I don’t know about you, but we are crazy busy with the lead up to Christmas and I’m doing my best to get everything in order so I’m not stuck doing things at the last minute.
One thing I like to have sorted is my present wrapping kit, but these days it’s hard to find really nice wrapping paper that a) isn’t related to a winter Christmas and b) doesn’t cost a fortune. I’m over seeing the typical images of snowflakes, snowmen, sleds and even polar bears! I just can’t relate to those icons when it’s summer here.
So the last couple of years, we have made our own wrapping paper which makes Christmas that little bit more handmade. It’s a great activity to do with kids but I must confess it’s hard not to try to control their every move to make sure it looks good (and not messy!).
You will need:
Roll/s of brown kraft paper (preferably 5m in length)
Selection of stamps (such as a Christmas tree, a bauble, a star, a heart etc)
Coloured ink pads (red and gold work well with the kraft paper)
White paper (for testing)
Paper towel and wet wipes
Craft splatter mat.
You could also use:
Cookie cutters in Christmas shapes.
Step 1: Lay out the craft splatter mat on your table and choose which stamps and colours you are going to use.
Step 2: Practice stamping on plain white paper to work out your design and which colours work best with which stamps. (You don’t need to use lots of different stamps, it is just as nice to use one stamp in a repeat pattern using alternating colours).
Step 3: Once you are happy with your practice sheet, roll out the kraft paper to fall off one end of the table so the paper can flow under the table as you create each length. Use weights (I use small glasses or ramekins) to hold down the paper so it doesn’t roll off the other end of the table.
Step 4: Get stamping! I recommend doing several hits of one stamp over the whole length and then repeating with the other stamps. Once you have filled that length, roll the paper off and under the table.
Step 5: Repeat stamping until the whole roll is done.
Step 6: Leave to dry properly (about an hour if you can) and once dry, re-roll the paper back on to the cardboard roll it came with.
Step 7: Marvel at your creation and if you have any presents on hand – wrap, wrap and wrap!
Don’t forget to clean your stamps before putting them away. I use wet wipes to get the ink off and then dry them with paper towel.
We used a combination of store bought stamps (that I have been collecting for a few years) and also made a couple of potato stamps using cookie cutters in star and heart shapes. Basically you just cut the potato in half (we did lengthways to fit the size of our cutters) and push the cookie cutter into the flesh of the potato. Once pushed right in, use a knife to cut around the edges of the cutter to make an accurate outline. Hold the back of the potato and (just like a normal stamp) press into the ink pad.
During the process Ava created her own design using the potato stamps by pressing the stamp over a two-tone ink pad. The result was great as the shape was both pink and red and also had some texture. When she pressed into the ink, the plastic rims of the ink pad left an impression in the potato and this transferred to the paper. I love that kids can end up teaching you how to do something that you would not have thought to do and that the result (in my experience) is usually brilliant.
At that point my brain switched into card-making mode, so I grabbed some white card offcuts and suggested that she stamp the stars and hearts on these too. They looked so lovely and perfect for (bigger) gift tags to use along with our new wrapping paper.
On that note, stay tuned for another post about making your own Christmas cards. Happy Tuesday peeps xx
PS – While I’m confessing, most of this roll was done by me and our friend Kiera as Ava got distracted and started making other crafty pieces.