Ensure your carefully chosen gifts don’t wind up looking like a hostage situation with our gift wrapping guide.

This isn’t the sexiest part of Christmas. Wrapping presents, especially if you have a big family and have bought lots of gifts, can be a time demanding and precise art. So the first tip is: always get someone else to do it for you if possible. Maybe the store you’ve been shopping in offers gift-wrapping, or perhaps a younger sibling can be persuaded (bribed) into helping out. But if you are left with no other option but to deal with the paper, sellotape, scissors and ribbons yourself, here’s how you do it.

1) Place your item in the centre of your wrapping paper face down. Fold over the creased finished edge and line it up with the centre of the upper surface. Make sure it runs parallel.

2) Press down on the finished edge and slip/draw the item toward you until the paper is nice and tight.

3) Release the good edge. Keeping the item in position, fold the rough edge over tightly.

4) Fold the creased finished edge back over tightly. You should now have a neat, straight and central join.

5) Tape the join dead centre with a small piece of sellotape.

6) Cut a deep v-shape into the ends. This should continue round and down either side.

7) Find the end of your gift and crease down.

8) Crease the excess gift-wrap all the way over. Keep your fingers near the outer edges.

9) Fold the first side flap in. Pull firmly across and down.

10) Crease along the bottom edge by running your finger from outside to middle pressing down.

11) Hold the flap and tightly in position and crease the newly formed edge of the bottom flap.

12) Repeat the steps 9 and 10 for the other side flap. Fold any excess gift-wrap back into the triangle of the bottom flap.

13) Tuck bottom flap up tight against the end.

14) Crease the bottom edge of the bottom flap by running your finger along it.

15) Add ribbon and you’re good to go – Merry Christmas!