gift wrap

Not Enough Gift Wrap For That Gift? Wrap It Diagonally.


You start off with a nice roll of Gift Wrap, when you wrap those gifts for that festive occasion, and afterwards you have a small rectangle of unused paper left over.

Eventually another small gift needs wrapping so you look through the small left-over pieces of Gift Wrap only to find several are nearly large enough but you haven’t enough to cover your gift.

Well perhaps you’ve failed to use the best paper orientation on your package. This article suggests how you might make the paper cover, a box at least, by wrapping in an unusual way.

Look – I’ve Not Got Enough Gift Wrap

“This Gift Wrap looks as if it’s long enough to wrap the box:”

“But wrap it around the box and you can see it’s not wide enough:”

“It might wrap around the box with this orientation but the ends of the box won’t get a good covering:”

“So I’ll have to find a better way to wrap it if I’m going to use this piece of paper.”

Placing The Box Diagonally

If you can’t cover the box with a square-on orientation, try placing it diagonally on the Gift Wrap. Then bring the edges  together. You might be able to get them to meet. If you can’t then accept the paper is too small.

If the Gift Wrap edges do meet, adjust the angle so that they only overlap by a small amount. Excessive overlapping wastes paper.

Ensure you cover the four long sides with the initial diagonal wrap. It’s difficult to fold the ends so that some paper also covers part of the sides.

If you can get the Gift Wrap to cover all four long sides, when the box and Gift Wrap are rectangular, then I think you will have enough left at the ends to cover them.

I’m sure this is crying out for a mathematical proof which says that:

If a rectangular box can have it’s four longest sides covered completely by paper aligned diagonally with the diagonal of its largest side, then there will definitely be enough paper at the ends to cover the box by folding only.

My Example of This Diagonal Technique

At each stage the paper is held in place by transparent sticky tape.

gift wrap
The Gift Wrap aligns with the diagonal and overlaps by 3mm.
How the wrapped box looks with the best side uppermost.

Posting A Gift

After wrapping a package with Gift Wrap you may want to post it in the mail to someone. So you will have to wrap it again with substantial brown paper if it’s already strong enough. Else you will need to enclose it in a corrugated cardboard box with packing material.

Before it is mailed you will want to know how much it will cost according to it’s size and weight. This leads me to refer you to my post where I reviewed some parcel scales. If you’re in the UK you might also need to find  Royal Mail Parcel Prices.



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