We know we're getting excited about Christmas a little early (again) but we just can't contain our excitement for the festive season, and we're strong believers that you can never be too prepared! With this in mind, we thought we'd share with you some great DIY wrapping paper ideas that will keep you and your kids busy over the holidays and add an extra level of thought to your gift giving this Christmas. Here's our top 6:
1. Lemon stamp - Grab a lemon and cut in in half as shown in the picture below (if you don't have a lemon you can use any other citrus fruit such as a lime or grapefruit). The fruit is usually very juicy so it’s a good idea to blot it a few times on a tea towel before applying your paint. When applying your paint use a brush to cover the surface of the dissected half of the fruit and don’t go too heavy on it. Create your desired pattern on your paper/fabric and allow to dry.
2. Flower print - Choose a flower with small defined petals like the daisy used in this photo below. Mix your paint with just a tiny bit of water to ensure it covers the petals and employ the use of a small paintbrush to help distribute the paint across the entire flower. Gently push the flower down onto the surface of your paper/fabric to make the print and allow to dry. Note: you may need to change your flower every couple of stamps to ensure the print is as clear as possible.
3. Alphabet stencil - Use a pencil to stencil your letters (or a quote of your choosing) onto the your paper/fabric. It's best to rule lines onto your surface with pencil first so you can keep the words/letters running straight across the page. If you mess up the spacing you can erase the pencil lines and redo them. Once you’ve penciled everything in, you can colour it with paint or a marker of your choosing. For this print we found a marker to be much easier to use but it didn't quite have the same effect that the paint did, so it's up to you.
4. String stamp - For your string stamp you'll need a small block of wood, if you can't find a block of wood you can use something smaller like an eraser but this will change the effect of the print slightly. All you need to do is wrap some string around your block of wood several times, ensuring you leave enough space between each strand of string so that your pattern has the desired effect (if you wrap the strands of string too closely together your stamp will just become a big square and loose it's effect). Then simply dip the stamp into your paint and push it onto your paper/fabric, rotating the stamp each time to give a checkered effect. For the best result, do not apply too much paint to your stamp and only re-apply paint every third or fourth use.
5. Button stamp - The first step for this one is to open a bottle of wine (then drink it - waste not want not!) and save the cork. Once the alcohol has warn off (not before) find a large button with nice big holes in it. Glue your button to the end of your cork, and use it as a stamp, gently submerging the face of the button in paint and pressing it onto the surface of your paper or fabric.
6. Leaf print - For the best effect use a textured leaf with an interesting shape on a plain background. In this photo a plain cotton surface has been used, but paper will work just as well if you don't want to rip up your sheets and shirts! Here, you simply need to apply some paint to one side of your leaf with a small paintbrush (the back of the leaf is usually more textured so apply the paint to the back for the best effect) and press the leaves onto the fabric/paper to create your pattern.
- Try to use a contrasting coloured paint to that of your surface (e.g black on white, gold on blue, pink on green etc) so that the print stands out.
- Be careful not to move your stamp/stencil when printing onto your surface so as to maintain the clean edges and defined style of your shape.
- Acrylic paints work best when printing as they are vibrant in colour and tend not to run.
- Do not apply too much paint to your stamp or you will not see the finer details. It's a good idea to test your print a few time on a bit of scrap paper until you have worked out home much paint to apply.
- Allow paint to completely dry before wrapping (thats a no-brainer, but patience isn't one of our virtues).