Watch as a pair of hands place a rectangular box on the white side of some satin green wrapping paper. The paper, presumably the remnants of a gift wrapping spree, is an inconveniently small square. Folded horizontally or vertically, no two ends of the paper meet in the middle.
All hope, we briefly think, has been lost.
But this video is not a story of failure. It is a knight in crinkly armour. Our heroes over at Waterstones do not give up when the wrapping paper looks to be too small to wrap the gift. Instead, they turn the gift 45 degrees and fold the corner over the top of the gift, and suddenly there is enough paper to make this gift decent.
This is apparently enough to break brains across cyberspace. The internet, as they say, is “shook.”
But is this, in fact, a reliable and easy fix for when you don’t have enough wrapping paper or cut a piece a little too short? Is this a skill worth learning? Will it actually help you out when you’re in a bind? Or is this a repeat of that viral garlic peeling video?
Refinery29’s resident Waterstones video enthusiast, Baeleen Rivera, confesses that she spent the weekend watching the video on a loop and that the technique is second nature to her now. So we decided she should be the one to put it to test.
We tested the same gift, with about four shapes and sizes of wrapping paper, none of which are big enough to wrap the gift in a conventional way. Some notes right off the bat: It uses less paper per square inch, which is good from an environmental and cost perspective. On five of the sides, the gift was seamlessly wrapped. On the bottom, however, she was a hot steaming mess.
To pull this off, you need to bring the corners together at the top of the gift and make sure the paper reaches the widest point of your gift. If they don’t, the piece of paper is too small and you’re better off saving it for a smaller gift of giving your slightly-too-big gift a patchwork outfit.
Also, this trick only seems to work under very specific circumstances: a rectangular gift and a square piece of paper that is only slightly too small. Then and only then might it be a good idea to try wrapping your gift on the bias.
But considering wrapping paper usually comes in a long rectangle, it’s unlikely you’ll ever find yourself with a box and a square piece of wrapping paper that can only cover the entirety of your gift if you wrapped it just so. So if that happens to you, by all means, turn your gift 45 degrees clockwise. Every other time, make sure you’re generous enough cutting your paper so that you don’t have to waste an entire piece over two inches.