Easy Hand-Stamped Wrapping Paper Tutorial

A little over a year ago, I decided to get rid of my rather remarkable stash of printed gift wrap.  Instead, I'd have a few solid colors, that I could then dress up for any occasion.  I've had so much fun with this approach!  

My latest experiment was with hand-stamping plain blue kraft paper wrapping paper.  I could have done a better job knowing two things:

1)  It takes way longer for the opaque white ink to dry than I thought.  Like, days.  Oops, lots of smudges.

2)  I'm too cheap to buy those clear blocks for the stamps, but honestly, they'd probably make things a lot nicer and easier.  My fingers kept getting in the way.  

But I was going for a kind of rustic, weathered nautical look, so I didn't mind the imperfections.

Using gift wrap is an incredibly inexpensive way to line envelopes.  Want to learn how to do that yourself, instead of paying the stationer out the wazoo?  Here's my tutorial showing just how to do it!  

And of course, the paper was fabulous for its intended purpose, as wrapping paper.  I'll show you how to make the shell monogram gift tag and the rope knot in the next few days.

I cannot describe how happy pretty presents make me.  I feel inordinately delighted just looking at these photos.  I'm sure part of that is just because I love paper crafts, and always have.  But there's something more.  I love it when people put time and effort into something unexpected, like a brilliantly written Craigslist post.  Sure, nobody needs to put creativity and thought into selling a used toaster.  But when they do, it's such an unanticipated delight that it makes the whole world seem a little bit better.  

Is there any need to spend effort on wrapping a present creatively?  Hell, no.  It's going to get ripped apart and thrown away.  I have no illusions about that.  And the gift inside will be just as loved, no matter how it's wrapped, or even if it's not wrapped.  But I think it's always worth sparking an extra smile, bringing a bit of unexpected beauty into the world.  I don't always have the time to come up with innovative gift wrap ideas, but I'm always delighted when I do.

Want more creative gift-wrapping ideas?  Follow my Packaging pinterest board!  I've gathered some truly amazing ideas there.

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