Gift wrapping has made this stay-at-home mom a TikTok sensation: 'I could watch these all day'

·3 min read

You have visions of immaculate, bow- and ribbon-festooned presents dancing in your head, but, alas, just a pile of misshapen, crumpled packages held together with tape and a prayer underneath your actual tree. Might it be time to seek inspiration — or help — from TikTok's resident "Folding Queen" and gift-wrapping guru? 

Though she didn't find her true calling — folding — until the pandemic hit, stay-at-home mom Lennia McCarter has already racked up more than 2 million TikTok followers thanks to her strangely soothing videos showing how to efficiently fold towels, T-shirts and the biggest bugbear of them all: the fitted sheet. Her organizational efforts earned her the moniker "Folding Queen" — and a new challenge: Did her knack for neat-as-a-pin folding extend to wrapping paper?

Turns out, it did. Scroll through the mom of two's social media accounts this holiday season and you'll find quick tutorials demonstrating not only how to wrap gifts on par with a luxury department store professional, even if said gift is, say, a football, baseball cap, wine bottle or any other item that defies a simple gift box. 

As ever, McCarter's followers are transfixed, leaving comments like, "I could watch these all day" underneath her satisfying shoots soundtracked with holiday classics.

A native of the Dominican Republic who grew up going all out for Christmas, McCarter tells Yahoo Life that her family gets to reap the rewards of her wrapping wizardry. 

"They love receiving gifts from me just because of the way they look," she laughs. "Even before they open the gift, they get this positive experience, which I love."

And she doesn't mind seeing her works of art torn to shreds when her sons unwrap their presents, because she knows they appreciate the effort she's made. "Oh, this is so pretty, Mommy," they'll tell her.

McCarter, who credits her past experience working in retail with upgrading her folding and presentation skills, tackles a series of wrapping challenges in her videos. Skateboards? Stuffed animals? Gift cards? She's got a hack for that, plus tricks for adding a little flair to your presents, such as pocket inserts that'll hold a card or festive sprig of holly. 

Another favorite technique, she says, is using a scarf or napkin in lieu of wrapping paper — something that's "not only eco-friendly but it can also be used as a double gift."

Her DIY gift bag tutorial is another popular post thanks to its relative simplicity, though McCarter relishes a challenge. Once she's settled on an object — a basketball, a frying pan — she'll go online to research the best way to wrap it, adding her own personal spin in the process. 

"I think you can wrap anything you want," she says. "You just have to look at an item and [think], Let's see where we're going to start."

—Video produced by Jacquie Cosgrove.

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