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21 Clever Tips For Anyone Wrapping Presents This Year

Organize, wrap, decorate, done.

1. Divide a basket with a few inexpensive magazine organizers, then use each one to keep your bows and tissue paper neatly filed.

Your bows are always at hand, you can see if you're almost out of paper or tiny bows or whatever, and if you ever needed just the big bows, they'd be easy to pick out from the rest of the bin. Also, magazine organizers are just pretty — like this one at Target, $4.99. Get lots more brilliant DIY gift wrap organizing ideas here.

2. Try filing your gift bags, too; and if you don't want to spend money on magazine organizers, try making your own using other boxes you have at home.

Priority Mail boxes or even cereal boxes would work perfectly. Read more about how this closet is organized here.

3. Create an easy-to-use dispenser for all of your fabric and curling ribbon, so a spool never dashes across the room from you ever again.

It will take a few minutes to put together, but you probably already have what you need to make it work, and it will save you so much time. Learn how to make it here.

4. If you're going to do most of your wrapping at home, and you have the space for it, attach casters to the bottom of a small trash can to hold all of your paper.

Then you can easily roll it out into the living room after the kids have gone to bed for late-night wrap sessions. Learn how to make it here.

5. If you need to travel with your wrapping paper, store it in a garment bag — the rolls are a perfect fit.

Read more about making this work here.

6. Grab a bucket and this $6.89 bucket caddy to make a portable wrapping command center.

Read more about exactly how it's organized at Martha Stewart.

7. Or flip over a broken kitchen stool, add Velcro storage pockets, and attach casters to the bottom.

It's got a spot for everything, and has all the benefits of being able to roll from room to room. Get a step-by-step tutorial for this here.

8. Grab a 5-drawer plastic storage cart and label each drawer with a different gift wrap category.

If you put the casters on, it's portable, too. This is a great idea if you prefer gift bags to gift wrap. See more of how this fits into a larger wrapping organization center here.

9. Make this quick gift bag out of wrapping paper when it's midnight on Christmas eve and you wind up with an oddly-shaped gift and no more available bags.

It's seriously the simplest solution. Learn how to do it here.

10. Learn this 4-step fold for wrapping any box neatly so you aren't making everything up as you go.

Although of course it's the thought that counts, not the neatness of your ends. Get more details on exactly how this works here.

11. If you have several of the same-size box to wrap, pre-cut pieces of paper, and use this quick-wrap method.

Watch the video here, and get a clear step-by-step tutorial for this technique here.

12. If you have lots of gifts to wrap at once, try a tape dispenser that is conveniently always on your hand, or pre-tear a bunch of strips of tape so they're easy to grab.

Read more about the pop-up dispensers here. Alternatively, you can put any kiddo who's anxious to help out in charge of handing you strips of tape whenever you need one (after you have all of their gifts done, of course).

13. Opt for simple fabric bags that will be reusable for years, and tie them with a piece of twine.

Of course you can also reuse paper gift bags for years if you take care of them, but fabric bags are much less susceptible to tears. Get these bags for $20 for a set of four on Etsy, and see the shop's full selection of fabric bags here. If you know how to sew, you can make a set of your own following this tutorial.

14. If you like the idea of reusable wrap but also love the wrapping paper look, use muslin and safety pins instead of paper and tape.

You could also use a pre-printed fabric if you don't want to stamp your own, like in this tutorial. If you opt for this route, save the boxes you use the first year. Then the fabric you cut will fit those same boxes every year, and you won't have to measure anything to wrap again!

15. Or simply tie the fabric around your box in a knot.

This tutorial also uses hand-stamped fabric tied furoshiki-style.

16. Go the fastest route: Buy affordable peel-and-stick bows that coordinate with your wrapping paper of choice.

They're pretty, they're classics, and all you have to do is pull them out of the bag, peel off the paper protecting the adhesive, and stick. Pretty much anything else is going to take at least a little bit more time.

This 40-count bag of varying sizes and coordinating colors is just $5 at Target. They come in tons of other color combos, too: silver and blue, red and green and gold, gold and silver and white, multicolored, and others.

17. Save money on fluffy ribbon bows by making them yourself.

Their method is so brilliant. Here's how to do it at home.

18. Skip the bows and let a sprig of rosemary from your garden (or eucalyptus, or thyme, or dried red berries, or of course evergreen) do all the festive decorative work.

You don't need to tie a fancy bow or even mess around too much with tape — just wrap yarn, twine, or ribbon around the gift a few times, then stick in a sprig. Read more about it here.

19. Use a pre-made stamp to fake fancy calligraphy skills.

If you wrap a gift in (super affordable) kraft paper, you can stamp directly on the package. Get this hand-carved stamp for $20 here.

20. Hot glue dollar store plastic snowflakes to the front of your packages instead of bows.

I know that hot glue sounds like it would take more time, but honestly, you'd probably spend the same amount of time peeling the backing off of traditional bows as you would dabbing a dot glue on the front of the package. Read more here.

21. Make quick sparkly pom-poms out of extra tinsel garland and a small amount of string.

They're as fancy as those expensive tinsel bows at a tiny fraction of the cost, and take only a minute to make. Learn how here.

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