Everything gets hectic around the holidays but, aside from the North Pole itself, there’s possibly no busier place than the Williams-Sonoma gift wrap room. In the back of every store there’s a bustling spot dedicated to providing complimentary gift-wrap to all of our customers. Our editors went behind-the-scenes with our trained gift-wrappers and discovered the rules they follow to make sure every present is up to Williams-Sonoma standards, from precise folds to perfect ribbons.
1. Measure twice, cut once.
There’s nothing more frustrating than folding wrapping paper around a gift only to find you’re about an inch short. In the Williams-Sonoma gift wrap rooms, wrappers use the gold pineapples on our signature red wrapping paper as a graphic guide so there are no mistakes (twelve pineapples for a large box, six for a small). At home, the best way to measure without creasing the paper is to wrap some string or twine around the box and use that length as a guide for cutting wrapping paper.
2. Master the art of the tissue paper lining.
When placing the gift in the box, place a layer of tissue on the bottom of the box. Don’t try to fold this layer of tissue paper up and around the gift or you’ll get a fluttering of unsightly tissue edges on top. Instead, place another layer of tissue over the top of your gift and tuck the edges in underneath. For extra flair, create one pleat down the middle of the tissue paper.
3. Double-sided tape is your best friend.
Williams-Sonoma gift wrappers use double-sided tape in nearly every step of the process. First, tape the edge of the wrapping paper directly to the present. This allows you to pull it taut as you wrap and avoid bubbles or wrinkles. Then, use double-sided tape on the sides of the gift to secure the classic envelope-style fold from underneath so you don’t have a bit of tape showing.
4. Don’t let cut edges show.
If you want to really wrap like a pro, aim to hide every cut edge. It sounds like extra credit, but it really makes a difference—and it’s not that difficult. Our wrappers tuck away the cut edges by creating a half-inch fold anywhere they cut the wrapping paper, from the bottom seam to the top layer of the envelope fold on the sides. Insider tip: run the side of a credit card along the fold to keep it sharp and secure.
5. Don’t forget the details.
The signature Williams-Sonoma ribbon is a lustrous grosgrain that comes in red, green or cream. We like grosgrain because it’s heavy enough to feel luxe, thick enough to be durable and stiff enough to hold a gorgeous bow. Rather than a blunt cut at the ends of our bows, we fold the ends of the ribbon in half lengthwise and trim out a triangle, with the peak in the center of the ribbon, to create a double-pointed edge.
They can be picky, I think it’s lovely.
The photo is a poor representation of the wrapping job that we were supposed to produce in the stores for guests. Where are the crisp edges? My guess is that the ribbon is also twisted on the bottom preventing the package from laying flat 😛 we had some mad skillz in PB 428!
Sorry but this is wrong. The pineapples are going the wrong way. The Williams Sonoma way they are aligned with the bow.
You’re right, Miriam — thanks for the catch. We have swapped out the photo to reflect that!
LOL, I guess you should have had someone from a store do the wrapping. The second attempt is one step closer to the standard.