It can take a little bit of time to get into the swing of things (took me about an hour), but the outcome is pretty slick.
Most important - it's so much more personal than sticking some items in a gift bag and calling it a day (which, for the record, is what I usually do).
I made this gift wrap for Nico's V-day gifts, but the steps can be applied to any holiday - just adjust the stamp shape (some alternative options: Christmas tree, star, balloon, dot) and paint color as needed.
So let's get wrapping. Click "Read More" for materials and steps.
I ended up using the following items (did not use the glue gun)
- Tape (shipping thickness, clear)
- Paper shopping bag(s)
- Red acrylic paint
- Small paintbrush
- Greeting card (reuse an old one)
- Red string (reused from a Christmas gift, I think it's rattan)
Pretty self explanatory.
The goal is to end up with one long and wide strip of paper bag.
If you've ever covered a textbook with a paper bag book cover this should be pretty easy for you (same initial steps).
If you haven't, here's what you do: slice down one of the four sides of the bag, then cut around the bottom of the bag to cut off the entire bottom piece.
This is just to show you what it should look like when the cutting is complete.
Place the gift top down in the center of the paper, store branding side up.
I managed to wrap a square shaped gift (glass tea pot) and a longer shaped gift (slippers) (we're pretty hot and wild with our gifts, right?) using one paper bag for each. If I had a bigger gift that didn't fit, I would just repeat Steps 2 & 3 on another paper bag and then tape two of these strips together, keeping the tape on the inside.
Here's a wikihow for wrapping, in case you don't know how to wrap: http://www.wikihow.com/Wrap-a-Present
Repeat Steps 2-5 as many times as necessary to cover all of your gifts. I did it twice.
Feel free to try lots of materials here - just don't paint directly on the gifts until you feel like you have your process down (and have tested it a couple of times on a spare piece of paper).
I initially tried to make a stamp using a scrubbing pad, failed. Then I made a stencil using spare paper bag material, failed. See upper right picture for all the fails.
Finally I tried a greeting card, which worked! I cut out a few hearts (make them symmetrical by folding the card and cutting out one half moon shape) before finding a truly functional one.
I started out painting them in a grid (long present), which was OK, although I definitely prefer the look of the hearts are painted on randomly (smaller, square present). You do whatever feels right to you!
Some tips on painting:
- less paint will work and look better (less paint = less bleeding)
- slightly splotchy parts are fine, perfection is overrated
- paint over big mess ups with more hearts, it's an easy cover-up
- paint from the bottom of the heart up and go especially sparingly with the paint on the top of the hearts
- put a few hearts along the edges so they fold onto the sides
Add more painted hearts to the sides of the boxes. I added them randomly, and put fewer on the sides.
The hearts should dry quickly, so you can rotate the boxes as you work (but obviously make sure not to put down a wet side flat on your work space).
No need to add hearts to the bottoms of the boxes - no one looks there.
Wrap the gift (or gifts) in a piece of ribbon. If you have two gifts attach tie the up together.
"Ribbon" can mean string (I love baker's string), twine, hemp, etc. I try to save any ribbon-like substance that passes my way for projects.
Tie a bow on the top.
Looks way fancy! Nico is going to be way impressed. And then he's going to discover a tea kettle (his pick) and new slippers (my pick, he needs) and be really blown away.
Extra pro-tip: Instead of a card I wrote a loving message on a heart shaped box of Reeses. We end up throwing away most of the cards we give each other (or I reuse them in art projects). This way he'll at least enjoy the "card" for a few moments before he scarfs all the Reeses down.