By Lydia Patrick via SWNS
Meet the professional gift wrapper who has given her top tips to wrap the perfect present - including using your AIR FRYER.
Rachael Wood, 33, trained professionally to gift wrap while she studied visual merchandising at college.
But she only started doing it as a job when she wrapped an entire client's Christmas haul two years ago, to help them save time before a trip abroad.
Rachael, from Birmingham, West Midlands, England spent the whole day wrapping gifts and realized she could provide this service to help other people out during the festive period.
The present perfectionist now wraps hundreds of presents during the festive period - and charges between £6 and £9.50 ($7.14- $11.31) a gift, even providing a door-to-door service.
The wrapper is environmentally conscious and makes sure to re-use and recycle materials as much as possible.
Her top tips include using a hairdryer to remove stickers from bags and boxes, so you can reuse them, and drying citrus fruits in the air fryer to create natural embellishments.
Rachael wraps hundreds of gifts and has even wrapped a car this year.
When it's not Christmas time she makes props for weddings and theatres and even made floats for the Common Wealth games earlier this year.
Rachael said: “My favorite thing about wrapping is seeing the joy that people get, and they say their gifts look amazing and beautiful.
“I make sure I know exactly what the recipient would like to personalize their package.”
Rachael, who calls her business Polywood Studios, wrapped two entire hotels in Solihull Birmingham in giant 2m by 2m bows in November 2019.
“It was certainly a challenge," she said.
"Everyone had to help, and we were up on ladders to perfect the bow."
Rachael glams up her gifts by using beautiful accessories such as feathers, bows and dried flowers.
The crafter urged everyone to keep their cardboard delivery boxes to use for gifts.
She said: "I’m really pedantic - the patterns on the paper have to line up perfectly.
“I’m an absolute perfectionist.
“I love wrapping unusual gifts and I try to conceal the identity of the present for a surprise.
“For example, if it’s a book, I will put it in a box so it’s not so obvious.
“It takes me around ten minutes to wrap each present."
The creative also makes a point to reuse wrapping paper and be as eco-friendly as possible and often uses mason jars so recipients can re-use.
She also does fushoriki - traditional Japanese wrapping, which involved packing presents in fabric which can be used again.
The wrapping connoisseur swears by packing paper- bulk paper which is usually thrown away after deliveries, which she reuses and spruces up with vibrant decorations.
She also dries out old bouquets to use the flowers to decorate her gifts.
“You don’t have to break the bank to make your presents look expensive - you can wash and reuse old ribbon,” added Rachael.
Despite being a pro-packer, Rachael admits to having made a fair few mistake in the past.
She said: “Oh I’ve made so many mistakes and had so many disasters in the past.
“I’m forever ripping paper but luckily, I’ve gotten pretty good at repairing it.
“Once I wrapped something up and then forget who it’s for so I had to open it up to see who it was for and wrapped it back up again."
Rachael’s top tips for wrapping:
- Dry citrus slices on low in the air fryer or oven
- Don’t throw away old Christmas cards- reuse them to stick on packing paper for gorgeous gift wrap
- Use Christmassy pot pourri and stick onto gifts with a glue gun –it looks and smells amazing, cinnamon sticks also work well
- Instead of buying gift tags, buy a lovely pen or set of ink stamps and put the name directly on the gift
- Wrap small objects in seeded paper which can be planted in the garden after
- If you’ve got a bit of patterned wrapping paper left but not enough for a whole gift, wrap your gift in plain paper (scrunched packing paper works well) then use the patterned paper like a band around the middle – waste not want not.
- Blast a hairdryer on an old label to remove it and re-use a box
- Wash and straighten out old ribbon with hair straighteners
- Hang old bouquets upside down to dry out and use the dried flowers for embellishment
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