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It's a wrap.

Byline: Fiona Duffy

YOU'VE scoured the shops to find the presents of their dreams but don't fall at the final hurdle the wrapping.

"The thought and effort that go into the wrapping are as important as the gift itself," says expert Jane Means.

So if you want to know how to wrap the most awkwardly shaped gifts like a professional, follow our handy guide.

Your essentials Sharp scissors, sticky tape, double-sided sticky tape, ribbon, wrapping materials, embellishments (ribbon, strips of paper, raffia, buttons, broken jewellery).

Tips for wrapping success

Experiment and save money. Brown or white paper makes a great blank canvas. Or use wallpaper remnants, old maps or music manuscripts.

Paper is just one option. Use fabric, netting (from a haberdashery) cellophane (from a florist or gardening store) with tissue paper, paper table cloths (for large bulky items) and silk scarves (from charity shops).

Wrap while standing. It's easier, better for your back and you won't get carpet fluff on the sticky tape.

Be frugal with your paper. Using the bare minimum is cheaper and neater.

Fold sharp edges under and use double-sided sticky tape for a neat finish.

Pop awkward shapes into boxes - then wrap them.

Stiffen floppy ribbon with spray starch. No ribbon? Decorate boxes with a strip of contrasting paper.

Use old Christmas decorations like mini baubles as embellishments.

For tiny items, empty a cracker and use it as wrapping.

Find out more at janemeans.com

TIN OF SWEETS

1 Ensure there is enough paper to cover the tin's circumference plus two inches (with enough paper either side to meet in the centre of the tin's top and bottom). Stick into place.

2 Stand tin upright (gently fold the paper beneath). Pleat paper to create a wheel spoke effect. Start underneath, ensuring all pleats reach the centre of the tin. Trim leftover paper then secure with tape. Repeat on other side.

3 Cover seam with ribbon and decorations.

BOTTLE (OR ANY UPRIGHT OBJECT) 1 Place a sheet of tissue paper on top of a sheet of cellophane that's twice the height of your bottle.

2 Prepare 15 inches of ribbon to go round the neck of the bottle.

3 Arrange paper and cellophane (one-and-a-half times the height of the bottle) in a landscape shape then stand the bottle in the very centre.

4 Use a pinching action to make neat folds/pleats around the bottle. Hold folds tight then arrange material into a fan shape around the neck.

5 Lie the bottle down and tie ribbon and mini baubles around the neck.

Reader offer To get a 10 per cent discount on Jane's book Giftwrapped (usually PS20), DVD The Art of Giftwrapping (PS15) or wrap products, enter discount code DM2014 at janemeans.com before Hogmanay.

CAPTION(S):

ELEGANT A well-wrapped present will be noticed

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 17, 2014
Words:468
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