Royal Mail radio marathon

Having carried out research before Christmas 2015 to find the top ten present wrapping gripes Royal Mail asked me to come up with some solutions.  In just four hours one December day I shared them with radio presenters at 15 stations around the UK!

Here are my suggestions:

Takes too much time:  For speed, especially when wrapping awkward shapes like a teddy bear, lay a present in the middle of layers of tissue paper and cellophane or another flexible material.  Bring the paper in from both sides then fold up from the bottom to the top.  Gather it above the gift and tie with ribbon

Always forget something i.e. wrapping paper, labels, tape etc: Ideally add wrapping paper and accessories to your list of gifts!   Or look around your home for alternatives; a plastic or paper tablecloth makes wrapping large items easy. Use a seasonal paper napkin for something small.   Wool or wire can secure paper around your present if you run out of tape, glue or glue dots

Gifts never look as special as I want them to: Adding a bow can make a big difference!  To create multiple loops make several figures of eight using fabric ribbon and tie in the middle.  Take a moment to trim the tails

Paper always rips: Use a double layer of paper or lay the giftwrap on cellophane for extra strength.  Alternatively using a scarf, some fabric or another flexible material will also make the job much easier

Presents that are difficult to wrap: Use tissue paper and cellophane.  Stand the gift in the middle.  Gather up both layers of giftwrap and tie above the top of the gift.  Trim if required.  If it is a large gift you may need to tape sheets of tissue paper together.  Do so on the inside!

Always such a big job: Simplify the process!  For instance if you are giving bottles, be they bubbly or balsamic, just hide the label.  Make a cummerbund using leftover paper and tie with ribbon, wool, wire, cord, gardening or baker’s twine

Tape doesn’t stick to paper: Try glue dots!

Wrapping paper is too expensive: Use wallpaper.  If you don’t have a leftover roll in the loft check out the clearance bin in your nearest DIY store.  It is ideal when wrapping DVDs, books and awkward shapes in my signature pouch technique.  It needs no sticky tape so can be used again!

Never have enough paper: A cheat pleat is a lifesaver when there isn’t enough paper to go around a box.  Make a pleat with leftover paper and attach to the main sheet.  A great way to turn a negative into something positively perfect!

Never have enough labels: Add a festive finish to home printer labels.  Alternatively make a gift tag by sticking leftover giftwrap to card.  Use a Christmas cookie cutter for a seasonal shape before punching a hole and securing to the present with ribbon, wool or twine

Run out of ribbon: This is the time to transform scrap wrap into the perfect finishing touch.  Such a decoration is also just what you need when popping a present in the post!  Not a squashed bow in sight!