30 November 12 • SCB

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is wrapping gifts. I love to package gifts in a way that suits the recipient, and this week I set out to create a wrap for you. Share a 3191 Quarterly subscription with friends and family, and their gift will arrived wrapped in the paper I made.

I also want to share with you how I made the block-printed paper, so you can create your own holiday wrap. You’ll need some thick leather scraps (from the craft store or you could cut up an old belt), a block or wood scrap, acrylic craft paint, and a roll of paper (use plain gift wrap, kraft paper, or a roll of white drawing paper like I did).

Cut your leather scraps into shapes. I chose a simple triangle bunting design. More random patterns work just as well. Lay out your design on your wooden block (I used a scrap of moulding that was about half as wide as my paper). Once you have decided on the design, glue the pieces in place (I used hot glue, but any craft glue should hold the leather).

Using a foam brush, cover your design thoroughly with paint (you could also use a brayer). Do not worry if the paint spreads to the block, but wipe away any large globs with a paper towel before printing.

It may take some trial and error to get the coverage and look you desire—practice on some scrap paper before you begin. I find that a little variation to the paint adds to the charm. As you print, you may need to clean off the stamp with a damp cloth if paint accumulates.

Unroll your paper out on a table or other large workspace. Gently place your painted stamp down on the paper, applying firm pressure (be careful to not let the stamp move). Carefully lift the stamp in one motion. Admire your design! Repeat, applying more paint to the stamp each time, until your paper is covered.

Depending on the stamp you’ve created, you may want to create a guide to keep your pattern even. I placed a darker piece of paper under the white, moving it down each row to keep my rows of bunting straight. If I was doing this project with young kids, I would create a stamp that could be stamped randomly.

Allow the paint to thoroughly dry before you roll it up for storage or wrap a gift.

All gift subscriptions will come packaged in the wrap I created along with a certificate notifying the recipient that they will receive a year of issues. All 3191Q subscribers receive Issue No. 9 as well as our 3191Q Notebook.