Recently it was Jessica’s 21st and I found myself wrapping 21 gifts. I decided to create the wrapping for a few of them rather than use wrapping paper. You can see the results.
For this I used brown paper, printed rice paper, washi tape and some stickers and stamps. The brown paper is not the brown paper you get in the supermarket but craft grade. It is thicker and has a lighter, more consistent colour and works a lot better for craft than the cheaper supermarket stuff. I’ve found kids prefer wrapping based on white paper and you can get good quality white paper in rolls from Ikea or a good kindergarten art supply store.
Washi tape is a Japanese masking tape that comes in a large number of colours and patterns, the usual width is 15mm but you can get it both thinner and thicker (you can now get it as wide as 100mm for use in home decorating). It is usually quite thin, to the point of being translucent, and sticks a lot less than traditional sticky tape. The most common brand is ‘MT’ who I am told developed it but others now produce it. If you look around you might be able to find it close to you but if not a lot of places sell it online. I get mine from the excellent Pentimento in Newtown. Online in Australia the best range of MT tape would be at Notemaker while Craft Queen has an excellent range of tape from some other sources. I also keep my eye out in other stationery stores. While it isn’t washi tape you can often find patterned sticky tape in $2 stores and in Japanese gift stores. I have some of these in kid patterns such as Winne-the-pooh, Snoopy and Hello Kitty which work well enough on children’s gifts.
The printed rice paper was a marvellous find at Amazing Paper in Enmore. They have this great looking paper in A4 sheets and a few patterns. It’s not cheap at $1.65 a sheet but I can use one A4 sheet on a number of gifts as I use it as just a patch of pattern. Amazing Paper sell some great papers online (including a nice little bag of offcuts) though personally I like to feel it so I go to the shop. If you can’t find something similar then you might find some nicely textured and coloured gift paper that will do the same thing.
The rubber stamps I own have been collected over many years from a number of sources. You can find surprisingly good sets in $2 stores and supermarkets with stationery stores supplying more interesting and eclectic ones at much higher prices. The stamp pads are Ranger brand archive quality, they are in all sorts of interesting colours and were first found at Pentimento but I’ve found that CraftOnline have the full range of colours at a great price (they also have a good range of washi tape and washi sheets I’ve seen nowhere else).
Now if you read all that you can see that spending a lot of money on tape, paper, stamps and pads is possible. I’ve avoided this by just buying one or two pieces every time I know I will be doing some wrapping. Once you have a good supply you will find that the cost drops off to almost nothing. The photos here show only the front of the gift, mostly I concentrate on getting that looking good and ignore the back. The one difference is where I decide to create a gift bag, then I try and get the whole thing looking good. A few tips for you on how to do that.
- Grab a large paperback book or box similar in size to the bag you will make.
- Cut a piece of paper large enough to wrap the book and a little more on the long side.
- Fold paper around the short side and fold the edge of the overlap so you get a good straight edge and tape into place.
- Slide the book down so at the bottom of the bag you have slightly less overlap than the thickness of the book.
- Fold the overlap down and pinch in at the left and right ends. Let go.
- Flip the book over and repeat the folds. Now you can fold both front and back in and tape into place.
- Decorate the bag taking care to pay as much attention to the front and back of the book – you can see I’ve used a pattern that can easily wrap right round.
- Now carefully up end your bag and let the book slide out the untaped top end.
You now have a decorated gift bag. These are perfect for small, hard to wrap gifts. (If you liked this post please tell me as well as hitting the like button and I’ll do some more similar ones.)