DIY Printed Christmas Gift Wrap
Wrapping Christmas gifts. You either love it or hate it! I much prefer the process of wrapping all the different gifts to fighting the crowds in the shops trying to grab those last minute items.
Wrapping gifts is one of my very favourite traditions of Christmas. I like to get all the presents together in a huge mountain, stick on a Christmas movie – I’m talking The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Grinch – donning a Santa hat (yes, I do really do that!) and supping mulled wine. Having these little traditions for gift wrapping takes it away from being a huge chore and turns it into some festive fun!
I love for our gifts to look as good on the outside as they are on the inside, and each year I look for new ways to wrap our gifts with a little unique touch. This year I decided that I’d make custom DIY Printed Christmas Gift Wrap – and you’ll be pleased to know, that its a lot easier than it sounds!
Grab your supplies…
Small piece of printing lino
Lino cutting tool with a range of different cutting blades
White water soluble block printing paint
Small inking roller
Small wooden block & strong glue
Plain gift paper – I used simple brown craft gift wrap
Working in the centre of the piece of lino draw out the design for the printing stamp. The design will need to be worked in relief, the areas that are left uncut are the sections that will make the motif when printed – so it is wise to keep the design as simple as possible. Remember, the image will appear as a mirror image when it is printed – keep that in mind if your working on something really fancy or if you’re going to be adding words or messages! I picked out a Christmas tree, because it’s a lovely simple shape to cut and, well, its festive!
Using a mid-sized pointed cutting blade, work around the pencil outlines to cut away the design. These cuts will need to be fairly deep, to allow the motif to stand proud, but be careful not to cut completely through the whole piece of lino – you can always work back over any cuts to make them deeper if needed.
While printing lino is fairly easy to cut through with the proper tools, always place the lino on a firm, flat surface, and work by pushing the tool away from you. It is tempting to hold the lino at the opposite end to where you are cutting, but keep your fingers out of the way of the direction of the cut – these tools are super sharp and no one wants to chop into their finger this close to Christmas!
Switch to a wide flat cutting tool and work around the initial outlines to cut away the background of the motif. While this doesn’t need to be completely and perfectly smooth, this section needs to be cut away enough so that the ink wont come into contact with it. When finished the motif in the centre will stand proud of the remaining lino.
A fine tipped blade is great for adding in any detail. I worked over to add some texture to my christmas tree motif – these little light strokes don’t need to be made very deep and a simple sweeping motion gives a lovely subtle detail to the design.
Once the lino motif has been fully cut and any detail added, place it on top of the small wooden block and secure in place with the glue, and set aside to dry fully. The block makes it easier to hold and press the lino for neat and even printing onto the paper.
Squeeze a small blob of printing paint onto palette – or small plate – and use the inking roller to cover with a thin layer of paint. Test on a small piece of paper to check that your happy with the design, and the amount of paint used – too little ink and the design will come out patchy, too much paint and the motif will smear while you print!
Roll out your gift wrapping paper – I found that simple brown craft wrapping paper is a great background for these striking motifs, not only that, but the paint goes on really well, dries pretty fast and it’s a fantastic budget wrapping option!
Working on lengths, roll out a section of gift paper and begin stamping the design onto the paper. Press the stamp firmly and hold in place for a couple of seconds before carefully lifting directly upwards to avoid smudging the design. The motifs can be placed at random, in neat rows or as part of a fancy design. Just remember to consider the spacing between each motif – you don’t want the designs all squashed up, but at the same time, too much space might mean that really small gifts wont feature any of the motifs when wrapped!
I worked printing a whole roll of brown craft paper at a time, laying it over the dining table and working across in blocks, before sliding it across and starting on the next section. The paints take about 30-40minutes to fully dry. If you’re printing large sections at once, and you have the space, leave out over night to dry and finish the wrapping the next day! Now, working in long lengths at a time is a bit tricky – especially if you don’t have much space. Alternatively, you could work out each section of paper needed per gift and them print them each in turn.
All that is left is to wrap your gifts! Now, how impressed will your nearest and dearest be when you tell them that the gift wrap this year is custom made this year!
I can’t get enough of unique handmade wrapping styles – What are your favourite handmade touches for adding to your gift wrapping? Share a picture of your fancy Christmas gift wrapping on Instagram? Tag your pics with #GiftWrappingMadePeachy – I’d love to see your finish wrapped gifts!