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How to Wrap Food Gifts

From an oddly shaped mug to an expected cylinder of wine, how to step up your holiday gift wrapping

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Congratulations, you did the mad dash for the perfect gift and you found it. But you’re looking at it now — that glass banana you got your friend who is all about fruit-shaped knick-knacks — and you’re stumped: How the hell do you wrap it? Never fear! If this guy can wrap a cat, you can wrap oblongs, cylinders, and other weirdly shaped gifts. Here’s how.

Candles, jars, and other small items

Tissue paper is not just for gift bags; it’s actually better than wrapping paper because it’s an easier material to work with. All you have to do is place the candle or jar in the middle of two sheets of tissue paper and bring the four corners up into the middle. This creates four small pockets. Bring those four pockets up into the middle. You see that pleating around the item? Give the base a good squeeze and then tie a ribbon around it. If you really want to zhuzh it up, consider curling the ribbon with scissors. If all else fails, put the item in a box and wrap it with holiday gift wrap or place it in a gift bag and add some tissue paper in there. The same strategy can be applied any gift that can fit in your hand, like mugs and other spreads. You can also use cello gift wrap instead of tissue paper (sometimes surprises are overrated). Just place some shredded paper under the mug or spread and follow the same steps mentioned above.


You can approach wine, pretty much the go-to hostess gift, one of four ways. The first and second are the easiest: Slip it in a gift bag and top it off with some tissue paper or put it in cellophane, tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle, and place a pom bow on it. If you want to get meta, put the bottle of wine in a box and wrap it with prosecco (or any wine-related) gift wrap. But if this is a gift for someone really special (hello, mom) or you’re trying to make an impression, consider putting it in a reusable felt bottle carrier. Any person can use it over and over again to transport wine, whether it’s for a restaurant that’s BYOB or a holiday dinner where the goal is not just to eat and mingle but also to impress the host.

Things shaped like other things

We’re back to that damn glass banana. Things shaped like other things are oddly specific, a gift for a friend who probably has a great sense of humor — so don’t hesitate to have some fun! Skip the holiday wrapping paper and add a finishing touch that’s specific to the gift. In this case, throw the item in a box with some tissue, opt for banana print gift wrap, and top it off with a yellow bow. The same principle can be applied to that pancake plushie (with brunch gift wrap), cookie ornament (biscuit wrapping paper!), or avocado cell phone case (!!!) you’re gifting this year.

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