Wrapping holiday gifts can be fun—but if your gift-wrapping station is disorganized (and the wrapping paper is forever rolling off the table and unraveling), it can also be tedious. That’s why taking the extra time to set up the perfect, functional gift-wrapping station is worth the effort. Here are a few tips to set you up for wrapping success this holiday season.
Choose and prep your gift-wrapping surface
The first thing you need is a surface big enough to spread out on—preferably one that is high enough to wrap comfortably while standing up. The kitchen table is a go-to for many, but it’s also out in the open (where your gift recipients may come upon you), and it may be inconvenient if it’s where the family eats most of its meals. A lesser-used dining room table may be an option, a portable folding table set up in a guest bedroom, or even a temporary surface made from two sawhorses and a piece of plywood is also a solution. Whichever you choose, you’ll want a space wide enough to accommodate your paper, boxes, tape, scissors, and various gift wrapping accessories, like ribbons and bows.
To help control the mess, consider using some brown paper or butcher paper to wrap the table or temporary work surface. Use blue painter’s tape to hold the paper down on the underside of the edges of the table to make removing the paper easier. That way, you don’t have to sweep up scraps and peel stray bits of tape off the table when you’re finished—simply peel up the paper and recycle it.
Organize your paper
If you have a lot of gifts to wrap and you really want to make your station resemble that of a professional operation, maybe it’s time to consider purchasing a wrapping paper dispenser. This not only keeps your paper from rolling off the table, it also has a tear strip for easy (and straight) cutting.
Another method for storing gift wrap if you have several different rolls is to build a set of cubbies out of PVC pipe. The PVC will have to be cut to 18 inches for this to work—you can have it cut at your local hardware store or you can cut it yourself with a chop saw, sawzall, or other power saw with the right blade. Once your PVC is cut, glue it together with all purpose PVC cement in a pyramid shape. The great part about this storage solution is that you can use it horizontally or vertically. To make the vertical storage method work better, you’ll need to attach a square of plywood or other sturdy board to one end of your PVC pyramid with your glue.
Organize your ribbon
For ribbon dispensers, PVC can again be useful. A small scrap of four- or five-inch diameter PVC with a one inch slot on one end of it works great as a ribbon dispenser. Thread the ribbon through the slot and place the PVC slot side down on your table for tangle-free ribbon rolls.
A plastic food container with a slot or hole cut in it also works for ribbon. Drop your spool into the container and thread the end through the slot. Put the lid on the container and now you have an excellent dispenser. You can also use a metal paper towel dispenser that attaches to the wall or under a shelf for multiple ribbons. These dispensers will also work for baker’s twine and string. Keeping ribbon on the spool and off your work surface until you need it will make your wrapping space less cluttered.
Organize your tools
Using a desk tool organizer or a homemade version made from paper towel tubes cut in half and glued to sturdy cardboard or small wood scraps to corral scissors, pens, and markers is a great way to keep your work surface organized and clutter-free. You can also use these smaller organizers to corral gift tags and decorations. Another alternative for small tool storage is a pegboard or pencil cases—these options will keep your tools within reach, but off of your table and out of your way.
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