Wednesday, November 16, 2016
DIY Linocut Print Kraft Paper Christmas Gift Wrap #12monthsofdiy
The fact that this is the eleventh month of #12monthsofdiy makes me feel like this year has flown right on by! Do you feel just the same way - like Christmas 2016 felt like such a looong way off, not so very long ago? The holidays will be here before we know it!
In that spirit, I have another little holiday-type craft to share for November. Our material of the month (for all 12 bloggers participating in the challenge) is paper. A few of us ended up choosing to do wrapping paper, because I suppose we have all things holiday on the brain(s). With our foyer makeover in full swing, I keep envisioning how I'll have a fresh, clean space to decorate for Christmas. Because the foyer colour scheme is black, white, grey and teal, I thought I'd incorporate black into my gift wrapping. Also, I intend for our new foyer space to be more simple, with less furnishings and hopefully less clutter. So I felt that the clean look of kraft paper would be suitable for our gift wrapping.
After checking a few stores, I got a big roll of kraft wrap at Staples. Enough to last me a few Christmases! My daughter always has so much fun making diy hand-printed birthday invitations in a Halloween theme. I decided to do something similar for our gift wrap. While we used styrofoam food trays to create relief prints for our DIY Halloween Party Invites, I decided to use linoleum blocks from the art store to make linocut prints for the gift wrap. If you want to get young children involved, use the styrofoam method and carve your designs with a pencil for safety.
I bought Speedball Speedy-Cut Easy small linoleum blocks, which are a softer version of the usual lino material, priced at $2.40 each. My husband already had a kit including Speedball water-soluble block printing ink in a few colours, brayers (rollers) to roll the ink and lino cutting tools. I recommend using water-soluble block printing ink - the oil-based version is too difficult to clean up. I know because I assumed all of our block printing ink was water soluble. But sadly no. I accidentally used an oil-based black ink the first time. You have to use Varsol (mineral spirits) to clean the ink off the glass and brayer. And I prefer not to use Varsol unless absolutely necessary - it's not nice to your lungs and the cloths you have soaked in Varsol need to be disposed of carefully so they don't create a fire hazard.
To create your linocut Christmas gift wrap, first you have to find an image you like. (Or you could draw one freehand.) I started with this free online reindeer printable. I wanted a really simple image with lines that wouldn't be too difficult to carve. Print the image and cut it out of the paper.
Place the cut out image over the linoleum block and trace around the image with a pencil.
Use a lino cutting tool to carve away the part of the linoleum that you do not want to show up on your print.
Squeeze some ink onto a piece of glass. Roll the brayer through the ink until the brayer is covered fully. Apply ink to your design using the brayer. A small paintbrush can help you to apply paint on areas of your design that the roller didn't quite cover. Also, the brush can be used to touch up the print on the kraft paper if the ink isn't applied evenly.
Be sure to practice stamping your image on the kraft paper, as it can be tricky. If you apply too much ink, the "stamp" slides around, making for fuzzy edges. If you haven't carved away the unneeded parts of the linoleum fully (like me) you may get some residual ink around your image. That can look okay too, but if you're really picky you might not like it. I ended up trimming off quite a bit of the area surrounding the reindeer with scissors to avoid excess ink showing up on the kraft paper.
I decided to wrap the presents first and then print the linocut images on afterwards. That way I could line up the images where I wanted them to go. Also, it takes less time than printing all over the kraft wrapping paper first.
Once I finished printing on the images, I wrapped yarn around the packages for added colour. I first glued the yarn on the back of the gift before wrapping it and gluing the end of the yarn as well.
My husband had carved a Christmas tree for a homemade card in a previous year, so I decided to use that for our wrapping paper as well. It was carved from the regular, harder lino material and I found it much easier to print with. (It's heavier and less likely to slide.)
You can see some of my prints got a little wonky, but isn't that part of the beauty of handmade? I don't have an Etsy shop after all! I made "25" gift tags for our gifts using my Cricut and the gift tag shape I created for my gift tag ribbon garland. I cut the digits for the "25" from black vinyl with the Cricut, using the system font Bodoni 72 Old Style on my iPad.
Despite planning to match my Christmas gift wrapping to my new foyer colour scheme, I couldn't resist using bits of yarn in yellow and green. I just love colour - what can I say? It's cheery.
Have you done any Christmas crafts yet? Do you plan to create your own gift wrap?
Now it's time to see the rest of the DIY paper project ideas from my Canadian blogging friends.
From the top left, they are:
Free Love Peace Joy Christmas Printable from Sustain My Craft Habit
Silver Leaf Paper Trees for Christmas Tabletop Decor from The DIY Mommy
Rustic Gift Wrap Ideas from Love Create Celebrate
Book Page Feather Garland from Life Is A Party
Deconstructed Plaid Wrapping Paper from PMQ for Two
Make 3D Paper Flower Christmas Wreaths from Time With Thea
How to Make a Paper Garland from Fresh Crush
Quilled Paper Snowflake from Lifeovereasy
Funny Printable Gift Tags from Brooklyn Berry Designs
DIY Linocut Print Kraft Paper Christmas Gift Wrap from Woman In Real Life
DIY Chalkboard Paper Christmas Art from Vin'yet Etc.
DIY Floral & Paper Decoupage Girl Power Mirror from Heather in Heels