Sunday, December 23, 2012

Envelope Wrap Variation

Sometimes the gift you want to wrap isn't thick enough to use one of the other wrapping techniques.

When this happens you can use a variation of the envelope wrap. Wrap just like the envelope wrap until it is time to do the hospital corners. (Photo 1)

When it is time to folder the corners, bring the top layer forward and over the box and crease (similar to the no seam corner folding).

Then bring the bottom layer of paper and fold at 90 degrees perpendicular to the bottom of the box. Crease and bring the bottom layer up and over the top of the box and crease (photo 2).

Tape along the two angled edges and along the straight edge of the flap (photo 3). Bring up and over the top of the box to secure. Repeat on the other side (photo4).

For this gift, I decided to use the back of the paper for the belly band (photo5).

I then added a coordinating ribbon to finish (photo6)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Wrapping

I have a varied list of clients who ask me to wrap their gifts for the holidays--primarily for Christmas. Some of them ask for a theme or color palette and I always try to accommodate their requests. Others, on the other hand, simply give me the gifts and let me do my thing. These clients know to expect the unexpected and a few treats thrown in.

The wife of this client loves paper and saves all of the paper and ribbon used for her gift wrapping so it is always a pleasure getting this assignment.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Special Wrapping

Someone asked me the other day where I got inspiration from regarding my wrapping ideas. I usually get inspired by color rather than content. I never studied color theory but I know what pleases me.

Many times, I get inspired by others. A case in point was this particular wrapping scheme. My boss contacted me at the last minute to wrap a last minute gift for his wife. I had just been inspired by Kat's home decor theme of white and silver. Her pictures can be found at Just Crafty Enough.

I decided to use some silver paper that I had and two versions of ribbon. I decided to use two bows that were offset. The first now is a silver satin ribbon overlaid with a silver organza ribbon. After tying the bow, I place the branches on top and formed them. Here, I copied Kat's use of nature and acorns. Once the branches were in place, I tied the second bow which consisted of a white satin ribbon overlaid with a silver organza ribbon. I then added the branch with red berries to add a spot of color.

I am very happy with the way this turned out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Envelope Wrap

Today's wrapping assignment is the Envelope Wrap. It is called this because the flaps at the end of the box resemble the flaps of an envelope. This wrap is useful for items that are not very thick or soft goods, like pillows or sweaters without a box.

Also, to illustrate a point that I made yesterday, you don't have to have a lot of expense stuff to do nice job of wrapping an item. Today, I will be using scraps of things from other projects to prove this point. On a side note, I was told during a presentation once that artists don't use the term scraps when talking about left over paper--the correct term is off-cuts! Geesh. So today, I will be using some off-cuts of paper that I have--although, someone else mentioned to me that I have good scraps.

The box is one that was given to me from Target. The base paper is simple white craft paper cut to size.

Step One: Measure out the paper. For this project, the seam will run down the center of the bottom of the box. The width of the paper should wrap around the box and overlap by an inch or two. The length of the paper should be the height of the box plus 2 to 4 inches added to each end. The idea here is that you want the top and bottom flaps of the box to wrap over and onto the bottom of the box.

Measuring the left side of the box. This will be the finished seam.

 Bring the right side of the paper over onto the bottom of the box and tape down using transparent tape. This edge should reach just beyond the center seam that will be created with the left edge of the paper.

Rotate the box 90 degrees and run a piece of double sided tape along the bottom edge of the paper (see below).

Bring this taped edge up and over the side of the box to create the center seam (see below)

Step Two: Folding the flaps.  This step is similar to the no seam wrap but you will be folding the hospital corners first. Bring in each side of the wrap and fold and crease along the sides and bottom of the box. Be sure to pull the wrapping tightly against the box so the box doesn't shift in the folding.

Bring the top flap down and crease it along the top of the box and along the bottom of the box. Fold flat against the box so you have a top crease and a bottom crease (see below).

Crease along the top and bottom of the box.
 Cut the excess paper from this flap just short of the bottom crease. Note: If you have thin enough paper and an eye for folding you can just fold the excess under itself using the bottom seam.

Here is the top flap after trimming.
 Place a piece of double sided tape along the remaining flat and bring up (tightly) against the box, crease, and over the top of the box (which is really the bottom showing the seam (see below)

One flap taped against the bottom of the box
 Repeat for the other side and your finished Envelope Wrap should look like the picture below.

Basic Envelope Wrapped box.
 Step Three: Embellish. Here is a scrap of paper that I used from a previous post discussing the no seam wrapping. Notice that the belly band covers the seams and any imperfect flaps you might have. If you notice above, my flaps did not end up exactly aligned. The belly band covers up these types of errors. Also, keep in mind that all of the mechanics are on the bottom of the box (e.g., taped edges, seams, etc) so many people aren't going to notice anyway.

Bottom of the box with all the mechanics

Top of the box with clean edges.
 I then added a second belly band made from a contrasting hand marbled paper. I always like to show some of the first layer when applying a second belly band. This is a good way to use a small bit of expensive paper without breaking the bank since you are only using a small portion of the paper. It is a good way to use off cuts.

 Add a ribbon and you are done. This is the left over ribbon from a previous post as well. Notice the bows and tails are small because I just had enough ribbon to wrap around the box. This is a great way to use the remnants of your ribbon as well.

So you see, you can use your scraps to wrap your gifts and still not break the bank and make your gift look special

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bottle Wrapping

Today, we are going to concentrate on wrapping a bottle (or round surface, if you prefer). The difficulty with wrapping bottles is that everyone already knows what it is so you really aren't surprising anyone. What is important to me, is to show that some thought went into wrapping the gift--as opposed to simply buying a bottle bag at the liquor store. I have the same problem with people buying those decorated gift bags and a piece of tissue paper and then just throwing everything in and gifting it away. Beautiful, or thoughtful, wrapping shows that thought and planning went into getting a gift--and it really doesn't take much time or money to wrap something with thought.

To illustrate this point, I decided to forgo wrapping paper and decided to simply use brown craft paper that I have lying around. I am at the office wrapping this gift so I wanted to show you that with a few staple items, you can wrap a gift anywhere.

Step One: Measure out the paper. Here is a hint that I use at the office: Use a T-square to cut your paper (especially if it is thin). Here I simply tear the paper against the ruler.

The width of the paper should go around the bottle and overlap by an inch or two.  The height of the paper should be the height of the bottle plus 1 to 2 inches added to the bottom of the bottle and 4 to 6 inches added to the top of the bottle.

Step Two: Wrapping the bottom of the bottle. Tape the left edge of the paper to the bottle. Be sure to use transparent tape and tape to the glass rather than the label (see above). Securing the bottle in place (I use the actual tape dispenser to do this), use one long continuous piece of double sided tape and run along the bottom edge of the paper (see below)

Cut slits into the paper about 1 inch in width and up to the bottom of the bottle (see below). Do this for the entire length of the paper.

Rotate the paper and bottle 90 degree and run a piece of tape along the open edge (opposite the taped edge to the bottle). The length of tape should not exceed the top of the bottle. 

Roll the bottle along the bottom edge trying to align the bottom edges. It is important to work on this edge because many bottles have sloped sides and you can't use the dimensions of the bottle to guarantee a snug fit. When you are finished, you should have something that looks like the picture below.

Starting with the bottom most layer, start folding the tabs onto the bottom of the bottle. Because they already have double sided tape on them, they will stick to the bottle. Take your time with this step. Pull the tab towards and snug against the bottle. Do not pull too hard or you will rip the paper.

When you reach the second layer, simply continue until all tabs are taped down. Because you are covering a rounded surface, you will get little dimples but this is OK. If they bother you, you can rub them down with a bone folder; many of them will disappear when you stand the bottle right side up. If you have been careful with your folding and measuring, the dimples should be negligible.

Step Three: Folding the top of the bottle. Stand the bottle right side up. You should now have a tube with an opening on top. The difficulty is that you have to turn a round surface into a flat surface. Trying to keep the dimensions constant along the sides of the bottle, add a dart/reverse pleat/valley fold to both sides of the paper. The idea is to fold inward the excess paper so that the wrapping seems to be one constant width. This can be a little fussy depending on (1) the paper you are using, (2) your patience and/or (3) how OCD you are. Here is the side view of the valley fold (my craft term of choice).

Here is the front view of the wrapping with both sides with the valley fold.

To finish the top, you simply fold the top down like a lunch bag (I actually call this the lunch bag fold). Be sure to measure the first fold so that you get two complete folds and that the final fold finishes somewhere close to the top of the bottle. For personal reasons, I don't like a lot of extra material on top of the bottle.

Also be sure to fold away from the front of the bottle (or fold towards the seam). First fold below,

And the second fold.

Turning the fold away from you. Punch two holes using a standard hole punch. I should have measured the location here but I have a way of covering up the error. Be sure to hole punch through the flap while it is still folded. The holes need to go through all of the layers.

Thread ribbon through one hole, around the back, and through the second hole. Adjust the ribbon so that it is even on both sides.

I am attaching a card to the outside of my wrapping so I thread the ribbon through the card and then continue to thread the ribbon through both holes again. When the ends end up on the front of the bottle, tie a shoe lace bow. The final product, with the handmade card, is below.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shoe Lace Bow

Today we are putting the finishing touches on our belly band wrapped box--a bow and decoration.

Step One: Measure out ribbon. Place your ribbon of choice on a flat surface. If you are using more than one ribbon (like I am) place the topmost ribbon (the smaller silver organza ribbon in my case) on the surface and then place the second ribbon on top (the purple ombre ribbon). Place the package, right side up, and center the belly band in the center of the ribbon as shown below.

Bring the ribbon along the side of the box on both sides and measure 18-24 inches above the top of the box. This length will give you plenty of ribbon for a nice size bow and tails. I always go towards the 24 inch measure in case I need to cut off extra tails and/or measure incorrectly.

Step Two: Tying the bow. Once you have cut your ribbon to length. Bring both sides of the ribbon onto the top of the box (as shown below).

Cross the two ends over each other and start tying a knot (just like you would your shoe laces). At this point, tie the knot tight and place one length of ribbon above the knot and one below the knot (as shown below).

Now is the time to add any decorations you want to the knot (before finishing the bow). You can use any decoration you want (in this case I used candy canes) but you can add gift tags, ornaments, etc.

Once the decorations are in place, make a loop, bring the other end up and around the loop and form the second loop to secure (just like tying your shoes)--as shown below.

Step Three: Finishing touches. Once the knot has been secured, even out the size of the bows and the tails. Since I used wire edged ribbon, I can form a bow that takes any shape I want. Cut the tails at an angle, using very sharp scissors, and twist the tails so they are on the same side of the bow (one will usually finish in front of the bow and one in back of the bow). Make sure that your ribbon isn't twisted in the process. You might have to reform your loops so that both ribbons are in the same order (i.e., both silver loops are centered over the purple loops, in my case). You can also make your bow look larger by separating the loops so it looks like a double bow.

This completes our first gift wrapping tutorial.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No Seam Box Wrapping with Belly Band

Today, we start learning how to wrap a basic package with a no-seam wrapping. I always thought that I was a good "wrapper" having spent part of my youth in the gift wrapping department at JC Penney. When I started doing some consulting for Kate's Paperie here in NYC, I really learned how to wrap packages.

Step One: Start with a box. Find a box that fits your item or one that you can add extra paper inside so that they item does not damage or shake. There are plenty of free boxes available. The post office has free shipping boxes. Use free FedEx boxes. Every time you purchase clothes as for free gift boxes--even if you do not plan on using them immediately. A box provides nice clean corners so that wrapping is easier.

Step Two: Measure out your paper. I have friends that measure with a ruler or tape measure and you can certainly do this. After wrapping many presents, I tend to do this my sight. Although, I do measure when I use one-of-a-kind or expensive paper. As a rough measure, the width of the paper should wrap around the bottom and sides of the box and should overlap on the top of the box. Do not overlap so much that the paper continues over the side of the box. For the height dimension, the paper should extend over 1/2 of the side of the box on both ends. Most times, the height dimension is where paper is cut. Be sure to cut the paper in a straight line--this is important. For thinner papers, you can get away with just folding the paper down to the correct dimension. I will demonstrate a no-cut and one-cut wrapping later.

Step Three: Place the paper with the good side face down on a flat surface. Place the box on top of the wrong side of the paper. Bring the right side of the paper over the right side of the box (I am right handed so these instructions are based on that). Bring the paper to the left edge of the top of the box as shown below.

Crease the paper against the right side of the box. As shown below.

Move the right side of the paper off the box but keeping the box in place. Being sure not to move the box, bring the left side of the paper over the left side of the box and crease against the edge. Using a single piece of transparent tape, tape this side down--as shown below.

Turning the box, 90 degrees to your right (with the long attached paper facing you). Take a long piece of double sided tape and place on the edge of the wrong side of the paper as shown below.

Bring this edge up and over the side of the box so that it barely meets the top edge of the box. If the box has not moved and the paper has stayed tight against the box, there should be a negligible seam that just meets the side of the box. If this edge overlaps the side of the box, carefully lift off the paper and start over and re-crease until the seams don't show. The seam disappears even more if you use a busy pattern like I did.

Step Four: Turning down the sides. Rotate your box 90 degrees to your left so that the open end is facing you. Fold down the top edge towards you and crease along the top of the box--as shown below.

At the corner, crease the paper against the corner of the box as shown below.

Bring the loose corner, 90 degrees to the left and crease against the right side of the box and along the bottom of the box--I call these hospital corners (like I used to do with my bed sheets in the Navy). Repeat in the opposite direction on the left side of the box. If you are using thick paper or if the hospital corners are not laying flat against the side of the box, you can use a small piece of double sided tape under the corner as you bring it to the right).

Bring the bottom edge of the paper up and crease so that it looks like the image below. Do not tape this down yet.

Rotate the box 180 degrees so that the open edge is facing you. The important thing to remember is that you are still working on the bottom of the box. By following these rotations, you will have your flaps facing the same direction. Follow the steps above for this side of the box. When you get to the last step to bring the edge up, place a piece of double sided tape along the edge of the paper. You only need tape of this edge since you are using double sided tape. If you are using transparent tape or have thick paper, you can tape the top edge of the paper when you bring it down in the first part of this step. Once you have taped this side of the box, rotate the box 180 degrees again, and tape down this side of the box. You have already creased it, so all you have to is run a long piece of double sided tape along the open flap. Once done, your box should look like the one below.

This is your basic box wrapping which is the basis of most of the tutorials that follow. I will publish some future tutorials regarding troubleshooting and difficult wrappings. If you master the above steps, you can cover almost any box. I realize that it seems like a lot of steps and explanation, but it really goes faster once you are actually wrapping rather than reading about it.

Now for the fun part--decorating your wrapped box.

Step Five: Belly Bands: Take a piece of contrasting paper that is wide enough to wrap around the entire box and that overlaps. The height of the belly band should be aesthetically pleasing (but keep in mind, if you have a beautiful paper, you don't want to cover too much of it.

Place the good (or desirable) side down on the flat surface. Pick up the covered box (making sure that the bottom of the box is facing up). And place down on the belly band. Take the left side of the belly band and bring it up and over the side and take it down to the bottom of the box. You can use a small single piece of transparent tape for this (as shown below). Be sure that the location of the belly band is where you want it.

Place a long strip of double sided tape on the underside edge of the belly band to your right as shown below. Bring the right side of the belly band, up and over so that it overlaps the left side of the belly band. Be sure that the belly band is straight and aligned upon itself.

Turn the package over and you are ready for more decorations (e.g., bows and ribbons) which will be shown tomorrow.