Dear Marc:
I grew up with a father whose idea of wrapping a gift was to throw the box in a bag and tape it shut. I have never been good at this kind of stuff. I started reading your column and got inspired. Do you think you can show me how to wrap a gift?

Dear Robert:
Oh, how times have changed. I can’t recall my grandfather ever buying a gift, let alone wrapping one. In his opinion, that was a woman’s job. Today, I am pretty certain that comment would win you a swift kick where the sun doesn’t shine. Being a man today is very different than it was years ago. The line between gender roles has been blurred leaving men lost in a woman’s world. How could our fathers and grandfathers have shown us these skills when they hadn’t acquired them in their lifetime? It can be challenging at times as men, even though we’ll never admit it, are a very proud gender. We like to “think” that we can do anything without any help. This mentality goes back to our days on the playground while competing with our fellow playmates. Our popularity revolved around who could run faster, jump higher or throw the best curve ball. Men are built to compete – it’s in our genetics.

Men generally don’t talk to other men about design. As kids’ say “that wouldn’t be cool”. I think that’s a shame. One of the sad truths is that men fall short on communication. Women reading this column can relate to this theory. I don’t know how many times my wife has said “Are you even listening to what I am saying?” I have to admit, sometimes I pay attention to her every word, but other times her voice transforms into a mellow hum. If building communication skills was as easy and methodical as building a house, we probably would have mastered the skill by now. The construction of communication skills is much more tedious therefore, we can look at it as a never ending progress where each step is a building block.

I admire men who offer a fellow man in need a helping hand. As Red Green says “Remember, we’re all in this together”. Therefore, next time you see a guy staring like a deer in the headlights at wrapping paper and ribbon, you’ll be able to confidently walk up to him and say “It’s easier than it looks! Wrapping a gift can be done in a few simple steps.”

How To Wrap A Gift


  • Quality wrapping paper
  • Double sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon with wire edges


Step 1:
The right materials for the job. You wouldn’t build your shop walls with crooked econo studs so why try to wrap a gift with cheap flimsy paper? The results are the same; you’ll spend your day fighting with the darn thing trying to get it right. Instead, invest in a good thick wrapping paper. If you shop around, you can find a good bargain! Once you have selected a nice neutral coloured paper, cut a piece big enough to wrap around the gift. Tip: Make sure the sides of the paper are long enough to cover the sides of the box.

Step 2:
Wrap the paper around the box meeting the ends in the middle of the box’s back. Fold the edges into a one to two inch crease to create a straight line. Tape the paper in place.

PresentsWrapping_Step3a-300x261 PresentsWrapping_Step3b-300x200

Step 3:
The origami of wrapping! Folding the sides of the gift is easy. Simply fold the top end of the paper towards the box which will create a triangle on each side. Then fold the side triangles towards each other where they will meet at the bottom middle of the box to create a third and final triangle. Fold the last triangle upward and tape it in place.

Presents_Step2-300x200 Presents_Step3-300x200


Step 4:

Place the ribbon around the box starting over the top of the box and where the ribbon meets under the box, cross the ribbon and come up the two remaining sides. Make a bow on top and cut the ends diagonally, just a little longer than the bow.


Step 5:
Proudly place your freshly wrapped gift under the tree and enjoy the holidays!


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Marc Atiyolil is the editor-in-chief of the home décor publication, Home Trends Magazine. His charismatic, down to earth approach can be seen first hand as the co-host of the Marc & Mandy Show airing on networks across North America. His mantra, “Be bold, be different, be unique – Yet keep it simple” is reflected in all of his work. Marc is an avid promoter of breaking down the myths of design and offering simple alternatives to complicated design processes.