Step 1: Covering the Box’s Perimeter with Wrapping Paper
Unroll the wrapping paper on a large flat work surface. A cleared kitchen table or even a clean floor will give you enough space to work. Keep the wrapping paper on its roll and unwind about an arm’s length of the paper. Place it decorative-side down onto the work surface.
Place the gift box upside-down onto the reverse side of the paper. Flip the box over so that the top is in contact with the “wrong side” of the wrapping paper.
Fold the paper around the box to determine how much paper to cut. Pick up the cut end of the paper and draw it over the box, lining it up with the far edge of the box (closest to the wrapping paper tube).
Measure out 3 in (7.6 cm) from this point and draw a straight line. Give yourself about 3 inches of additional wrapping paper to allow for folding and overlapping.
Use scissors to cut along the marked line. With most wrapping papers, you can cut a notch and then slide the open scissors across the entire width of the paper for a smooth, clean cut.
Wrap the paper over one of the long sides of the box and tape it down. Reposition the box so that its edges are parallel to the edges of the cut paper.
Wrap the opposite side of the paper around the box, overlapping the taped-down piece.
Step 2: Folding Paper around the Sides and Corners
Fold the left and right flaps of paper toward the middle of the box. On a standard shirt box, you’ll be left with wide flaps of paper on the top and bottom, and short flaps extending from the left and right sides of the box. Point the left and right flaps horizontally towards the center of the box so that they hug the corners. Crease these corners with your thumb and index finger.
Wrap the bottom flap up so it hugs the side of the box and tape it. Depending on how narrow the bottom flap is, you can place one piece of tape at the center of the tip. If it’s wide, consider placing pieces of tape at the corners as well as in the center. Once again, crease the edges of the fully-wrapped box to emphasize the corners.
Step 3: Decorating the Gift with a Ribbon Bow
Cut a length of ribbon 5 times as long as the box. You may use gift wrapping ribbon or any type of fabric or plastic ribbon that you like. Hold a length of ribbon up against the long side of your wrapped gift box and measure out 5 times this length
Lay the box face-down over the center of the ribbon. Position the ribbon so that it’s aligned with the “waistline” of the box. Draw them together so that they meet in the horizontal and vertical center of the base of the box (which is facing upwards).
Cross the ribbon ends and wrap them around the box in the other direction. Crisscross the ribbon ends at the center of the box. Turn them at opposing right angles so that they interlock with each other. Then wrap the ribbon around the box cross-wise, flipping the box right-side up as you do so.
Pass the ribbon ends under the length of ribbon that’s flat against the box. Slide each end under the taut length of ribbon at the horizontal and vertical center of the box. The ribbon should now be forming a cross shape.