Hack your holidays: Better ways to wrap your gifts

gift wrapped present

We know wrapping presents is a headache. But it sure makes your gifts look nice, and the wrapping helps build the anticipation for the recipient -- even though they'll spend a lot less time opening it than you spent wrapping it.

WBAY.com's "Hack Your Holidays" is back with all-new features -- except for one, which I admit is my favorite. I still haven't mastered the art of Japanese wrapping but when I get it right, it sure makes my gifts look nice.

So here are some ideas to Hack Your Holidays and make gift wrapping easier.


Use toilet paper tubes to keep your wrapping paper from unwrapping off the roll. Cut a slit down the tube to make it easier to slip on and off the wrapping paper roll or to fit over wider rolls.

Keep losing the end of the packing tape? Use a plastic bread clip to mark the end. It also acts as a nice pull tab.

If your ribbon is on a cardboard roll, use a binder clip to keep the ribbon from unraveling.

Use double-sided tape for a cleaner look.

Wrapping alternatives

Turn a chip bag inside out, clean up those crumbs, and you have a shiny silver gift bag!

Gifting cookies? Stack them in those long boxes for aluminum foil, cling wrap or wax paper. (You may want to use wax paper to line the box.)

Wrap presents in plain white paper and attach some crayons. Do-it-yourself wrapping paper!

Instead of a tag with the person's name, print out photos of them. Cut out their faces in the shape of the tag you want. It makes the gift more personal.

We have more tips with video demonstrations below. Mobile users, you may need to click a "More on the web" link.

Japanese wrapping

This elegant wrapping style creates nice, clean lines and -- bonus! -- uses less paper.

Diagonal gift wrapping without tape or ribbons

Sure you can still use ribbons, but they're purely decorative.

Origami-style wrapping without tape or ribbon

A little fold and tuck

Wrap a cylinder

Such as a candle jar or cookie tin

Wrapping odd-shaped gifts

Cleverer than a store-bought gift bag... using store-bought wrapping paper

Gift tube with secret code

It's "Da Vinci Code" for Christmas presents -- if you have the time, desire, and Pringles can

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