How to wrap presents

How to wrap presents and send them by courier

19th April 2023, 8:08am in Shipping Advice by Amy Newham

If you send a gift to someone by courier, you’ll want to make it a memorable unboxing experience. Forget gift cards and e-gifts; sending a gift in the post should be a pleasant personalised surprise for the recipient.

Whether shipping a gift to someone living in the UK or overseas, our tips below explain how to wrap presents. Plus, guidance on our timely, cost-effective courier services.

How to wrap presents

Directly delivering a gift to your loved one from the store can feel impersonal. If you send the potential present to yourself, you can decide if it’s right and wrap it on arrival. To give your gift the personal touch, we recommend you:

Check if it is suitable to ship

Before you open the new wrapping paper roll, we advise you to check our Prohibited & Restricted Items list. Prohibited items vary by country and courier, so check both lists before sending. Everyday items like perishable goods, perfume and money are unsuitable for shipment.

Remove all price tags

Remove price tags

You might have secured a good deal on your present, but your recipient doesn’t need to know. Make sure you check over your item for any price labels, discount stickers or sale markings. It will save you from an awkward phone call in the future!

Wrap your present in wrapping paper

Wrapping paper comes in a variety of materials and colours. As a typical single-use item, wrapping paper can be recycled after use, provided it’s not foil wrap or glitter-encrusted. Recycled kraft paper is a popular choice.

Still, an alternative to wrapping paper is using newspaper, cloth or deadstock fabric (leftover fabric to you and me). You can even buy personalised photo wrapping paper rolls on eCommerce marketplaces like Etsy and Not On The High Street!

Place the gift in an attractive box

Awkward-shaped gifts or soft items aren’t always the easiest to wrap with wrapping paper. An alternative to gift wrap is a colourful gift box or bag. It can provide extra protection and is much easier to package.

Add those personal touches

Add some creativity to your gift with ribbons, bows or handmade tags. Show the recipient how much you care by including a handwritten note or card in your parcel.

How to package your wrapped present for shipping

Pack gifts

Now, after all this time making your present look irresistible, you don’t want to risk it becoming damaged in transit. You want your shipment to be protected and watertight to withstand all weather conditions – even if it's destination is across town. Before sending, you must put your wrapped or boxed gift inside a strong cardboard box.

As a guide, we recommend you:

  • Select a strong cardboard box
  • Wrap the item in protective material
  • Fill any space in the box with cushioning material
  • Securely tape up the lids and sides
  • Attach all relevant documentation to the outside of the box

Watch our packaging video guide for more information.

Which courier should I send my gift with?

During busier times like Christmas and Easter, parcels can take longer to deliver because the parcel network handles many shipments. Even outside of the holidays, we recommend sending your gift earlier rather than later. You’ll save money by sending your goods with an Economy parcel delivery service.

Alongside our cheaper Economy courier services, we offer a selection of Express, Next Day, Same Day and Timed services.

If you’re sending an alcoholic gift, like a bottle of wine, the APC Liquid service is ideal for UK shipments. Parcels sent on the liquid service are sorted by hand and held in separate cages to maximise protection.

If you’re shipping a fragile gift, we recommend you select an Express service so your gift spends less time in the parcel network. Likewise, we offer a selection of Timed parcel courier services ideal for last-minute birthday presents.

Purchase Enhanced Transit Cover

If your parcel went missing or was damaged in transit, you don’t want to be out of pocket. That’s why we recommend purchasing enhanced transit cover if the item’s value exceeds the value of free inclusive cover. Enhanced Cover is the additional level of Transit Cover that replaces the included cover which is purchased at the time that an order is placed.

Many of our UK courier services include a level of transit cover as standard, typically between £15-£50. Enhanced cover is available to purchase for an additional fee, payable at the time of ordering. It gives you extra peace of mind that you’ll get your money back to replace your gift. It’s worth comparing the different amounts of cover available at the quote stage.

When you fill in your parcel details, including the contents value, we will tell you if your parcel is fully protected in transit on that service, or ask you if you'd like to fully protect your parcel for an stated fee.

Are you sending a present abroad?

Receive a parcel from abroad

If you’re sending a gift to a friend or relative abroad, there is more paperwork to complete, like a commercial invoice. For instance, when shipping a personal gift to a friend or family member internationally, you would select ‘Private Individual’ for Tax Status and ‘Gift’ as the Reason For Export.

As the importer, the receiver is responsible for applicable customs charges. That’s why you must be as accurate as possible on the customs forms so you don’t leave your receiver with unexpected fees.

Some items are restricted from import to specific countries. For example, you cannot ship books to China. It’s essential to check any rules and restrictions that apply to the receiving country. This information is usually available on our Prohibited & Restricted Items list and by contacting local Customs.

Sending a gift with Interparcel

After you’ve accurately weighed and measured your parcel, enter the details into our online quote tool. From there, you can browse our range of discount courier services. You can view Collection or Drop Off services and filter results by service, speed and price.

Once your parcel has been collected, you can track your delivery using our online tracking portal.

Of course, we understand you might have a question or two you need to answer first. You can speak to our team of parcel experts over the telephone, via email or live chat seven days a week.

So, now you know how to wrap presents, wrap up your gift and send at a low price with us today!

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