) wrapping a gift.
So below are the step by step photo instructions along with tips I learned by trial and error.