Take that personalized present up a notch this season with your very own, one of a kind wrapping paper. It’s easy easy, inexpensive, and a lot of fun. As long as you have the patience to give glue and paint their proper drying time.
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Pick and choose or do all three of the DIY tutorials below. There’s, The Stamp, The String Lights, and The Stencil.
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Stamping gift wrap is a fast and easy way to add a pattern to your entire piece of paper. There are a few different ways to make this magic happen, from using a collection of rubber stamps to carving your own design out of a potato–yes, I said potato. But I stuck with a DIY foam stamp for three reasons: 1) Rubber stamps are pricey and one of my goals with this project was to keep it affordable, 2) While rubber stamps will leave your wallet weeping, I also wanted to go the foam route so that I could create my own designs, and 3) Carving potatoes isn’t as easy as cutting into foam when it comes to creating your own unique stamp.
To get started, you’ll need:
1 Large piece of craft foam. I got mine from the Kid’s Craft section at Michael’s.
1 Roll craft paper. I went with white, but you can use any color you want.
Paint–any/every color you want
Step 1: Make the Stamps
Create your own design using your foam and felt pen. You’ll want to keep these designs relatively simple. Draw anything from a pine tree to a candy cane. Many people also enjoy simple geometric shapes like circles or diamonds.
Once you’ve drawn your design, you’re going to carefully cut it out with scissors. To ensure your stamp is firm enough, go ahead and trace your first cut-out and make a duplicate. Don’t worry about your drawing being a little lopsided–this will just give your design another dose of character.
Once you have both of your pieces, dot one piece with glue and press them together. I recommend using hot glue because it’s fast acting, but I used Tacky glue since my glue gun was MIA. Either will work, but if you use Tacky or Elmer’s glue you’ll have to set your patience meter to high while you wait for the glue to dry completely.
Finally, before your stamp is completed, you’ll want to create a little knob on the back for easier stamping. I cut small squares of excess foam board and stacked them on top of each other until they reached a height that was easy to grab onto, about half an inch high.
Step 2: Preparing to Stamp
Plan your hopes and dreams for this paper before applying any paint.
Before I applied my stamp to the page, I tried it out on scrap paper to get a feel for the stamp. You don’t want to use too much paint or else you risk the stamp squirming in it’s place and creating a blobbish figure. Try your stamp out a few times, using a mix of paint thickness, before you begin.
Next you’ll want to cut your paper from the roll. Measure out the size of the gift you intend to wrap and then add a few more inches to ensure it doesn’t come out too small. That would be tragic.
Step 3: Stamp Away
While you could simply press your stamp into a puddle of paint, I would suggest brushing the paint on with a small paint brush. This will avoid the blob stamp we discussed above.
The world is now your oyster and you are free to create any sort of pattern you want. For my first attempt, I decided to stick with something simple and stamp a line of trees all the way across the page. As I was doing so, the inspiration struck to make one tree a different color–settle down, girl! Remember, switching paint colors will provide a nice effect but it also means you’ll have to wipe off all of the current paint color first.
Once you’re finished, place the paper in a safe place to dry completely before using. I used clothing pins to secure it to my bedroom blinds. You may not have to take such severe precautions, but my puppy really wanted to ruin the holidays before they’ve even started.
Once the paint was dry, I added a little glitter embellishment and then allowed it to dry once more before wrapping.
Don’t worry about every stamp turning out the same or being perfect. My favorite trees were actually the ones that came out partially covered. It adds a uniqueness to the design that you wouldn’t be able to get with store-bought paper.
I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled with the look of my paper at first. It seemed a little bit like something I would have made for my parents in elementary school. If you’re feeling the same way, just be patient! Once the paper was wrapped around a gift it looked way more impressive and I loved the final product!
The String Lights
If that first DIY process seemed a little too intricate for you, this next design will be much more up your alley. We’re creating a string-light effect with pom poms and ribbon.
What you’ll need:
1 Roll thin black ribbon
1 Package mini pom poms
1 Roll Craft paper
Step 1: Wrap the Present
For this project, we actually need to start with the gift wrapped. Pro Tip: If you’re using white paper as the base for your gift wrap, I would suggest first wrapping the present with tissue paper. It creates another barrier between the present and your DIY gift wrap.
Step 2: Prepare the String
Using your thin black ribbon, cut however many pieces you want your string to zig-zag. I decided on three based on the size of the gift I was wrapping. Once you’ve measured and cut your ribbon, you’ll glue each end in place. Make sure to press down on the glued end firmly for about 10 seconds to help the ribbon set.
I left the middle part hanging loose because I wanted it to look like the lights were sagging, rather than pulled tight. The pom poms will take care of securing the ribbon in place, so don’t worry about gluing it down for now.
Step 3: Let There Be Light!
Next, open your bag of pom poms and start gluing them down to the paper. How many you use is up to you, but I left about an inch between each of my pom pom lights.
Again, let the glue set completely before putting this present under the tree.
For our last DIY tutorial we’ll be using stencils. You can use any kind of stencils, from larger patterns to letters to animals. I decided to go with an arrangement of snowflakes to add detail to my painted print.
What you’ll need:
1 Roll craft paper
Step 1: Base Coat
Again, measure out your paper before you begin. For my stencils, I decided to use them as an embellishment rather than the main pattern as in the stamp tutorial. If you’d like to do the same, follow my next steps. If not, then go wild by painting or tracing your stencils all over your DIY gift wrap.
I decided to try out a plaid pattern. I used a wide brush to create the first set of horizontal lines in a light blue. After letting that dry, I used the same brush to paint vertical lines in a lighter hue of blue. Whatever pattern you decide to paint, make sure to let each color dry completely before adding a new color on top of it.
As with the stamps, I didn’t mind my brush strokes having a distressed feel to them.
Step 2: Embellish with Stencils
Once the paper was dry, I went back over the pattern with my snowflake stencils. I decided to use glittery silver paint to add a little sparkle. This also came in handy because it meant that my stenciling didn’t have to come out perfect.
Place your stencil to the page and dab over it with your brush as thought you’re stamping. This movement makes sure that your bristles don’t get underneath your stencil and ruin the image.
Unlike the stamp, I used the stencil sporadically all around the page.
Again, let the paint dry completely before wrapping!
After completing all three DIY tutorials, I really can’t choose which one is my favorite.