The holidays are coming, and so is the annual ritual of gift wrapping. The task can be a bit tedious and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re ready to take your gift wrap game to the next level, consider adding a few new tools of the trade to your arsenal. From a ribbon shredder to a paper cutter that fits over a roll and cuts with a single motion, these hand-held gadgets will help you wrap faster and more efficiently — and they’re small enough to stash in your cabinet or drawer.
While it’s probably best to recruit Santa’s elves for the job, these handy gadgets will certainly make the process a little easier. They’ll also save you time and money, since you’ll be able to buy better-quality paper and fewer rolls of gift wrap.
One of the newest additions to our list is a nifty tool called Little Elf, which makes short work out of cutting that all-important paper for your festive gift wrapping. Invented by Bryan Perla, the tool sits snugly around a roll of wrapping paper and features a hidden blade that slides and slices your paper into perfectly straight lines without unrolling it. The elf-shaped gadget is easy to use and, according to reviews, works well.
You can pick up Little Elf online or at a few big-box stores. But we recommend heading to Amazon, which has the most options and is a convenient place to stock up on other gift wrapping essentials, like scissors and tape. If you’re looking for high-quality paper, we recommend picking up a few rolls of the stuff from Hallmark or Paper Source (which Wirecutter has recommended in the past). These higher-end brands are more resilient than bargain varieties and tend to use environmentally friendly practices, including using 30% recycled content, partnering with sustainable forestry mills, and avoiding chlorine bleaching, among other things.
We’ve also found that it’s a good idea to invest in a couple of dispensers for your gift wrap, as this will decrease the amount of waste you create and make it easier to pull out and cut just the right size of paper. Plus, keeping your paper organized helps you keep track of what you’ve used and what you still have left to do.
You can find a selection of wrapping paper dispensers on Amazon, but we like this one from Home Depot because it’s sturdy and holds plenty of rolls of various sizes. It even comes with a free set of coordinating tin snips. If you want to spruce up your gift wrapping, Etsy is a great resource for finding unique tags, bows, and other decorative elements. The handmade items can be pricey, but you’ll be supporting a small business and you’ll likely receive prompt responses from sellers who will gladly add customization notes. You can also pick up a wide variety of reusable gift bags on the site.