Artistic Wrapping Paper

gifts

This project ended up being one my most favorite that I have ever done with Greta – making our own wrapping paper.  I have always kind of hated wrapping gifts and find myself giving sideways glances at those who wrap perfectly gorgeous department store worthy packages.  But that all changed this year – I now have a helper!  My oldest can write names, tear tape, cut, and hold her finger over knots.  VICTORY!

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Both kids are starting to get to the point where they can come with me to my classroom while I do a few small tasks.  Over Thanksgiving break, I had to unload a kiln or two, so I set them to work.  I gave them the backside of used, white roll butcher paper, and set them to work designing and creating recycled wrapping paper.  Here, they are using texture rubbing plates and large crayons.

 

They used foam dot stamper brushes and regular large paintbrushes to create swirls of reds, yellows, golds, and glitter, on the left.  The gold dots, on the right, are my personal favorite.  My youngest was able to easily stamp out the designs, and it was a quick enough project that he was not easily bored.

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Back at home, my oldest wanted to use foam stamps and Jumbo Paint (and Clay) Explorer Rollers to transform the brown paper packaging sheets into wrapping paper.  She loved figuring out how to mix tints – above she has figured out that adding white to her sponge stamper (something similar here: Pattern Paint Foam Rollers), it makes the green lighter.  This is always a fun ah-ha moment for little artists.

After the success of this project and their joy in working on a larger scale, a roll of paper may become a mainstay on their own art table.  I am leaning toward this Melissa & Doug Tabletop Paper Roll Dispenser.

challah

On another note, I woke up at the wee hour of 4:15 AM this morning – nothing says first day of winter break like being awake before the birds.  So, I got up, relished the quiet of my house, and set to work making Challah.  I would say this was a home run batch, making up for last year’s total flop.

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the entire year.  Happy almost Christmas Eve!

Greta’s Butterfly Watercolor

Butterfly, watercolor on paper, 9×12″, 2014. 

This watercolor painting started off as a painting for another person having a baby.  Then, Greta discovered it and took it to her room so she could  hang it up.  She fell in love with it and said, “For my big girl room,” so many times that I caved and started another painting for the gift.  She is getting a big girl room soon, as we are moving her into the empty bedroom and turning her room into the nursery for her baby brother.  She is so excited for this change and this artwork just makes it all that more special for her.

 I started with taped off watercolor paper and a pencil sketch of a butterfly and flowers.

I used black India ink for all the black sections of the butterfly.  This way, I could use watercolor paint and watercolor pencils without fear of the black bleeding and smearing into the colors.

Lastly, I added color to the butterfly and flowers.  I used watercolor paints for the flowers and watercolor pencils for the wings of the butterfly.  My last step was to use gradations of a light blue-green for the background.

As always, prints and artwork are always for sale, please inquire by e-mail or through my Etsy shop, which is currently empty.  If you are interested in purchasing something you have seen on this blog, I will create a custom listing for you.  I also do custom commission pieces as well.  

Alternative Wrapping Paper

 This holiday season I have been making a point to create and use alternatives to wrapping paper.  When we moved to Iowa, I gave away much of the wrapping paper, deciding it was one thing that did not need to make the 1,000 mile journey.  I bought a roll for the kids’ paper, but for adults I have opted to make my own unique paper.

 This first paper was made by attaching a small section of bubble wrap to a small cardboard box.  The bubble wrap stamp was then dipped in green paint and stamped on a large section of newspaper.  My paint was a little on the thin side, so the stamped designs could have been clearer had I opted for a thicker paint.

The next alternative to wrapping paper uses everyday tissue paper.  I laid it out on glossy newspaper ads for protection of the surface underneath and then splattered with drawing ink.  You could also use water color paints, which is also less permanent if you miss.

 The finished wrapped present has a few splashes of color – I like the deep blue for a cool wintry look.

 I got out the brown paper bags and cut them up for the stamped wrapping paper.  The snowflake designs are a rubber stamp from a craft store and the squares are the actual silver stamp pad itself.  I added red ends to the package to cover my sloppy tape job and to add a pop of festive red color.

 The blue-gray printed fabric ribbon adds even more class to a simple brown paper package.

 For this package, I used a watercolor painting of Greta’s.  She makes such lovely abstract paintings with minimal lines and colors.  This wrapping method works better with thinner paper, so you can bend, fold, tape it together.

Lastly, my favorite alternative to wrapping gifts – the simple Sunday comics page.  If you don’t subscribe to the newspaper, look for other every papers – catalogs, mailings, lined paper, etc.