Secret Wrapping Tool: Tapeless Tape

Confession: I hate transparent tape. 

When I was 19 I had a 48 hour temp job wrapping gifts at Henri Bendel. I don’t know if it works the same now, but back then at Bendel’s the signature wrapping paper was a chocolate brown and white stripe, and the stripes always had to align seamlessly or at a perfectly perpendicular angle. Always. Making things more difficult, they did not allow gifts to be wrapped using tape or exposed seams.  Like the hem of a skirt, all of the wrapping paper edges had to be folded inward exactly 1″ and packages were sealed using paste-like clear glue sticks. Of course the glue would take a minute to dry so we would hold the paper in place with weights made from red  jewelry boxes filled with silica pouches. 

All of that effort for something that was by definition meant to be torn awaywas totally bizarre, wasteful, not to mention a royal pain in the butt…and yet, to this day, I refuse to wrap gifts with exposed seams. It’s like a disease. I caught it. I can’t get rid of it. For a long time I would use double-stick tape to invisibly bind the paper together from the inside, but now I have moved on to my secret weapon: tapeless tape
If you are a scrapbooker, you probably already own this stuff. The rest of us can find it in any craft or office supply store. Sometimes it’s called mono adhesive, or tape runner, I call it tapeless tape. Because it’s like tape, but without the tape. 
I know. Mind = Blown.  

It comes in little ergonomic roll-on thingies and lays down a thin strip of no-mess instant-stick adhesive. There are some kinds that roll on with peel-away paper backing — don’t get that kind. Just get the permanent roll-on adhesive kind. You can even get temporary adhesive, which is great for people who want to keep and reuse the wrapping paper (not so great for people who have gift peepers in the house, but, you know what they say — Peepers Gonna Peep).
Scotch brand happens to be the kind I have on hand at the house, but lots of companies make the stuff. It sells for about $3.00 for a 40′ roll, which, when compared inch to inch, is 12% more than the regular transparent tape displayed on the next shelf up (yup, I looked). Normally I’m all for saving my pennies but I am confident this gizmo cuts my wrapping time down far more than 12%, so, by that math, it’s a major bargain in my book.

So, let’s swap secrets: Do you have any gift wrapping tricks? 


  1. bluestems says

    I just found your blog… loving the tips and the christmas carol pdf. Thank you~! My gift wrapping trick is to softly run my nail across the paper on all edges of the package as I’m wrapping. It makes super straight, crisp edges & corners.

  2. Debra Montague says

    Gift wrapping tricks….treats for the cats so I can wrap in peace.

    What is it? The short-haired one will be sound asleep in the recliner. The absolute second I pull out the curling ribbon, she teleports to the wrapping area and wants to play with the curling ribbon. I can’t get her to play with her toys, but curling ribbon…

    My friends all know that a gift from me with chewed curling ribbon is “cat approved”.

    • Anonymous says

      Honestly, that is the best tip I’ve seen!!!

  3. Abee says

    The women of my family take pride in not using tape or glue AT ALL. Just perfect folding (no seams of course), and some nice ribbon…
    A family of terrible paper hoarders, of course.

  4. PeachesFreund says

    We should race sometime 😉

  5. Nascara Mascara says

    I’m sure we’d tie! We would even out over your skills and my memory of my dad saying “faster” and the customers looking on and watching every finger movement. We were practically onstage. 🙂

  6. Nascara Mascara says

    I love this solution and wow, Henri Bendel’s! I will be buying some, very soon.
    My parents owned a clothing store that had been in our family since 1916. From a very young age my sister and I were the free gift wrapping wrappers. Our instructions were “faster” and “no wrinkles”. To this day we can both whip out beautifully wrapped presents quickly.

  7. says

    I wish I waited to wrap my gifts! I have tape going in every direction along seams. Totally ruins the look of a perfect wrapping job!

  8. says

    Great idea! I do have it at home already but wouldn’t have thought to wrap with it. Thanks!

  9. says

    Top tip! Thank you. My wrapping trick is if you have a wonderful piece of wrapping paper that is slightly too small to work in the conventional way, go origami on it. Place the object to be wrapped ACROSS one corner and start to wrap and roll in a way that would have Henri Bendel turning in his grave. Once you get the hang of it the results can be amazing and you often only have to use one piece of tape – or should I say tapeless tape – at the very end.

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