The hack totally works—but your paper has to be exactly the right size. 

By Emily VanSchmus
December 17, 2019

We don’t know which is more difficult—finding the perfect Christmas gift, or wrapping it just right. Too often, we finish wrapping a present and realize there’s a bit of the gift box peeking through the edges of the paper. This week, we spotted a viral video going around the Internet that promised to solve this problem. The hack (which has more than 187,000 likes and over 5 million views on Twitter) shows a woman attempting to wrap a rectangular box with a piece of paper that’s just a little bit too small. Rather than wrap it the traditional way, she turns the gift diagonally and brings all four corners together, and voila! The entire gift is covered. And while we loved watching her perform gift-wrapping magic in the video, the trick still seemed too good to be true—so we tested it out. 

We found that the trick does technically work—but your paper has to be just the right size and what you're wrapping needs to be perfectly aligned. We tried the method several times, and found the paper needs to be only a tiny bit smaller than the size you would use to wrap the gift the normal way. If your paper is too much smaller, the diagonal trick doesn’t work. 

We spent two hours (and an entire roll of wrapping paper) trying to master the technique, so if you’re lucky enough to only be short a few inches of paper, here are some helpful tips we found: Make sure your gift is completely centered on the diagonal. If it’s too far to one side or the other, you won’t be able to make perfect triangles out of the end flaps, and the gift will look awkward. You also want to pull the first two edges as tightly around the gift as possible; otherwise, the paper will be too loose in the center and won’t look good. We also found it was best to secure each flap with tape.

The best hack we’ve found is to skip the paper entirely. Since most wrapping paper can’t be recycled, more than 4 million pounds of gift wrap are thrown away every year. Instead of spending money on wrapping paper, look for patterned scarves and handkerchiefs and wrap your gifts with fabric this year

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