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Eco-Art Crafts Made by You

Improv Package Wraps

When improvisational wrap artist John Boak needs to wrap a gift, he explores both the wrapping drawers in his studio and the dumpster in his alley for discarded scraps. (He collects brochures and direct mail materials, advertising stickers, used wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and shopping bags.) Boak then combines the bits into one-of-a-kind package wraps. It's easy to do because all the components are held together by double-sided tape or hot glue from a glue gun.

Boak’s improvisational wrap system is based on three ideas:

  1. Use bits and pieces of ribbons and paper, ribbons, twigs, whatever is available;
  2. Take it easy. Focus on the front of the package — the back will take care of itself, and it's OK to be messy;
  3. Focus on contrast in color, color value, line and texture.

The fun of assembling each package is to create an interesting composition on the front. Once you loosen up and treat each package as an adventure, Boak claims that anyone can both have fun and create memorable packages in short order. See previous Craft articles: Wrap Art, and Rag articles Spring 2005 Wrap ArtistWinter 2005 More Wrap Art.

As interest in his approach grows, Boak has self-published a book, Wrap Art, available through his website: http://www.boakart.com/wrap/WrapArt.html.

He has given Eco-Artware.com permission to reprint these designs, in which he wraps with unusual materials.

Foam Wrap

Innovative Wrapping Material

First I wrapped the gift in red tissue. Then I wrapped it in green packing foam, holding it together with red tinsel-trimmed ribbon. I made a quick-glued bow of the same material and finished it was a small wooden hemisphere. The wrap has charm and a sense of humor.

Easy: A quick wrap.

Contrast: Diverse materials. Red/green.

Two Fragments

Contrast Cap

This is one of the most useful wraps because it uses up paper you have on hand which may not fit the gift box. Take an even smaller piece of paper, like the red paper here, and wrap one end of the box. Then wrap the remaining part of the box. Finish with ribbon taped to the back, and a bow.

Contrast: the flat red contrasts with the fibrous green paper. The rough deckle edge contrast with smooth red paper. The green paper is light; the red paper is dark.

Easy: The gold ribbon tapes to the back.

Junk Mail Stickers

On Solid Wrap

At last— a use for all those little stickers that come in direct-mail marketing letters. This package always gets a laugh. It can be executed on any solid paper.

Easy: Just stick them on.

Contrast: Gift giving/marketing graphics.

See what you've missed

If you've enjoyed this project, don't miss our crafts archive with projects including:

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