When it comes to making your own wrapping paper, stamping is the obvious method of choice — it allows you to easily create a repeating pattern. But what if you could make the project even easier? How about no stamp at all?
With this DIY wrapping paper, you need only two things: plain paper and a few colored ink pads. I chose two blues and a white for a frosty ice-cube look. The paper should be something matte/uncoated so the ink won’t smudge off (I used a Japanese Sumi-e roll).
And then you just stamp the ink pads directly onto the paper for a graphic pattern of coloured blocks. Here I created patterns of angled bricks on one sheet and a straight grid for the second gift, but a herringbone tile pattern would also look amazing.
MATERIALS + TOOLS + Paper + Colored ink pads
1. Protect your work surface and lay your paper out flat. Place your first ink pad facedown on the paper, then press down. Different ink pads will require different amounts of pressure to get nice ink coverage. Test out each ink pad on scrap paper to get a sense of what works best.
2. Align your second ink pad, using the edges of the container base to get it approximately straight. I went for a rough approximation to emphasize the handmade look; draw pencil lines as guides if you want a more exact pattern.
3. Repeat, using your different ink pads. Go for a random pattern, as I did, or be more systematic by alternating colours.
4. Let dry, then use to wrap all your winter gifts.
3. DIY Stitched Gift Box. By Camilla Fabbri on Family Chic. I love the heart, but also love the idea of stitching any pattern onto a box top. Imagine XOX for Valentine's Day, or colourful circles for another occasion. And if you're super skilled at embroidery, you could make an amazing design.
5. Printable Valentine's Day wrapping paper. From For the Makers on The Source. Four cute patterns: tiny heart gift wrap, painted brick gift wrap, matchstick gift wrap (my fave) and sugarpie gift wrap.
Visit my Valentine's Gift Wrapping board on Pinterest for more ideas.
If I were to design wrapping paper (and maybe someday I will), it would probably look something like these stunning designs from Paragon Papers. Sure, these three patterns look nice enough on screen, but see them — touch them — in real life and you'd really appreciate just how gorgeous they are.
Created by the veteran designers of Paragon Design Group (they do web and print design, brand identity and more), these papers feature printing techniques that are usually reserved for expensive, glossy brochures and fancy programs and high-end print jobs like the stuff you'd, well, hire a design agency to create.
Above, the pattern on the left is called Galileo, and all those stars glow in the dark — how cool is that?! The middle one is called Gatsby and features a spot gloss art deco pattern. And the righthand one, called Indigo Hyde, looks like leather and has a satiny finish. If you totally geek out on printing process and paper details, read Paragon's blog post with all the details.
Find all three designs for sale ($12 US per package of 3) at ParagonPapers.com.
At some point, no matter whether you’re a novice gift wrapper or a packaging master, you’re bound to find yourself short of paper or facing a box that’s bigger than any roll could cover. That’s where this stylish colour-block gift wrapping technique can be useful.
By combining two pieces of wrapping paper, you can extend the width of a sheet up to the size you need. But instead of it looking like “I didn’t have enough paper,” the use of two different colours and the addition of a feature tape makes the wrapping job look stylish and purposeful — you meant it to be like this!
Plus, colour blocking — besides being on-trend design wise — is a great way to use up all those extra leftover pieces of wrapping paper that you can’t do much else with.
When choosing which papers to combine, select colours and patterns that complement each other and the Scotch™ Expressions™ Washi Tape that you’re using. Having trouble? Start with your favourite Washi tape and use papers in the same palette.
SKILL LEVEL: Easy
TIME NEEDED: Approximately 5–15 minutes
SCOTCH® BRAND SUPPLIES:
+ Scotch™ Expressions™ Washi Tape, Pine Trees
+ Two different wrapping papers: Edo paper in Aqua and gift wrap in Peacock from The Paper Place.
+ Gift tag
1. Attach the two papers together. Lay the two sheets of wrapping paper facedown beside each other, overlapping an inch or so along one edge. Tape them in place with several pieces of Scotch® Magic™ Tape along the seam. It’s best to use the straight, uncut edge of the paper to get the cleanest look.
2. Add the Washi tape. Flip the paper over so it’s face up. Apply a strip of Scotch™ Expressions™ Washi Tape, Pine Trees, along the seam, taking care to keep the tape smooth and straight.
3. Wrap your box. Using your Scotch™ Precision Ultra Edge Scissors and Scotch® Permanent Double Sided Tape, wrap your gift. Before measuring and cutting the two-paper wrap, plan the placement of the Washi tape; I wanted mine about a third up from the bottom of the box, and parallel to the edge. Once you’ve wrapped the paper around the box, add a ribbon and gift tag to complete the look.
EXPERT TIP: There’s no limit to how many pieces of paper you can combine using this technique. Tape together two sheets for a clean colour-blocking look as seen here, or attach many smaller pieces together for a “quilt” of papers.
I’m not a big fan of most wrapping paper created for kids. Emblazoned with trademarked characters from movies and television shows, I find them all rather tacky. Typically I will opt for bold colours and fun patterns — something kids will like but that is not an assault on my own aesthetic sensibilities.
This vibrant DIY wrapping paper made using a colourful combination of tapes is a perfect solution. The half-and-half dot looks more complicated to create than they are and add extra fun to the confetti pattern. It’s like a party! Read on for the full tutorial.
SPONSORED CONTENT This post is brought to you by 3M Scotch® Brand. Visit the Scotch® Brand Style Blog for more information and great DIY inspiration!
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate
TIME NEEDED: Approximately 30–60 minutes
SCOTCH® BRAND SUPPLIES + Scotch® Permanent Double Sided Tape + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Pink + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Blue + Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape, Blue Green + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Pastel Pink Solid + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Pastel Blue Solid + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Green Solid + Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape, Pink + Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape, Medium Blue
OTHER SUPPLIES/TOOLS + Scissors + Matte white wrapping paper from The Paper Place + Parchment paper + 3/4" circle punch + 1" circle punch + Ribbon
1. Wrap your box. Cut your paper to size, then wrap it around your gift and secure in place with Scotch® Permanent Double Sided Tape.
2. Make the dots. Apply a strip of Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Pastel Blue Solid, to the parchment paper. Take a strip of another colour — Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Blue - tape it to the parchment paper, slightly overlapping the first strip - the overlap will help the two pieces stay together when you remove the tape from the parchment paper. Repeat with all the colour and pattern combinations you’d like to include.
I used the following pairs:
+ Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Blue and Pastel Blue Solid + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Blue and Techno Pink + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Blue and Green Solid + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Pink and Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape, Pink + Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Pink and Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape, Medium Blue + Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape, Blue Green and Medium Blue + Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape, Blue Green and Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Pastel Pink Solid
I also included dots of solid Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Pink and solid Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape, Techno Blue.
Once you have your strips of tape prepared, position the 3/4” circle punch so each tape fills half the circle; punch a hole. Repeat using both the 3/4” and 1” circle punches until you have enough dots to cover your wrapped gift.
3. Apply the dots to the paper. Gently remove the parchment paper from the back of your first dot and stick to your wrapped gift (Begin peeling up from the tape that is underneath, so the two halves stay together). I applied my dots in a loose, random arrangement, mixing colours, patterns and sizes.
4. Add the final touches. Once you’ve finished sticking on the dots and are happy with the design, tie a ribbon around the gift and attach a gift tag.
EXPERT TIP: Choose a white or light coloured paper in which to wrap your gift. It will allow the colours of the tape to pop.
Maybe it's nostalgia for my days living in Vancouver, with a daily view of the mountains, that has me falling for this set of papers. Mountain Range gift wrap, $14 US per set of 6 sheets (13″ x 19″), Norman's Printery.
Just right. That's what Lagom, a Swedish word, describes. And it's exactly how one would describe Lagom Designs' line of gift wrap and greeting cards. The U.K.–based company delivers an handsome array of paper goods featuring illustrations and designs by talented folks from around the world. Some of the more recent additions to the collection are no different.
These two papers — a pearlized alligator texture in ivory and an eggplant and silver filigree — are both from Hanji.
+ Photography by Corinna vanGerwen
In 2011, hurricane Irene hit Vermont. In response to the resulting devastation, Kelly McMahon of letterpress shop and bindery May Day Studio, in Montpelier, Vt., designed her fist-ever line of gift wrap.
The post-hurricane landscapes — exposed rocky riverbeds and fields of flattened crops — inspired Kelly to create two patterns: "River" (above) and "Field" (below). Available in five colours each, the 18-by-24-inch sheets are individually letterpress printed from an original linocut, giving them a tactile variance in ink distribution that you won't find in mass produced papers. What makes the wrapping paper even more special though, is that 10 percent of proceeds to go to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, which two years later continues to assist with long-term recovery efforts. The gift wrap is $10 US per two sheets of a single colour/pattern, or $25 US per sampler package of five sheets (five colours of one pattern).
For more on Kelly McMahon and May Day studio, visit the May Day Studio website. To purchase its wrapping paper, visit May Day Studio's Etsy shop or visit one of its retailers. And keep an eye out for a new wrapping paper design called "Cloud," which you can catch a sneak peek of on May Day Studio's home page.
+ Photography courtesy of May Day Studio
A selection of gift wrapping ideas and inspiration, as discovered on Pinterest. NOTE: I've decided to rename the This Week On Pinterest column to Pinterest Picks, among other reasons because, well, the column doesn't appear every week. What hasn't changed is the incredible roundup of inspiring gift wrapping ideas and fun projects as discovered — and repinned to my Gift Wrap and Packaging board — on Pinterest.
1. Engineer prints as wrapping paper. By Annie Diamond on Most Lovely Things. For less than $5 US, Annie ordered engineer prints from Staples to use as high-impact personalized wrapping paper. (Also check out Annie's brilliant photo gift tags, made using wallet-size photos and a tag punch.)
2. 13 gifts wrapped in fun and simple ways. By Jessie Senese on the Shop Sweet Lulu blog. Owner of awesome party supply source Shop Sweet Lulu, Jessie put some serious thought into wrapping cash for her daughter on her 13th birthday (no plain envelope and card here!). All part of an elaborate treasure hunt, each box has minimal and simple wrapping that is purely charming.
+ DIY pop-up peekaboo photo wrap. By By Brittany Watson Jepsen on The House that Lars Built. Remember the heart cutout wrapping paper Brittany made, which I featured on Corinna Wraps back in February? She's used a similar technique to cut pop-up circles with family photos peeking through.
Visit my Gift Wrap and Packaging Pinterest board for more ideas.+ Photos courtesy their respective owners.
Some wrapping products just make one smile. Such is the case with Inaluxe's vibrant Garden Party gift wrap ($6 AUD per sheet) designed for Earth Greetings. The creation of Australian design team Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd, who make wonderful prints, this paper features large mid-century–style illustrations of flowers and birds native to Down Under, including the Red Winged Fairy Wren, the Laughing Kookaburra and the Grey Currawong. The wrap is also made in Australia and is printed with vegetable dyes on 100 percent recycled paper. And if you think it's too nice to wrap with, you can frame it or purchase an archival print of a similar design.
+ Images courtesy Inaluxe
Made in Nepal from the renewable fibers of the lokta plant, lokta paper is not only one of the nicer papers to wrap with because of its lightness, these sheets also boast stunning repeat patterns reminiscent of Middle Eastern tile work. Left to right: Lokta Red Blossom Circles on Blue Fine Paper, $4.95 US per sheet (20 1/4" x 29 3/4"), Purple Swirl Ornament On Natural Fine Paper, $6.50 US per sheet (22" x 30'), Green & Gold Tile Pattern On Natural Fine Paper, $6.50 US per sheet (20" x 30"), Paper Source.
When working with tissue papers, the layering possibilities are endless.
First, let me clarify what I mean by tissues: I’m not talking only about the basic plain tissue you first think of, though I do include it in this category. There are also lace papers and watermark tissues, open weaves and spun fibres, plus so many others. When I speak of tissue, I mean any semi-transparent paper that allows you to see through to what’s underneath.
That translucency is exactly what makes layering with these papers so interesting. A pink tissue over a red paper will have a completely different look than pink over white, for example. You can achieve a great variety of effects — soft, bold, colourful, muted... — simply by changing up the colour underneath. Add in a texture or pattern, and wow!, even more varied results.
For example, take this wine bottle that I wrapped for a product display at The Japanese Paper Place: A sheer blue tissue with a blossom pattern peeks out from beneath a grid-patterned tissue wine bag. For a third layer, a band of silkscreened paper adds a bright floral pattern. With the different patterns, textures and transparencies, there’s a lot going on with this gift, yet it’s all unified.
Below you can see what the same white grid tissue looks like over yellow, pink and even stripes. All give a different effect.
When wrapping with tissues, try layering different colours, patterns and textures, working to achieve the effect that’s just right for the gift. There’s a whole world of tissues that I urge you to keep an eye out for and experiment with — they’ll add a whole new layer to your gift wrapping.
Source: Floral silkscreened chiyogami paper, blue watermark tissue, and white grid wine bag and tissue, The Japanese Paper Pace.+ Gift wrapping and photography by Corinna vanGerwen
Even if you'd like to stick with traditional cream and gold for a wedding present, why not expand beyond florals and go for a mod stripe? Angled in various directions, these stripes make for a dynamic design. Gold Bandeau Eco-Luxe handmade 100 percent cotton paper, $5 US per 21" x 29" sheet, Luxe Paperie.
When your favourite neighbourhood paper store is having a big sale, it's hard to resist splurging. But I'm very proud of myself; last week I bought only eight sheets of paper — six for $10, and two not on sale. Above are two lokta papers (the third I got is one I've bought before) and below are some Italian papers I've been coveting for ages. I believe The Paper Place's sale ends tomorrow, so if you're near Toronto's West Queen West, it's worth stopping by to see if there are any deals left.
+ Photography by Corinna vanGerwen
Over the last month, I've scored some sweet deals on wrapping supplies:
From Creative Bag, I got small glassine bags, $0.20 for a package of 10 (that's two cents each!); and tissue paper in multi-coloured zig-zags, army green, and wide black-and-white stripes, $0.99 each.
Also from Creative Bag: blue gift box, $1.45; purple glitter gift bag (and the glitter doesn't come off all over the place!), $0.95; pink gift tags, $1 for a package of 10.
At Dollarama, I found these sweet blue paper roses, which have an adhesive backing to them, for $1.
Also at Dollarama, I found a selection of spring-coloured grosgrain ribbons, $1 per roll (the wider width has 12 feet on each roll; the thinner width, 15 feet).
And on our first trip to a Canadian Target location, I picked up four packages of fun-patterned tissue paper for $0.99 each...
...as well as three rolls of wrapping paper. Two of the rolls were $2.99 each and one roll was $4.49, though I don't recall which was which.+ Photography and styling by Corinna vanGerwen
One of the wonderful things about wrapping gifts is that it gives you a chance to play with colours and patterns that you might never dream of wearing or using in your home. Take me, for example: while my wardrobe does contain some bold colours, there's not much pattern and the majority of my clothes are grey; likewise, my home is a rather subdued palette of greys and wood tones. You wouldn't know from seeing either that I get excited by colour and pattern. However, I could spend hours looking at vibrant papers like these by Shizen Design.
A North Kansas–based wholesale company, Shizen Design (pronounced shea-zen) is run by husband-and-wife team Neil and Shelly Pinto. Shelly, who used to be an artist for Hallmark, designs the patterns in collaboration with Shizen Design's manufacturer in India. Made of cotton scraps from the Indian garment industry, the papers are all hand silkscreened and dried in the sun. Cotton scraps and sun drying aren't the only environmentally friendly features though — all the water used in the paper-making process is recycled as well.
Above is just a small sample of the hundreds of boldly hued and patterned papers from Shizen Design (seriously, a look at their catalogue is a feast for the eyes). Check out the photos on their Facebook page (which includes pictures of the paper factory) to see more of their designs. To purchase, visit Paper Mojo online or The Paper Place in Toronto.