Christmas crafts: How to make your own gift wrap and tags

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The joy in making your own wrapping paper is that you can go wild with experimentation. The designs shown here are all interchangeable and therefore provide endless possibilities for patterns. You’ll need quite a bit of space to create a mini production line of paper printing and a washing line to peg them up to dry.

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You will need:

   A roll of brown kraft paper or coloured kraft paper sheets

   Gift tags (pre-cut or make your own)

   Block-printing ink (green and white)

   A hard ink roller

   A foam ink roller

   A tray/piece of glass (for spreading ink)

   Magic tape

   A scalpel/scissors

Whichever design you choose to print, first you’ll need to prepare your paper. Cut the brown kraft paper roll into sections of the size you need (I made mine 500 x 600mm). Spread your first piece out on a flat surface and tape the corners down to hold it flat and steady. Once you have made your printing blocks – string, lino or both – or prepared your bubblewrap, you’re ready to start printing. Spread your ink thinly and evenly onto your tray/glass using the hard ink roller.

String-Block Printing

You will also need:

   String

   Square wooden block (45 x 45mm)

   Triangular wooden block

1. Leaving a few inches spare, wind the string tightly around the wooden block and then tie the two ends at the back to secure it. If you’re making the triangular block, be aware that the string has a tendancy to slip due to the block’s shape, so keep nudging it down as you print to make sure you get neat stripes.

2. Dip the block in the ink and make sure it’s covered. Some ink absorbs into the string so the first dip needs to be thorough.

3. Position it on your paper and press down. Repeat inking between each print.

4. If you’re printing the triangular block to make the tree shapes, finish these when they are dry by drawing the trunk and branches with either a silver or black pen.

Lino-Block Printing

You will also need:

   Lino (50 x 50mm for each design)

   Lino-cutting tools

   A pencil

   Tracing paper

   Star and/or snowflake-shape template – download HERE

   A star-shaped cookie cutter (60mm dia)

   Optional: wooden block to mount lino plus hot-glue gun to stick it to block)

1. Follow the steps for lino block printing in our Mistletoe and Holly design.

2. To complete the star design use the cookie cutter to create the outline. Dip your cookie cutter into the ink and place it over your pre-printed stars. As always, re-ink the cookie cutter in between each print. Why not alternate colours to create a fun pattern?

Bubble-Wrap Printing

You will also need:

   A sheet of bubble wrap

   Scrap paper

   A silver or black thick-nib pen

1. Lie your sheet of bubble wrap on some scrap paper with the bubbles facing up. Using the hard ink roller, gently roller the ink over the bubbles.

2. Place the bubble wrap ink-side down upon the paper and apply gentle and even pressure. Peel off the bubble wrap, re-ink it and repeat.

3. When your bubble-wrap printing is dry, you can start to print on top of it with your triangular string block to make your tree shapes (as previously described).

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Words by Jenny Price