Most of the time I am a do-it-yourselfer. But for a while I depended on store
bought wrapping paper. That all changed. Once the "bought" wrapping
paper ran just as I was wrapping some gift books. What to
I cut open a large paper bag, and used it to wrap the book (with the plain
side of the bag on the outside); hand printed a rhyme (using an alphabet
stencil) and tied up the package with raffia. It was personal statement and
it looked wonderful!
Now I have the pleasure of tailoring the wrap to the recipient. I keep a few
basic supplies on hand to create wrappings:
- large brown paper grocery bags
- a pad of graph paper (good for small boxes)
- a large-size pad of recycled newsprint
- tissue wrapping paper
- a spool of paper ribbon that curls
- a package of raffia
- extraordinary ribbon saved from packages people have given me
- 3 felt tip marking pens (2 colors and black), with fine and medium tips
- gold and silver marking pens
- bottles of gold and silver acrylic paint
The rest is serendipity -- like an impromptu stew. If you have a few sequins,
pieces of wrapped candy, extra photographs, figure out how to add them
to the piece. To get started, here are a few suggestions.
Sponge Print (My current favorite. It looks great and takes only minutes
Recycled newsprint or tissue paper, gold and silver acrylic
paint (or any 2 colors you choose), a small bowl of water, a natural
sponge, glitter or a glitter glue pen (optional)
Dampen the sponge, dip into one color and dab it all over the
paper. Allow the paint to dry. Dip a clean sponge into the second
color and again dab it over the other paint and patches of white paper.
Wrap the package. If the wrapping looks bland, dab a few globs of glitter
glue on the paper, and spread them around with your finger or q-tip.
Graph Paper Surprises (Good for small boxes. I don't have the patience to
do this for larger ones.) This is time consuming, but doesn't require too
much attention. Perfect to do while watching Oprah!
Graph paper and 2 or 3 marking pens with medium points.
Establish a pattern for coloring in the graph paper. Try a checkerboard (see
the gold and white design). Or make up bands for your own design (see the
green and red design). Try using bands of different sizes (e.g., 5
squares-wide alternating with 3-squares wide). If you're using a small box,
don't make the bands wider than 5 or 6 squares
because you won't be able to see many repetitions on the top of the box.
Tupperware (preferably found in a flea market). Fill with trail
mix, granola, cookies, candied ginger or other goodies. To wrap, stencil
some words or
sponge print a paper bag. Put the Tupperware container into the bag, and fold
down the top of the bag to create a flap. Fasten with a staple.
Flower pot. Suggested fillers: packets of seeds, bulbs that can
be forced in winter, a gift certificate to the recipient's favorite
nursery, a pair of gardening gloves, or a spade and trowel. Wrap with a
sponge print or the newspaper's gardening page and tie with a bright
ribbon. Make a gift tag from an old seed packet or create a collage made from
pictures from a seed catalog.
Oblong basket. Fill with a loaf cake, envelopes of pre-mixed spices
or dehydrated soups, jars of homemade spices or jelly. Wrap with clear
plastic wrap or cellophane. Include a recipe related to the contents on
the gift tag.
Pure fun to do--sheer "improv."
For backing, use a stiff paper--poster board, watercolor paper,
packing tags, cardboard, or the smooth back of corrugated paper.
For designs, marking pens, bought or handmade stamps, old
photographs, used greeting cards, press-on lettering, sequins, pasta in
the shape of letters....anything goes!
Collage (either pictures, letters or a combination of them), hand
stamping, calligraphy, freehand drawing, stenciling, Place a design on
both the front and back of the gift tag so it can be seen from both
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