Alright, yeah, that's— naw, that's a pretty good job.
— The Scout on gift-wrapped items
Gift Wrap is a Tool item used to wrap and deliver an item in a player's backpack to a recipient on either the current server or on their friends list. Certain items which are normally non-tradable may be 'traded' by wrapping and sending them.
Gift Wrap can be used to package an item as a gift for another player, and can be delivered to players who are offline at the time. Some items that are normally not tradable can be wrapped and gifted using gift wrap. Upon use, it will create a "Carefully Wrapped Gift" and will destroy the tool in the process since it only has a single use.
After the gift is opened, the gifted item will have a description indicating who sent the gift (which matches any future name changes) and the date received. The recipient of a gift cannot resend a gift to someone else as the 'Send Gift' action will be replaced with the 'Unwrap' action.
Some non-tradable items cannot be gift wrapped, thus remaining non-tradable:
October 6, 2010 Patch
- Gifted items are now craftable and tradable.
October 18, 2010 Patch
- [Undocumented] Gift Wrap was added to the game
October 27, 2010 Patch (Scream Fortress)
- Added Gift Wrap to the store
- Prior to the October 29, 2010 Patch, using Gift Wrap on any item would make the item fully tradable (after a recipient opened the gift), regardless of its original trading capability. Another glitch fixed by this patch was the item's name not appearing correctly in the wrapped gift's description; it was stated to contain TF_WEAPON_BAT, regardless of what the Gift Wrap was used on.
- There was a rare glitch before the October 29, 2010 Patch where sometimes a player would receive two of the same gifted item. After the patch, any duplicate gifts that were unwrapped would remain, but if the gift remained wrapped after the patch it was removed.
- It is possible for the gift-wrappable property of an item to be lost further up the crafting chain. For example, crafting 18 non-tradable but gift-wrappable Achievement weapons in the usual way could result in one non-tradable, non-gift-wrappable refined metal.
- Oddly enough, gift wrapping Strange weapons will allow them to retain their rank upon trade.