Wrapping with Wrap magazine


The tagline says it best. Wrap is a magazine celebrating illustration, design and creative culture. It hails from the UK and I’ve had a subscription for a year as well as buying a few back issues. When I tell people I’ve found a gift wrap magazine I think they picture a glossy version of my gift wrap blog posts. It is definitely not that. The wrapping paper is a unique bonus because this magazine is for anyone who loves art, illustration, and the stories behind it. It is truly international.

Wrap comes with 5 sheets of double sided wrap. Some wrap illustrations use repeat patterns but most feature an illustration varying it’s depiction from corner to corner. I have truly had a hard time tearing out these beautiful sheets and deciding which portion of the wrap to feature on my gifts. Until this holiday season I’d only wrapped with it once.




The above wrap features two illustrations from the Winter 2012 issue. Two sides of the same piece of paper. The illustrated scene on the spinning box is by Bjørn Rune Lie. The wrap on the right is by Petra Börner using paper cuttings. This issues theme was the deep cold of winter so they commissioned Nordic artists who know the cold well.




One of the smartest things Wrap does is repeat the illustrations on the pull out wrap inside the magazine. So even when you’ve wrapped a gift you can still look back on the artistry.




These wraps are from the latest Winter 2013 issue. There theme was the telling of tales. Ten illustrators recreated a well known folk tale heralding from their home country. On the left Polish illustrator Pawet Milder recreates the story 'You Will Go Astray, Like a Killer'. On the right Leslie Wood recreates a winter edition of the American tale of 'Sticks and Stones'. Both wraps are from different sides of the same paper.



If you’d like to subscribe or just buy some gift wrap you can do so right here. I highly recommend it. This magazine is made with extreme care and all of my issues have been accompanied by hand written notes.

Wrapping small and special


The saying goes ‘good things come in the small packages’. I’m sharing here some easy ways to wrap some small things in a special way.



First up is surprise balls! Do you have any fond memories of surprise balls from childhood? I think I only got one once but I loved it. I was reminded of them last year when HonestlyWTF posted a nice tutorial for making them. They stood out to me as being a great way to wrap something small and special. I’ve created a little unravelling animation to show the fun.



These are easy to make though they do take a little time. This is a good activity to do while watching your favorite Christmas movie. Little flat-ish things work well to include in the crepe paper layers. The list is endless. Some ideas are; stickers, fortunes, hand written notes, confetti, jingle bells, or money (who doesn’t like finding a surprise dollar in their pocket).



I could see these as being a good way to wrap a special piece of jewelry, new car keys, or an engagement ring. I wrapped a ring for my mom last year this way. The ring had a cat on it so I even included some catnip as one of the elements which revealed itself from the layers of crepe.



Many cards come wrapped in a cellophane sleeve. You can use that as a keeper of a special gift when you add confetti. Wrap the gift first in some tissue to help distribute the weight and keep your item from falling through the confetti to the bottom of the bag. I make my confetti with multi-blade scissors. They’re actually being sold at Target right now in the mens department. Marketed as a personal shredder in the “Gifts for him under $20” display. Here’s a different pair. I sealed my confetti filled present with washi tape of course.




You don’t need holiday specific paper to wrap something special. Pair some metallic pipe cleaners or ribbon with neutral wrap to make it feel festive.


Gift wrapping at Balsam Hill


On Saturday I ventured south to Burlingame and the Balsam Hill showroom. Balsam Hill is an artificial Christmas tree manufacturer. This year they have a pop-up showroom at their warehouse. They have been having many holiday events throughout the season and I was there to share wrapping ideas and tips with shoppers.



I have several friends who are allergic to cut Christmas trees. I’ve been recommending they check out the showroom. Besides the trees being realistic the showroom offers the experience of picking out your tree in a festive environment. More sense stimulating than ordering from the internet or buying at a big box store.








DIY or buy: Reusable polka dot wrap


DIY: This is an easy 30 min gift wrapping project (more or less depending on the quantity you make). Also this could be a good project for older crafty kids.

or Buy: If you like the look but don’t feel like making them I’ve got a limited quantity of polka-dot bags available in my Etsy shop.



Materials
– Muslin Bags (small quantity, or large quantity)
– Cardboard
– Scissors
– Krink, broad tipped paint markers (Also available locally in San Francisco at the 1 AM Gallery)

Krink is an art supply designed for graf. It’s designed to be drippy which I’d like to explore more. It comes in a few pen styles. When I first encountered Krink I’d been on the hunt for the old school bingo markers. This was a much better option with many color choices. 



1. Cut cardboard inserts for the muslin bags. This will prevent bleed through to the other side.

2. After inserting your cardboard shake your pens and start polka dotting.

3. Repeat with as many colors as you choose.

4. Wait 10-15 mins for your bags to dry. Flip and repeat if desired.

Tip: Open a window. Ventilate your work area.




DIY or buy: Reusable polka dot wrap


DIY: This is an easy 30 min gift wrapping project (more or less depending on the quantity you make). Also this could be a good project for older crafty kids.

of Buy: If you like the look but don’t feel like making them I’ve got a limited quantity of polka-dot bags available in my Etsy shop.



Materials
– Muslin Bags (small quantity, or large quantity)
– Cardboard
– Scissors
– Krink, broad tipped paint markers (Also available locally in San Francisco at the 1 AM Gallery)

Krink is an art supply designed for graf. It’s designed to be drippy which I’d like to explore more. It comes in a few pen styles. When I first encountered Krink I’d been on the hunt for the old school bingo markers. This was a much better option with many color choices. 



1. Cut cardboard inserts for the muslin bags. This will prevent bleed through to the other side.

2. After inserting your cardboard shake your pens and start polka dotting.

3. Repeat with as many colors as you choose.

4. Wait 10-15 mins for your bags to dry. Flip and repeat if desired.

Tip: Open a window. Ventilate your work area.




Holiday wrapping + workshop announcement!

'Tis the season for gift wrapping. To kick things off I'm sharing the gifts I wrapped last year. I wrapped all the way to Christmas Eve… and some were wrapped after Christmas since gift giving continued through the New Year these never made it to this blog last year.

This year follow along with my wrappings on my Instagram and I’ll also of course post a wrap up of my wrappings.

If you’re in the Bay Area and want to have some fun with wrapping sign up for my free Gift Wrap Workshop!

Workshop Details
Happening at the Balsam Hill show room in Burlingame.
December 14th, 11 am -12:30pm
RSVP on the facebook invite or email Lisa at lclark [at] balsambrands.com
Space is limited.

Hope to see you there!







Ornament Exchange + Holiday Fair

imageThese are some of the final ornaments I made for the exchange I wrote about last month. I’ve been giving these away almost as fast as I’ve been making them. I took these pictures shortly before packing these guys up for the mail.

image

imageMy inspiration was to create a dimensional version of some holiday masking tape experiments I made last year.

image

image

imageThe ornament exchange was good motivation to create an ornament that could do triple duty for the exchange, to be given as gifts and to be sold. I participated in the San Francisco Center for the Book Holiday Fair this year where I sold some of my wares including the ornaments which proved to be a hit.

image

Thanks Dan Grindle for the Holiday Fair images.

Make-shift Christmas tree complete with star

imageThis years tree is courtesy of some manzanita branches from my parents yard. My roommate is very allergic to Christmas trees so I got creative. This little tree can’t fit all my ornaments but it was the perfect low stress solution for my decorating this year.

image

image

image

imageThe colorful star is from a Christmas trip to Mexico two years ago.

imagePOSTSCRIPT:

After I returned from Christmas I discovered my make-shift tree had taken a crash. Was it my cat? Was there a minor earthquake while I was away? I’ll never know.

Luckily my mom wrapped a gift for me in a box topped with an extra sparkly bottle brush xmas tree. It saved my little arrangement so my living room can stay festive into the new year.

Shadows of Christmas past: 2010

Last year I went to Mexico for Christmas so unfortunately I didn’t wrap many presents and didn’t get pics of the few I did wrap. I did however have some fun taking pictures of the shadows cast by my first set of LED lights.

Christmas wrapped: 2009

I used a limited color palette for my wrappings in 2009.

This gift was for my dad. The tag is refrencing the tradition I’d started of always getting him a new beanie for christmas as well as some sort of nerd toy. I think a robot might have been inside. 

I wish I had a picture of the inside of this box. Inside the box I created a Christmas tree diahrama. It was a gift for a friend who had a very small apartment at the time and no room for a real tree. 

Christmas past: 2006

2006 was the year I reused shopping bags for some of my holiday wrap. This coinsided with discovering MaiDo, a Japanese stationer, located in the Westfield mall. I watched their wrapping tecniques and borrowed them that year. Coincidently, I’ve been purchasing most of my masking tapes this year from the MaiDo in Japan Town.

Please forgive the poor image quality. In 2006 I probably didn’t understand what a blog was nor thought I would be posting these pictures too one.