Don’t trust everything you see on the internet, kids.
If you’ve been clicking around online in the last few days, you’ve likely seen a video of someone magically wrapping a gift with a too-small piece of wrapping paper. You probably know how to wrap a present, so you’re aware of the challenges that arise when you cut the wrapping paper too small for your gift—or, worse, when you only have a little bit left that’s too small for any of your gifts.
When you’re wrapping gifts last-minute, you’ll likely do anything to make that wrapping paper work, so when people found this simple solution online, they were—understandably—excited. If you’d rather not watch the video, here’s the hack: When your wrapping paper is just a little too small for your gift, simply turn the gift diagonally and wrap it that way. Like magic, the paper is suddenly large enough.
More than 13 million views in less than two days is nothing to laugh at: Many, many people were excited about this trick. At first, we were pumped about this gift wrapping hack, too: Finally, a way to make sure every gift gets wrapped that limits the number of wrapping paper scraps we must toss! Being the savvy editors we are, though, we decided to test this hack out for ourselves.
When it didn’t work on the first gift we tried, we were disappointed but not disheartened. When it didn’t work on the second or third one, though, we realized that this supposedly amazing hack isn’t the cure-all we’d hoped for. We ended up testing six or seven potential gifts and boxes of different sizes—items such as books, games, gift boxes, and more—on several different sizes of wrapping paper, including standard sheet sizes and square sheets. Our findings remained the same: The hack is more of a sometimes-works-hack.
Sure, it might work in some cases (as in the video), but it won’t work in all of them. Truly, it’s a bit of a toss-up, not the super easy hack we hoped for. (Turns out, folding wrapping paper on a diagonal is not easy!) The trick might work for your gift and scrap of paper if they coincidentally are the right size, but it’s not going to work every time, so it’s not something to rely on while you’re wrapping gifts. You can certainly try it, but there’s a good chance it won’t work on many of your best Christmas gifts. Yes, we’re disappointed, too.
While you’re taking stock of your wrapping paper stores, if you’re running low (and the pieces you have left don’t work with this viral diagonal wrapping trick), remember that there are more sustainable alternatives to wrapping paper. Use reusable boxes and bags, reuse newspaper as wrapping paper, or skip gift-wrap altogether, if it comes down to going out and buying more paper or using what’s already around the house. Remember: A sloppy wrapping job isn’t a bad thing.