Whenever a package appears in my mailbox from an Etsy artist, I feel like I have received a little present in the mail. I am constantly impressed with the thought and care poured into the beautifully crafted jewelry or clothing or art prints that I find myself purchasing, as well as the attention to detail in the packaging. I think this is one of the many personal touches that makes buying handmade pieces directly from an artist on Etsy a special experience.
If you have been searching for ideas to make your Etsy orders stand out in the postal sea, or are looking for a way to wrap up a handmade gift in a deserving manner, then this How-Tuesday project from Wanda Wen’s new book, The Art of Gift Wrapping, is for you!
The charm and peaceful nature of brown kraft paper and everyday cotton string could not be a more welcoming aesthetic, particularly in the busy world in which we all live. With that same spirit, I have used the ancient technique of rubbing to decorate the kraft paper, using graphite pencil and simple objects found around my home. This time-honored, rudimentary printing technique coupled with the pencil, paper, and string reminds me of my childhood days of simplicity and back-to-basics existence.
Fork, spoon, and knife, or other objects
1. Measure out the paper needed to cover your box. Loosely wrap the box with the paper, gently creasing the paper against all edges of the box. There is no need to use any tape at this point, nor is it necessary to do a full wrap or finish off the sides of the gift wrap. The creases are simply to give you markings for the placement of the rubbings.
2. Unwrap the box and place the paper onto your work surface, keeping track of which areas of the paper will cover which areas of the package.
3. Place the spoon underneath the kraft paper where you want to create the image. Using a sharpened pencil in one hand and holding the spoon in place with your other hand, lightly rub the pencil over the paper-covered spoon, taking care to create the definitive shape of the object. (a)
4. Remove the spoon from underneath the paper. Repeat step 3 using the fork and knife, creating the rubbings one at a time. Continue to add rubbings in this manner any place you wish the motif to appear.
5. When all the rubbings are complete, wrap the box with your paper.
6. Tie cotton string once around the box and complete the package by adding a manila gift tag. (b)
Note: When selecting items to rub and incorporate into this project, choose those with a lot of surface texture or an iconic shape, as they are ideal and well suited for rubbings.
Thank you to Wanda Wen and the good folks at Potter Craft for sharing this project with us. For more gift wrapping ideas and tutorials, check out The Art of Gift Wrapping.