13 Tips for Wrapping the Perfect Present From An Expert

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iStock

Growing up, Alton DuLaney received many beautifully-wrapped presents. “My dad was a great gift wrapper,” he tells Mental Floss. “He always made the holidays and birthdays really special.” Those wraps clearly stuck with DuLaney, who grew up to become creative director at Kate’s Paperie and, in 2008, took home the top prize in the Scotch Most Gifted Wrapper Contest (he wrapped, among other things, a baby grand piano).

These days, the artist is helping novices nail their gift wraps via tutorials on Craftsy.com. DuLaney’s motto? Put the present in presentation. “Gift giving should not be stressful,” he says. “It should be something fun. When you gift wrap something, it shows that you put some individual time and attention to make it something special. If you have fun with it, your gift recipient is probably going to have fun with it, too.”

1. PREP YOUR WORKSPACE …

A person wrapping presnts on a clean workspace.
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“Create your workspace before you create,” DuLaney advises. Because he prefers to stand, he makes a sturdy, waist-high table or countertop his base. Whatever you choose to work on, make sure the surface is clean. Ditto your hands: “You don’t want to get lotion or anything that might be on your hands onto the beautiful paper or ribbon,” DuLaney says.

2. … AND HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS ON HAND.

Wrapping paper and scissors.
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No workspace is complete without the proper tools. DuLaney always has a ruler and two pairs of scissors—one for paper and one for ribbon. “Sometimes your paper will have glitter or other things on it that will dull your scissors,” he says. “When you cut your ribbon, you want to have a very super-sharp pair of scissors to get a nice, clean cut.” To tell the difference, he ties a tiny bit of ribbon around the handle of the ribbon scissors.

DuLaney also has two kinds of Scotch tape at the ready: Double-sided for complicated areas, and gift wrap tape with a matte finish “so even when it’s on the outside of the paper, it virtually disappears—you don’t see it.” He also keeps embellishments on hand to decorate the outside of the gift (more on that in a bit). “I like to gather all of those things before I start, and that way, once the creative juices are flowing, you don’t have to stop and say, ‘Where are my scissors? Where’s my tape?’” he says.

3. USE A MEDIUM GRADE PAPER.

A close-up of rolls of wrapping paper.
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If your paper is too thin, it will tear easily, allowing package corners to poke through; too-thick paper, on the other hand, leads to a bulky wrap. DuLaney prefers a medium-grade paper with a bit of a metallic finish, which creates nice, sharp creases.

4. CONSIDER DOING A PRACTICE RUN.

A mother and daughter wrapping presents.
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“This is going to sound crazy, but I always tell people to practice,” DuLaney says. “At the end of the season, I’ll go buy gift wrap on sale, and [next year], I’ll practice my wrapping before I start wrapping.” DuLaney advises practicing with ribbon, too.

If he has a special paper—something hand-painted or hand-stamped—DuLaney will do a dry run with regular paper to see how it will work. “Then I’ll unwrap [the gift] and use that paper as a pattern, just like if you were working with a piece of fabric—you would use a paper pattern to make your fabric pattern,” he says.

5. CAREFULLY MEASURE YOUR PAPER.

A person measuring out wrapping paper.
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To get the most use from your roll, wrap packages with the longest side of the box facing the cut edge of the paper whenever possible. Then, before making your cut, pull the paper up over the sides of the box to measure: You want just enough paper on either side so they slightly overlap in the middle—meaning, each side will be a smidge longer than half the width of your box. “If [the package is] big, I’ll actually break out a ruler, to make sure I have more than half,” DuLaney says. He always errs on the side of too much paper—you can always trim later.

6. PLACE YOUR PACKAGE TOP DOWN—AND NEVER PUT TAPE ON IT.

A picture of a woman's hands wrapping a christmas present.
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When it’s finally time to wrap your gift, place it top down on the paper. Next, pull one edge of the paper just beyond the edge of your gift; fold it to hide the cut edge—the white part, which DuLaney calls “the meat” of the paper. Most people would tape that to the package, but DuLaney advises against that. “When you take that paper off, you want both the ribbon and the paper to just fall away and reveal what’s inside it,” he says. Instead, grab the other side of the paper and pull it under the side with the folded edge. Align the folded edge with the end of the package and tape.

Next, rotate the box to one of the open sides and fold the short sides down to create long flaps; repeat on the other side. “This keeps the package from sliding around inside the paper,” DuLaney says. Fold the flap closest to you downward; then, fold the one closest to your work surface toward you and tape. That way, “when you turn the gift over, and place the bow on top, the side flaps are going down, so you don’t see into the workings of the gift wrap.” Finally, using your finger and your thumb, crease the edges of your wrapped package. You can watch DuLaney walk Jimmy Kimmel through the process here.

7. IF YOU RUN OUT OF PAPER, MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU MEANT TO DO IT.

A present wrapped in a wide ribbon.
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If you mess up and don’t cut enough paper (or are at the end of your roll), it’s no big deal. There are solutions that make it look like that was part of your plan all along—like creating a belly band. “I cut a strip of paper, fold under each edge, and sometimes, I’ll pleat that into a tuxedo fold in the middle, and I’ll tape that to the other paper,” DuLaney says. When he does this, he wraps the gift top-side up. “I’ll have the gift right-side up and will construct the paper on top of the gift, so the belly band becomes the centerpiece.” Have a slice of exposed package on the ends? Use a wide ribbon or embellishments to disguise it.

8. WHEN WRAPPING CYLINDERS, PLEATING IS KEY.

Wrapped packages under the tree.
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There are two ways of dealing with a cylinder: What DuLaney calls the bon-bon method—“where you scrunch the paper on each end and tape the ribbon on it” so it looks like a candy—and pleating. Trust us when we say pleating is easier to do than it is to explain—check out this video for a tutorial.

9. ADD EMBELLISHMENTS.

A present wrapped in plain paper and twine with a twig as an embellishment.
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Once you’re finished wrapping, put the present in presentation by adding embellishments to the outside of the package. This could be as simple as a ribbon, but DuLaney often kicks it up a notch. “I like to give a little gift on the outside that’s a hint of what’s on the inside,” he says. “If I’m giving a book, I might embellish the gift with bookmarks; if I’m giving a journal, I might embellish with a couple of writing instruments on the outside.” Sometimes, his embellishments follow gift wrapping trends. “There are a lot of wood grain papers on the market this season,” he says. “You can wrap with that and embellish with a sprig of rosemary from your garden or a bough of holly from your holiday tree.”

10. EMBRACE UNUSUAL SHAPES.

A bike with tinsel on it.
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Wrapping boxes is easy, but what happens if what you need to wrap isn’t box-shaped? DuLaney has several methods for dealing with this. The first—and easiest—is to grab a gift bag. “When I do a gift bag, I gift wrap my gift bag,” he says. “I’ll add a ribbon or a bow around the handle, or I’ll replace the handle with a matching ribbon.” Other times, he might wrap something tangentially related to a gift to place under the tree before revealing the real deal. “If I’m giving someone a tennis racket, I’ll wrap a tennis ball, and when they open that, I’ll present them the racket with a bow on it,” he says.

Another method is to wrap your gift to look like exactly what it is. “Last year on Jimmy Kimmel, I wrapped a vacuum cleaner, and it looked exactly like a vacuum cleaner,” DuLaney says. “[The gift] is a gorgeous paper sculpture when you’re done, but of course there’s no mystery as to what’s inside it.”

If you prefer to camouflage a gift, prepare to get creative. “I’ve done a bicycle before where I wrapped it in all of this craft paper, created cardboard cutouts, and basically turned it into a deer with a scarf wrapped around its neck,” he says. “You’re so distracted by that—you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a reindeer!’—that you don’t even think bicycle until you’re inside it.”

Of course, you could buy a box to put your unusually-shaped gift in, but what’s the fun in that?

11. USE DULL SCISSORS TO CURL RIBBON ...

Two rolls of ribbon and a pair of scissors on a white background.
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When using curling ribbon, sharp scissors are not your friend. They won’t just tear the ribbon—they could cut your finger, too. Dull scissors are the way to go. “When the ribbon comes off the spool, the outside of the ribbon is the finished side,” he says. “The part that goes to the inside of the spool is where you want to put your scissor or your curling tool. I put the scissor under the ribbon, put pressure on it from above with my thumb, and pull. The trick is to only do it once.”

12. … BUT DON’T THINK CURLING RIBBON IS YOUR ONLY OPTION.

A close up of a person's hands tying a red ribbon around a present.
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Depending on what kind of look you’re going for, you might opt for a silk ribbon (to which you'd add angled or forked tails) over a curling ribbon. DuLaney likes to use a wire-edge ribbon, which can help those who aren’t used to tying perfect bows create prettier shapes. “The bow holds its shape really well,” he says. “You can hand-shape the tails that are coming off that bow, and they will hold that shape. A satin ribbon is really beautiful, but can be slippery, and curling ribbon has a limp finish to it, which can look sloppy in the end. With wire-edged ribbon, you can create the bow and then really shape it into something you love.”

13. DON’T CUT YOUR RIBBON OFF THE ROLL UNTIL YOUR BOW IS DONE.

A close up of spools of ribbon.
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iStock

Do you eyeball how much ribbon you think you’ll need, cut it off the spool, and hope for the best? Rookie mistake. When he’s tying a bow, DuLaney starts at the top of the gift and gives himself 12 inches of extra ribbon that stays attached to the spool. And, oh yeah, he does his criss-crossing and knotting of the ribbon on top of the gift. “People have a tendency to do that on the bottom of the gift, but then, when they’re done, there’s a bump under there,” he says. “Your gift rocks—it doesn’t sit flat.”

Here’s how DuLaney does it: “I hold the ribbon to the top of the gift with my thumb, wrap my ribbon around the bottom, and bring the ribbon back up to the top of the package, then criss-cross the top of the gift,” he says. “Then I wrap the ribbon lengthwise around the gift, around the bottom, back up to the top, and then I will do my first half knot with the ribbon. I will then tie the bow, and then—and only then—will I cut the ribbon from the spool.”

8 of Amazon's Bestselling Home Office Desks

JOISCOPE/Amazon
JOISCOPE/Amazon

If you've been working from home for the past six months (or longer), you're overdue for a high-quality office desk. And not just any old one, but a desk designed specifically for comfort and purpose, so you can organize everything you need for your 9-to-5 without having to worry about losing track of that important folder or planner.

The problem, though, is that there are so many options out there to choose from. That’s why we've stepped in to make the process a bit easier for you by compiling a list of the bestselling home office desks from Amazon. Check them out below.

1. Furinno Simplistic A-Frame Computer Desk; $237

Furinno/Amazon

This Furinno A-Frame desk is Amazon’s top home office desk at the moment. Though it may seem simple, sometimes that's all you need to make your space more efficient. The small desk hutch on top creates little cubbies for you to store papers, notebooks, or tools you may need throughout the day. There's even a bench on the bottom for you to put your feet up during the last few hours of the workday.

Buy it: Amazon

2. CubiCubi 40-inch Home Office Table; $95

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For those looking for a sleek, modern desk that doesn't skimp on function, go for the CubiCubi. The metal frame, combined with the black wood surface, gives this table a sturdy, reliable feel. There's also a built-in side pocket to store all your papers out of eyesight but within arm’s reach. And according to the company, the whole thing should only take 10 minutes to assemble.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Coleshome 31-inch Computer Desk; $84

Coleshome/Amazon

This 31-inch desk from Coleshome is the perfect option for a small home office. Complete with adjustable leg pads for added stability, this desk can fit in any nook and is designed with simplicity in mind.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mr. Ironstone Black L-Shaped Desk; $130

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This unique L-shaped desk is perfect for anyone looking to fit their workstation into the corner of a room. Measuring at 50.8 inches on both sides, you’ll get the most out of your surface by adding multiple monitors, a printer, and books all around.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Furinno Efficient Home Desk with Side Shelves; $53

Furinno/Amazon

If you want to make your office feel more like a study, then you’ll need somewhere to store all your tomes. This Furinno desk can help you make space to work and house all your favorite books nearby to grab whenever you need them. The multilevel shelves help make this desk feel more modern, while also creating plenty of storage space.

Buy it: Amazon

6. JOISCOPE 40-inch Computer Desk; $110

JOISCOPE/Amazon

This desk comes packed with plenty of storage space for your things while also providing a large, sleek worktop for you to spread out all day long. The oak finish on top also adds a bit of sophistication to your workday, even if you spend your lunch break perusing the latest cat memes.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Seville Classics Ergonomic Mobile Desk Cart; $44

Seville/Amazon

Standing desks have become more popular in recent years as people look for more ways to improve their posture and overall health. The Seville Ergonomic Mobile Desk can help you achieve your physical goals while assisting you with your work. The desk's height can be adjusted from 20.5 inches to 33 inches, and it has four swivel wheels, two of which lock in case you want to stay in one spot.

Buy it: Amazon

8. ComHoma Black Writing Computer Desk Office Folding Table; $100

ComHoma/Amazon

For a modern design, there's the ComHoma writing desk. The sleek metal bars on the sides and back of the desk add style, not clutter, and the 39-inch tabletop will give you ample space to work on whatever projects come your way.

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

21 Funny Facts About Schitt's Creek

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Pop TV

Schitt’s Creek is a classic fish-out-of-water story: After they lose their entire video store fortune to the government because their business manager hasn't been paying their taxes, the Rose family—parents Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Moira (Catherine O'Hara) and their adult children David (Daniel Levy) and Alexis (Annie Murphy)—head to the only asset the government has allowed them to keep: the town of Schitt’s Creek. The cosmopolitan Roses, who had purchased the town as a joke, move into the local motel, where they share two adjoining rooms; they stick out like sore thumbs in their new home.

But at its heart, Schitt’s Creek is a show about family. “We’ve used a fish out of water scenario to help dramatize that story,” co-creator and star Daniel Levy told Assignment X, “forcing them into a motel room and ... examining what it means to be a family and what relationships are and having the time to concentrate and focus on who they are to each other and what they mean to each other.” Here are a few things you might not have known about the hit series.

1. Reality TV inspired some elements of Schitt's Creek.

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“It really just started with me being in Los Angeles, knowing that I wanted to write," Daniel Levy told Out in 2015 of the show's beginnings. "I had been watching some reality TV at the time and was concentrating on what would happen if one of these wealthy families would lose everything. Would the Kardashians still be the Kardashians without their money?”

In 2018, Annie Murphy recounted at 92Y Talks that she, too, looked to the Kardashians for inspiration for her character. “I watched a bunch of clips—YouTube clips, because I couldn’t bring myself to watch entire shows—of, you know, Kardashians and that kind of thing” for some of Alexis’s tone and mannerisms, including the particular way she holds her hands, she explained. “When they hold their handbags, they hold their purses [on their arms] with their broken wrist this way,” Murphy said, pantomiming someone holding a bag with their hand hanging limply, palm up. For Alexis, she flipped her wrist so that her hand was hanging palm down (you can see it in action here).

2. Schitt's Creek was a family affair.

To flesh out his idea, Levy turned to his dad, frequent Christopher Guest collaborator (and American Pie star) Eugene. The two had never worked together before; in fact, pre-Schitt’s, Daniel had been adamant about doing his own thing. “People are so quick to judge children of people in entertainment,” he told Assignment X. “I just thought, if nobody knows the association and I’m able to build something for myself, then I can introduce my dad—when people actually respect me for what I’ve done, as opposed to snap-judge why I got the job or what I was doing.”

Why go to him for Schitt’s? As Daniel explained to NPR, he had seen the family-loses-it-all idea “played out on mainstream television and sitcoms, but I'd never really seen it explored through the lens of a certain style of realist comedy that my dad does so well. So I came to him and pitched the idea and asked him if he would be interested at all in just fleshing it out and seeing if there was anything there. And fortunately, there was some interest and we started talking.”

Eugene told The New York Times that he was thrilled to have the chance to collaborate with his son: “My heart was actually palpitating. You could see it over my shirt.”

Eugene and Daniel weren’t the only Levys on the show, either: Sarah Levy, daughter of Eugene and sister of Daniel, also appeared on Schitt’s Creek as Twyla Sands, the lone waitress at the town’s most happening diner, Cafe Tropical.

3. Eugene Levy came up with the title Schitt's Creek.

Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy in Schitt's Creek (2015).Pop TV

“It was actually just out of coincidence really," Daniel told Out. "He was having a dinner conversation a few weeks prior, about this theoretical town of Schitt's Creek: You would have Schitt Hardware and Schitt Grocers." When they were researching ways that people had lost their fortunes, they came across stories of people who had bought towns for various reasons and later ended up bankrupt. “We thought, well, what if this family, as a joke for the son's 16th birthday, found this town called Schitt's Creek, bought it as a joke because of the name and then ended up having to live there?” Daniel said.

The show’s name made promotional tours interesting: Not all TV or radio outlets could say it, for fear of being fined for using profanity. On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, for example, the name of the show had to appear on screen every time it was spoken aloud.

4. Annie Murphy also auditioned for the role of Stevie Budd.

At a 92Y Talks discussion in 2016, Murphy revealed that she auditioned for both Stevie Budd—the deadpan concierge at the Schitt’s Creek motel where the Roses make their home—and Alexis, the self-centered socialite character she would eventually play. “I’ve never worked so hard at an audition in my life,” she said. “I made my husband rehearse it with me just into the ground.”

In the presentation pilot—which is meant to secure a season order and not destined to air on TV—Alexis had been played by Abby Elliott, who couldn’t continue on the show because of another project. So auditions were held in Los Angeles, where Daniel said they saw “hundreds” of people for the role.

“There had to be some kind of intrinsic likeability to this family, otherwise there’s really no reason to watch—because on paper they’re not very likeable,” he said. “I had been sitting through two days of auditions, and you see these girls come in and they’re dressed like Paris Hilton and they’re playing that part, which was essentially the part that was written on paper. But what I was looking for was what Annie brought in, which was this wonderfully natural likeability to this girl who is so unlikeable, who is so, like, horrifyingly self-involved … It all kind of fell into place, and I called my dad and said ‘I found Alexis, thank god.’”

But Eugene’s immediate response, according to Daniel, was that Murphy had brown hair, unlike the blonde vision of Alexis he had in his head from the pilot. So they had Murphy read for Stevie, because, Daniel said, “I’m not not having her on the show.” When Murphy landed the role of Alexis, she dyed her hair blonde, and Emily Hampshire was cast as Stevie (who had been played by Lindsay Sloane in the pilot).

5. Emily Hampshire doesn't remember anything about her audition.

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When she got the audition for Schitt's Creek, Emily Hampshire was living in L.A. and going through a rough time. "I literally had $800 in my bank account, hadn't worked in a year, was getting a divorce," she tells Mental Floss.

To make matters worse, she was also breaking out into hives when she went out on auditions. So when her agent called about Schitt's, Hampshire said she absolutely couldn't go read in person; what she could do instead was put herself on tape. But at her agent’s insistence, Hampshire went in to audition in front of Daniel and a casting director—and it was a memorable experience for everyone involved but her: Hampshire says she doesn't remember any of it.

Thankfully, Levy does. “Emily came in and immediately said, ‘I’m sorry, this is going to be terrible,’” he recalled at 92Y Talks in 2018. “She did it, and it was great, and I remember saying … ‘Why don’t we just try it where she gets a little more kick out of these people. She’s not just judging them, she’s like, enjoying them, too.’ So she did it again, and you can tell when it clicks … and I remember saying, ‘Great, we’re good,’ and she was like, ‘No, it was—oh god, it was terrible, it was so bad.’” Then, she covered her head with her shirt to hide. Hampshire doesn’t remember that part, either, but, said Levy, “I remember it fondly.”

6. Stevie was the audience's stand-in.

“The character of Stevie has always acted as the eyes of the audience," Daniel said during a 92Y Talks in 2018. "She is the person who is going to say the things that the audience is probably saying to each other while watching it. And I think it’s always important to have that one character on the show that you can trust.”

That was something that resonated with Hampshire. "I think what I connected to in Stevie is that she really stands in for the audience in a way," Hampshire says, "and I felt like I just had to watch these people around me and take them in in an honest way and it would be funny."

In the character breakdown she received when she auditioned, Hampshire says that Stevie was described as "being from a small town, and she's very deadpan." But over the course of the show, Stevie evolved. In season 1, Hampshire says, "I don’t think she had any attachment to the motel or to anyone—on purpose. To not be attached or kind of be emotionally invested in anything is a much safer place to be ... she has opened up.” Over the course of the show, Stevie “grows up a lot,” Hampshire says, “and really learns to take responsibility for things that I don't think she ever wanted to take responsibility for."

7. Catherine O'Hara brought something special to the character of Moira Rose.

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It was Eugene who suggested O’Hara—his frequent collaborator in Guest’s mockumentaries—for the part of Moira Rose. “I was not going to say, ‘No, that’s not a good idea,’” Daniel told The New York Times. “When he offers up Catherine O’Hara, you take it and run with it.”

And Moira’s eccentricities are all O’Hara’s doing. “We always knew Moira was an actress, an ex-soap star, who became a socialite, chairing major charity events around the world,” Eugene told The Hollywood Reporter. “But Catherine, who always brings something so creative to the table, added a very extreme affectation to her actress character that made Moira so much funnier than we had imagined her.”

O’Hara told Awards Daily that her character’s voice is “kind of a mix of people I’ve met. There’s one woman who’s very feminine and lovely. She just has a unique way of putting sentences together.” Inspiration can come from other sources, too: In the Season 3 episode “New Car,” O’Hara at one point had to use a British accent. “There’s a woman on Sirius radio who claims to be a dog whisperer or pet psychic. Have you heard this woman?” she asked Awards Daily. “That’s basically the accent I’m doing.”

8. Moira's aesthetic is based on Daphne Guinness.

“Catherine came in with a reference, when we first started exploring what the aesthetic of this strange woman would be, and she brought in a picture of Daphne Guinness, who is the heir to the Guinness fortune,” Daniel said at 92Y Talks in 2018. “And she was a McQueen muse, and I looked at it, and I said ‘How do we translate this to television?’ And we thought if we kept it in black and whites and went just far enough, I think we can sort of rein it in.”

Moira’s over-the-top looks (which include a number of wigs that, according to Hampshire, have names) are created by Dan and Debra Hanson. “They shop all year because these characters have to have extremely high-end, designer wardrobes, but [the Roses] don’t have that money anymore,” O’Hara told Awards Daily. “I’ve never enjoyed wardrobe fittings in my life until now!”

9. Catherine O’Hara used arcane dictionaries for Moira’s vocabulary.

Before shooting, O’Hara would look over Moira’s dialogue and trade out conventional words with more unusual bon mots. “I have a couple of books that have arcane and archaic words that nobody’s ever heard, and it’s fun to play with my dialogue a bit and… accessorize with a few of those words,” O’Hara told Entertainment Weekly. Those books included Foyle’s Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words and Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous. Fans delight so much in Moira’s strange vocabulary that someone made a Moira Rose Word of the Day Instagram account.

10. The wardrobe on Schitt's Creek told a story.

“Dan plays a big hand in the costuming, along with the costume designer Debra Hanson, who is amazing,” Murphy told Build. “Catherine and I do hours and hours of fittings before we start shooting. And I’ll come out of the room and Dan will be like, ‘Mm mm,’ and send me back in.”

After joking that that “makes me sound crazy,” Daniel said that “the mandate, from a creative standpoint … was that the wardrobe on this show is able to tell a story that we don’t have to write … We’re constantly reminded of who these people are and where they came from.”

Because the show is on a tight budget, lots of the wardrobe, he said, comes from eBay and thrift stores. Levy told Vulture in 2019 that all the clothes have to come from around the time when the Roses lost their money—and that the most he'll pay for any item is $200.

11. The location of Schitt's Creek was purposefully ambiguous.

Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy, Catherine O'Hara, and Dan Levy star in Schitt's Creek.Pop TV

Schitt’s Creek is a Canadian production, and the Rose family had a place in New York, but when people ask him where the town of Schitt’s Creek is located, Eugene says that he tells them it’s wherever they think it should be. “We didn’t set Schitt’s Creek in any location or any country, it’s just Schitt’s Creek,” he said at 92Y Talks in 2016. “We honestly wanted the focus of the show to be on this town, and if you put it in a country with real states or put it in a country with real provinces, then things become tangible … it kind of diffuses the focus to me.”

12. There wasn’t a lot of improv on the Schitt's Creek set.

That fact might surprise fans of Eugene and O'Hara’s work on Guest films like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, where the cast works from an outline of the action with no dialogue rather than a traditional script. “[Schitt’s] is completely a scripted show, but we do an awful lot of playing around with the lines when we get to the set,” Eugene told The Hollywood Reporter. “What looked good on paper doesn’t always play when you hear the words out loud. So, we do change things until they end up sounding right.”

“When we get the script, I kind of work on it on my own and play with it then,” O’Hara told Awards Daily. “The Levy gentlemen give me respect, and I respect them and email them with possibilities. I don’t feel the need to improvise because our scripts are great.”

Which is not to say that everything was shot as written: Levy said at 92Y Talks in 2018 that Murphy’s “you get murdered first!” from the pilot episode was improvised.

13. The baseball team in the town where Schitt's Creek films changed its name to honor the show.

Schitt’s Creek was filmed in Goodwood, Ontario, in Canada. “We did dingy up the town tremendously,” Daniel told NPR. “It is a lovely town that we had turned into the town of Schitt's Creek.”

All of the show's interiors were shot at a studio, but the buildings are actual structures in Goodwood, dressed to look like Schitt's Creek. According to Hampshire, many of the buildings are on a single intersection. "There’s Bob’s Garage, which is a garage, but we put a sign up, and then the café and the apothecary are stores," Hampshire says. "When we shoot there, we make them into our stores." The motel was, at one point, actually a motel. "It’s been since turned into this basketball boys club sleeping quarters camp thing," she says. "When we go in, it really smells like a locker room."

In the first season, locals set up lawn chairs to watch filming and wandered through shots; by the second season, Eugene told 92Y Talks in 2016, they were “proud citizens of Schitt’s Creek.” The town seems to have embraced its alter ego, as evidenced by the actions of its minor league baseball team. “They had a minor league kind of baseball team there that actually changed their name from the Goodwood Bears to the Schitt's Creek Bears for an entire month,” Eugene told NPR.

14. Chris Elliot made Eugene Levy break constantly.

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According to Murphy, Eugene “giggles like a schoolboy” in scenes with Chris Elliot, who played Schitt’s Creek Mayor Roland Schitt. “He’s got my number,” Levy said in an interview with Build. “He’s constantly making me laugh on set … He does it intentionally, of course, and he actually succeeds.”

One scene in the show’s third season was particularly tough to get through and resulted in hours of outtakes: “[Chris] gets in kind of behind me, trying to show me how to hold a [golf] club properly,” Levy recalled. “That’s one of the times I think I laughed the hardest in the three seasons, was trying to get through that scene.” He couldn’t stop laughing and was eventually admonished by the director. (They did eventually get the shot.)

15. When it came to Schitt's Creek, Daniel left no detail unconsidered.

And that includes the wear and tear on the carpets in the motel. “In my head it’s like, ‘We should all know that they don’t vacuum their carpets all the time,’” Levy told GQ in 2019. "These are lived-in carpets. We’re in a motel. If we’re going to vacuum the carpets, which I know has to be done, we also need to scuff them up a bit after." He does all the scuffing himself: "It’s in the details for me, and when the details aren’t executed perfectly, I get a bit … ornery," he said. (But Daniel doesn't bring that energy to set: "It’s crazy how comfortable he is doing this, how calm and confident he is running the show," O'Hara told GQ.)

16. Cafe Tropical's menu was Annie Murphy's favorite prop.

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Cafe Tropical’s huge menu is often played for laughs on Schitt’s Creek, and it’s Murphy’s favorite prop on the show. “I wish everyone could see the inside of the menu because it’s very detailed and there’s literally every dish you could possibly imagine,” Murphy said at 92Y Talks in 2018. “There are literally 150 things you could order on this menu, and they’re all described.” The props department couldn’t find a big enough real-life menu, so they ended up creating massive ones in a custom size.

17. Emily Hampshire regularly borrowed Stevie's clothes.

With her Chucks, flannels, and overalls, Stevie easily has the most comfortable wardrobe on Schitt's Creek. It's so comfortable, in fact, that Hampshire often borrows items to wear on her time off. "I always take this one pair of Stevie’s jeans that I love—they’re like the perfect baggy boyfriend roll-up jeans," Hampshire says. "I take hoodies. I actually take Stevie’s Converse because they’re better than my exact Converse for some reason. I always take her stuff, which Dan doesn't understand at all. He’s like, 'What is there to take? Like, why would you ever borrow this stuff?' But for some reason, the wardrobe women, they just find the perfect hoodie or the perfect jean—so I take those."

18. Emily Hampshire got to live a personal dream in Season 5.

When Daniel told Hampshire she’d be performing the part of Sally Bowles in the Schitt’s Creek version of Cabaret, Hampshire was floored. She told Decider that it “was the craziest moment because whenever anyone would ask me, what’s your dream role to play, years ago I said Sally Bowles in Cabaret. I loved the movie and I’m obsessed with musicals. I’ve always told this to everybody I worked with, I want to do this. I even said it to Dan [in the] first season, ‘If we do a musical can we do Cabaret?’ But I never in a million years thought Stevie would be part of it or let alone play Sally Bowles. So I kind of got my dream in the best way possible because I got to do my dream as Stevie and got to express what Stevie’s feeling to that iconic song.”

Hampshire didn’t sing the song in rehearsals because “I [wanted] my first take to be the first time I’m doing it, and to the audience. Because I would naturally be super f***ing nervous, like on so many levels; me as Emily and as Stevie and the expectations of everybody ... In rehearsals they were like, could you me get a level for sound, but I never did it until the first take. And that’s how we did it. From there, we did about three takes of it all the way through. … This was something that I felt like, it’s best in its imperfections. I never wanted it to sound like Stevie suddenly became a musical performer singer. I wanted it to be like Stevie’s heart.”

19. Daniel Levy announced the end of the series in March 2019.

Daniel announced the news on Twitter in a letter written by himself and Eugene. "We are so grateful to have been given the time and creative freedom to tell this story in its totality, concluding with a final chapter that we had envisioned from the very beginning," they wrote. "It’s not lost on us what a rare privilege it is in this industry to get to decide when your show should take its final bow. We could never have dreamed that our fans would grow to love and care about these characters in the ways that you have.” The final season has already aired on Pop and CBC, and will likely hit Netflix in the fall.

20. After production wrapped, Hampshire took something special from the set.

Emily Hampshire and Dan Levy in Schitt's Creek.Pop TV

After Schitt's Creek was done filming, Hampshire snagged the stag painting from behind the desk at the Rosebud Hotel and took it home with her. These days, it lives in her home office. "It's in a tiny office," she says. "It's basically the entire office."

21. Schitt's Creek set an Emmy record.

The show swept the comedy category at the 2020 Emmys for its sixth and final season, and won nine awards in total—"the most ever for a comedy in a single year," according to The New York Times. O'Hara and Eugene Levy both won acting Emmys in the comedy category for playing Moira and Johnny Rose, while Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy both won best supporting actor and actress awards for their roles as David and Alexis Rose. The show also took home awards of best directing for a comedy series, best writing for a comedy series, best casting for a comedy series, and best contemporary costumes.