Thursday, 17 December 2015

Hand Printed Gift Wrap

I've been meaning to do a hand printed gift wrap post ever since I blogged my hand carved stamps tutorial last spring. Printing gift wrap is a lovely way to use your stamps; the result is rustic, pretty and perfectly imperfect. For anyone who has some last minute wrapping to do this coming weekend, I suggest printing the paper yourself. I know, I know, it sounds like quite the task, but printing can be super simple. Here's one genius example that I came across on pinterest: dip a new pencil eraser in white ink/paint and use the eraser to print snow dots on your kraft paper! So smart, right? Skip the stamp carving and go straight to printing!

Oh, and speaking of perfectly imperfect, I follow a lot of interesting artisans on instagram and I feel like lately there's been a real trend towards hand crafted artfully made goods. Suddenly, things like hand tooled leather goods, hand woven rugs and hand carved stamps have a cool factor. These etsy-type prodcuts are in demand, and they have a value based on the artistry and skill that is took to produce them. We're beginning to seek out quality and artistry; perfection and uniformity aren't even on the shopping list.

And I think it's quite exciting that people are shopping small; it encourages a more thoughtful consumerism and it shifts our aesthetic values away from the same old factory made, name brand boredom. And that opens the door for all of us to give and receive a little bit more homemade goodness. Starting with some hand printed wrapping paper (obviously)!

That's what my 'handmade holiday' series is all about. No one likes to feel that this special time of year is all about shopping and running errands and looking for parking spots at the mall. And I find that taking some time for the 'little things' (things like making your own tree ornaments) helps me to get a lot more out of this season. The little things in life are often rich in purpose and have a calming and fulfilling effect.

And print making is just seriously fun!! So I hope you'll give it a try. This year I made a snowflake stamp as well as a whimsical Christmas tree, but I think my favourite print was....

The pine cone and evergreen sprig. They're just so pretty and wintery!

I've recently prepared this video tutorial on stamp carving, or if you prefer, you can read my original hand carved stamp post for written instructions and a photo tutorial.

Happy Printing!