Gift wraps

Gift wrap: Getting the best value

You’ve researched the perfect pressie and found the best bang for your buck – now you need the consummate Christmas wrap.


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If you’re looking for value for money in your wrapping paper, we suggest steering clear of multi-packs – you’re better off buying a single roll.

Farmers sells a three- and five-pack of Home of Christmas gift wrap, as well as individual rolls. However, its triple-pack costs $3.57 per square metre, compared to $2.00 for a single roll.

Whitcoulls’ Value Wrap’s multi-pack was also more expensive per square metre than its single roll.

Across the nine papers we surveyed, there was a huge variety in cost. Unsurprisingly, the two papers with metallic detailing were the priciest – you’ll pay $5.71 per square metre for Collage Gift Wrap and Korbond Wish Upon A Star Wrap.

The Home of Christmas triple-pack was nearly six times and John Sands 2-metre roll four times more expensive than The Warehouse’s Christmas Wrap.

Getting what you pay for

So are you getting what you pay for? The Collage range seems to be embracing the holiday spirit at least. When we measured a 4-metre roll of Collage paper, we found a Christmas bonus: nine centimetres of extra paper.

Some products have a folded – and therefore unusable – segment at the end of the roll as part of their advertised length.

The Home of Christmas multi-packs and the Korbond, John Sands and Value Wrap brands took a more Grinch-like approach. The paper from each of these products had a fold at the end of the roll, where it meets the cardboard tube.

As wrapping virtuosos know, the paper beyond this fold is often crushed and unusable. This wouldn’t be a problem if the fold was in addition to the length specified on the pack.

But, for all four brands, the opposite was true – the advertised length included this folded, unusable portion.

Customers buying the Home of Christmas triple-pack are told each roll contains 1.2 metres of paper. Yet by the time we’d cut off the 10-centimetre crushed end section, we only had just 1.1 metres of paper left to play with.

The Weights and Measures Act makes it illegal to supply a product that’s shorter than the length specified on the pack. The Consumer Guarantees Act also states goods must be of acceptable quality and fit for purpose.

Korbond Industries NZ general manager James Allen declined to comment. We didn’t receive a response to our questions when we contacted Farmers and Whitcoulls (both owned by James Pascoe) and John Sands.

Collage, Hallmark and The Warehouse don’t use a fold in their wrapping paper. To get the full length of paper you’re paying for, we recommend choosing one of these brands this Christmas.

Green options

If the thought of mounds of discarded wrapping paper on Christmas Day sends a shiver down your spine, here are some tips:

This Christmas, try your hand at furoshiki tying, a Japanese art form.
  • Select recyclable paper. Glittery and foil-like papers typically aren’t recyclable.
  • Make your own. Newspapers can be decorated or children’s paintings re-purposed.
  • Choose a fabric option. Fabric – from op-shop textiles and offcuts to unused scarves – is a great reusable alternative, according to zero-waste experts of The Rubbish Trip, Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince. If you need inspiration, check out the traditional Japanese art-form of furoshiki tying online.
  • Invest in cloth gift bags. An option for sewing gurus is whipping up reusable drawstring bags from re-purposed material. Alternatively, keep an eye out at your local craft store or market.
  • Avoid using tape. Use twine, reusable ribbon or safety pins instead.
  • Take care unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day. Save undamaged sections of paper to use next year – particularly shiny (and therefore unrecyclable) wrap.
  • Recycle what you can. Simple paper wrap, with tape and decorations removed, can go in the recycle bin. Alternatively, compost paper and newsprint.

Gift wrap compared

Product Price ($) Price per square meter ($) Amount lost to fold (%)
Christmas Wrap single roll 70cm x 7m 3.00 0.61 0
Collage Gift Wrap single roll 70cm x 2m 7.99 5.71 0
Hallmark Beautifully Wrapped Gift Wrap single roll 70cm x 5m 6.99 2.00 0
Home of Christmas Toy Gift Wrap Extra Wide single roll 1m x 5m 9.99 2.00 0
Home of Christmas Gift Wrap triple-pack 70cm x 1.2m 8.99 3.57 8
John Sands Gift Wrap single roll 70cm x 2m 3.50 2.50 1
Korbond Wish Upon A Star Flock Wrap single roll 70cm x 2m 7.99 5.71 2
Value Wrap Christmas Rollwrap single roll 70cm x 10m 8.99 1.28 0.3
Value Wrap Christmas Rollwrap triple-pack 70cm x 2m 7.99 1.90 3

By Olivia Wannan
Investigative Writer

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