The Gift Wrapping Book by Caroline Birkett (Dover Publications 2015)

It’s a quick return for guest reviewer Crafting Karl who recently turned his hand to Pure Soapmaking  and now has been contemplating wrapping presents.  (This quick return is mainly due to Netgalley deadlines rather than a wish to inundate you with craft ideas).  I personally would have really benefited from this book recently as I don’t wrap presents very often and had to do one before Christmas and I knew I would need to, if not pull out all of the stops, pull out a few of them.  I was clueless and had to resort to a “You Tube” video to remind myself even how to wrap a rectangular shape.  Anyway, I’ll hand over to Karl, who is the expert, to give his opinion on this book……….


_20140530_111733   We all give presents but how many of us fail miserably when it comes to the wrapping?  All too often we resort to popping the gift into a shop bought gift bag or box.  Present wrapping is something we are just expected to be able to do.  There have been countless times I’ve ended up having to throw away ruined wrapping paper and there have been too many fights with sticky tape, just finding the end of the roll can be a nightmare.  However, a beautifully wrapped present can be a real joy to receive, even before you’ve seen what’s under the paper or in the box.



Understanding the various wrapping techniques, the range of materials available and the tools needed for the jobs can turn a necessary chore into something enjoyable, creative, and we can produce something special and personal for the recipient.

“The Gift Wrapping Book” is ideal both for those who haven’t a clue how to wrap a present and for those who are keen to try something a little different.



The book is well laid out and with clear photos and step by step instructions.  Caroline starts by showing the correct way of wrapping a box with standard wrapping paper and then goes on to suggest how this could be done with other types of paper.  We find out how to produce our own decorative paper using methods such as wax resist, gilding, stamping etc and then more elaborate bows and embellishments with gift tags and other items.  Patterns and templates are included together with information on the materials and tools required.  Importantly, she explains how to wrap those awkward shape parcels we all have problems with.

Caroline makes it clear that wrapping doesn’t need to be elaborate, doesn’t need to take a long time to prepare so long as it is neat and thoughtfully put together.  However, with an understanding of some basic techniques and a little imagination there are no limits as to how fantastic your presents can look.  Just make sure that the actual present under all that wrapping is worth receiving!


The best publications from Dover Books have a good combination of style and practicality.  This book may not be as lavishly laid out and photographed as books by some publishing houses and magazines but here the results are attainable.  This book, which seems to have been previously published by another company in 2002, will not date as it gives good clear instructions on how to develop gift wrapping skills.  There may be more fashionable coffee-table style books of this type around but this may very well be the one to consider purchasing.




The Gift Wrapping Book by Caroline Birkett was republished by Dover Publications in October 2015.  Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for the review copy.


2 thoughts on “The Gift Wrapping Book by Caroline Birkett (Dover Publications 2015)

  1. Kay Carter

    Phil is not the only one who needs this. Wayne could do with reading this book. He tends to use yards of wrapping paper and miles of sticky tape which leaves me wondering if I was actually meant to unwrap the gift in the first place. Sounds very useful, especially when there is something that is not a uniform shape. I love looking at beautifully wrapped packages, some of them are an art form in themselves. I saw a programme with Alex Polizzi showing how to do Xmas presents the way they do them in one of the big stores, can’t remember which store though. Good review Karl.


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