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Welcome to GIF Guide, a Racked New York feature where we ask our favorite designers (and crafty types) to demo their go-to DIY projects, GIF by GIF.
Wrapping a box perfectly—crisp corners, neat folds, aligned patterns—is a skill. Wrapping a candle with equally flawless precision is witchcraft, basically. But so impressive! That's why we tapped Catherine Sun—creator of art-driven gift wrap line Past Paper Future (tagline: 'wrapping paper gone rad')—to demo her patented cylinder-wrapping skills and give us some tips on making our holiday presents pop. See her in action—in GIF form!—this way.
Your Basic Box
"Don't be afraid to cut the excess paper as you go," Catherine says. Also, the first piece of tape should be used to stick the paper to the gift itself. It makes for a tighter fit, and you'll get crisper edges that way. (PSA: That paper above is printable—and free!—on Past Paper Future's website.)
Your Not-So-Basic Box
"I always fold the bottom edges down first," Catherine says of wrapping awkwardly-shaped boxes. "That way, if it's too long I can tell immediately. Also, the top edge can be folded over to cover up any wonky cutting."
"One of my tricks for wrapping cylinders is to anchor that first fold to the gift itself with a piece of tape," Catherine says. "I do a kind of accordion fold around the candle. You have to fold one piece down at once. At the end you'll be left with a triangular piece, and you tape that down." Another tip: try not to leave more than half an inch of wrapping paper overlap at the top of the candle.