It's yet another holiday gift wrap DIY, and this is one I loved working on because it touches with my roots as a printmaker. This step by step uses brown craft paper (the perfect blank canvas) and spices it up. You can even match it to your holiday cards and gift tags. Yay! Now I know what you might be thinking, "Emily, ain't nobody got time for that". Well I assure you, if I do, you do (it's called wait til the baby is napping). Come on, I'll show you how easy it can be!
Here's what you'll need:
- A roll of brown craft paper.
- ribbons and twine in your choice of colors. I got the satin ribbon from paper source and the twine from a craft store.
- Pencil and Sharpie, and scissors.
- Printmaking supplies: Speedball Speedy Carve rubber blocks, relief carving tools, relief ink, and roller. You can buy all of these in the art supply section of the craft store. (I got mine at Michael's Arts and Crafts). Piece of glass, or plexi glass to roll your ink.
- Optional: If you are using a color other than white, you could use a stamp pad. Mine didn't work out so great, more on that later. The stamp pad is the easier route.
First we'll make our stamp. You can do any pattern under the sun. I was trying to match mine to the holiday card picture don the right, so I decided to use an aztec print theme. You can free-hand a design, use text (make sure to write it out backward), or find a design or stencil you like and trace it onto your rubber block. Whatever works for you!
Color in the parts of the stamp that you want to remain raised. This is so when you're cutting, you don't ruin your design (I know this from experience). Only cut the un-colored parts.
Begin cutting your design with your relief carving tools. It's pretty self explanatory, but if you need a demo, pop on over to this video. Watch your little fingers,and always cut away from yourself.
Once you're done carving, use rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer to clean the sharpie off your stamp. Then it's time to ink your stamp. If you're using a stamp pad, simply press the stamp to the pad, then add the design to your craft paper. I tried a white stamp pad originally, but the color did not show up white, it just made a dark brown, moist impression on the paper. No bueno., so I opted to try the ink. If you're using actual relief print ink, start by squeezing a bit of ink onto your piece of glass. Then spread the ink in a line with a piece of think cardboard, spatula, or a putty knife.
You can either press your stamp onto a pre-wrapped package, or you could roll out your craft paper and apply the stamp to the whole roll. Apply nice even pressure to the stamp, then lift one corner to see how it's transferring.
I remember doing this project with my mom as a kid, and we would roll the paper out in the dining room and stamp all over it, then let it dry, and wrap gifts later. If you are using a stamp pad you will probably only need to let it dry for an hour or two. If you are using relief ink, I'd give it overnight to be safe.
Once the ink is dry, it's time to add your trims. I used a combo of satin ribbon and twine on my package. I also added a fun little arrow that I DIY'd, or I always love tying an ornament to gifts as a special extra touch.
Now give your gift. Watch your friends ooooh, and ahhhhh, over your incredible gift wrapping skillz. They might not event want to open their present :)
xo ~ Emily