How To Make Hand-Drawn Gift Wrap Using Recycled Paper | Kathy Weller | Skillshare

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How To Make Hand-Drawn Gift Wrap Using Recycled Paper

teacher avatar Kathy Weller, Artist + Hand-letterer | Etsy + P.O.D.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Class Welcome

    • 2. Class Materials

    • 3. Let's Wrap and Draw!

    • 4. Time To Color!

    • 5. Class Project

    • 6. Our Final Gift + Closing

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About This Class

Let's create art, save a tree, AND spread good vibes all at the same time!
Wrapping a gift in hand-drawn gift wrap is like giving TWO gifts in one! It's unique, memorable and makes the recipient feel extremely special! Using recycled papers, artist Kathy Weller shares her recipe for artful gift-wrap that she started developing over 20 years ago! This is a fun, easy and CREATIVE project that pretty much ANYONE can do, and that EVERY recipient will LOVE.

In this class, you'll learn:

• Where you can find recycled papers
• How to cut up an old-school paper bag for gift wrap
• Media tips for drawing on recycled kraft paper
• What type of materials to use that POP BRIGHT on kraft paper
• How to brainstorm ideas for your theme/motif that your recipient will LOVE
• All of the steps to creating your wrapped hand-drawn artful gift
Experience Requirements
•This class requires NO prior creative or technical experience! 
•This class is for ALL AGES however, some cutting with scissors may be involved. So kids, please get your parents to help with any cutting! (Also, don't eat your art supplies.)

Aside from the above, all that is needed to get started is an open mind, a willingness to get creative, materials you can work with, and the desire to give your recipient a hand-crafted, artful gift wrap experience! Everyone LOVES a hand-wrapped gift! Give a gift that's memorable, is always appreciated, and always makes the recipient feel EXTRA special!

Let's create an amazing, hand-wrapped gift that will WOW your recipient!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kathy Weller

Artist + Hand-letterer | Etsy + P.O.D.


Hi! My name is Kathy. I’m an independent artist, like you! I’ve been using POD for fifteen years in my business in variety of ways. (Four years ago, I even started using P.O.D. for wholesale!) Print-on-demand is now the most direct path for artists to monetize our art!

The problem? It's a jungle out there!
There’s a million different P.O.D. companies with a million different business models, and the industry is constantly evolving. 

The solution: Understanding what’s OUT there in an organized way so we can make informed decisions that are IN SYNC with the way that we already work best, and with the way we already run our business.

I designed my Skillshare class The P.O.D. Pri... See full profile

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1. Class Welcome: Hello and welcome to class. My name is Kathy. I'm a lettering artist and I love to find new ways to share my art with family and friends. I began drawing gift wrap over 20 years ago and to this day it never fails to bring the uhs and ahs every time I give a gift. People absolutely loved and an artfully wrapped gift. They not only genuinely appreciate the effort that you put in, but sometimes they even hang it on the wall. Now that's the ultimate compliment. Today, I'm going to share my artful wrapping recipe with you. Let's get started. 2. Class Materials: Here are the materials that we're going to be using today. A pair of scissors, cross green ribbon, or really you can use any type of ribbon or twine that you like. Pentel brush pens. These are the pigment ink brush pens. It really doesn't matter whether you use pigment ink or other ink, and these pens come in both. Or you can use whatever type of brush pen you would like. Caran d'Ache neocolor pastels, unique. They are very opaque and creamy, whether or not you're using the one which is non-water soluble or the two which is water-soluble, but either way, these are just great to have around. They are very opaque on craft paper. The pastel ones in particular, I think look really great against the craft paper tape. Depending on the particular paper you're using, some tapes may stick better than other types to your craft paper. Since we're talking about recycled paper, the way a paper is manufactured may not be clearly evident to you just by looking at it. Sometimes the finish on the paper is slick, sometimes it's rough. Different types of paper have different types pulp and other ingredients that are used to make them which affect the absorbency and the way that they take different materials. Different types of tape will adhere better than other types do. Just grab a few types of tape that you have and see what sticks best to your paper that you have on hand. Lastly, the final material that we'll be using, this craft paper is from packaging fill from a package that I got from Amazon. Oftentimes you'll get this paper and it's all squished up and wrapped up. When you get it, it makes really great wrapping paper. One of the really cool things about this paper too, is that sometimes when you get it, it's cored, I'm sure that they do this so it's easy for people in the warehouse to just break off a piece easily. It works to our advantage because you might not even need scissors when you want to cut a smaller piece. Alternately, you can just cut a regular everyday grocery paper bag so that you can use it for wrapping. How I like to do this, the easiest way I've found is you just cut the seam with scissors from the top of the paper bag where the seam is on one side, all the way down to the bottom. Then once you get to the bottom, you're going to want to cut the part of the bag that meets the surface. An easy way to do this is to cut along the periphery of the seam of the bottom of the bag all the way around. It's very easy to just do that all the way around, and then you have your paper for your wrapping. In this video, we went over the materials we'll need for our fun project, and I showed you my quick and easy method for cutting up a paper bag so you can use it for wrapping paper. Next step, let's wrap and dry. Are you ready? Let's go. 3. Let's Wrap and Draw!: Let's wrap and draw. The first thing we're going to do is of course wrap our gift. The craft paper from my Amazon package that I'm using here came all crumpled up in the box. I smooth it out with my hands and fold it up for storage until I'm ready to use. It maintains this crumbly creepy texture even when it's smoothed out but I think it adds character to the final wrapping design. Right now I'm doing ribbon placement. I'm putting my ribbon on my package like it's going to look in the end so I can know where I'm going to letter the name and what other elements I'm going to draw around that ribbon. One thing to watch out for when you're using packaging fill craft paper as wrapping paper is sometimes it tends to run on the thin side. It depends on the company and the type of fill that they like to use. When that happens, you need to gauge what media you're going to use with it. For instance, here I'm using wet media and I have some thin package fill craft paper. You'll see here that my pen unexpectedly does a big drop of ink when I draw the S in the name Solvay. When that happened, I actually quickly unwrap the gift to check and make sure the ink did not get on the gift, and then I re-wrapped it. There's always fun little mishaps like this that can happen when you are doing in a project. This puzzle is actually shrink-wrapped, but the ink actually didn't seep through to get on the box anyway. But that's just something to look out for. To dress up the craft paper packaging, I draw the initial design with my Pentel pigment ink brush pen, that gives me the base design that I'm going to color later. I usually letter the recipient's name first. Now that I've drawn the name, I'm replacing the ribbon again because I'm going to start drawing the elements around the package and I want to make sure that the ribbon isn't going to cover anything up or it's the placement is going to be correct. You can also use the ribbon placement itself as a collage like element in your overall design. That's a fun thing to do as well. Then I draw some ornamental motifs or whatever the theme that I decided on all over the package. Usually it's something that I think the recipient will love. One of the things that's so fun and unexpected with this method is that you can draw design all over your wrapped box instead of traditional pattern to give trap, which has an all over design, but doesn't have a design that uniformly meets at the corners. This unique detail adds so much to this specialness of receiving accustom hand-drawn wrapped package. It's like gift wrap as performance art because when the recipient unwraps the gift, the design unravels as well. It can be like a fun puzzle for your recipient because they may want to keep the wrapping in three-dimensions as it is. I've had people say they wanted to frame the wrapping or even put it on their door or on a wall. This is one way to make it really challenging for your recipient to want to unwrap your gift because they love your packaging so much. Let's recap this lesson. We talked about how the crinkles in our paper add character, imperfection shows the uniqueness of your work and that's a beautiful thing. We talked about ribbon placement and how you can use your ribbon as a part of your design and also be careful that your ribbon doesn't cover up any of your design. Since this is custom, it's easy to do that. The challenges of using wet media and what happens when you get a big glob of ink on your paper. I showed the order of how I like to do my wrap, which is do the main element first in this case it's the name, and then I design my motifs around that, then we talked about how this type of gift wrap is really like performance art, or it's like a fun custom puzzle for your recipient. Next up, we're going to talk about color and the different aspects of choosing a palette and using color in our three-dimensional gift wrap design. 4. Time To Color!: Hey, guess what time it is, it's color time. Once I have my initial design drawn on the wrap package, I colored in with these Caran d'Ache Neocolor pastels. In terms of color selection for this project, I find that the pastel colors work best against the craft paper color. That's what I like to use the best. Although any color will work as long as it's not the same color or the same tone of the craft paper you're using. For example, I've used a gold Neocolor and it just doesn't work against the craft paper because it's pretty much invisible. Once you draw it on there it's almost the same color. I also like to limit the palette when I'm doing this project because the design looks nice and cohesive in the final gift. I like to use these particular pastels for a few reasons. One, they're simply more dependable than a paint pen. Sometimes paint pens just don't flow 100 percent, they get clogged, but you will never have that issue with these pastels. There's also no liquid to contend with and though craft paper can often be thick and can handle a little bit of paint, especially in the case of a paper bag, it's nice to not have to mess with it, especially when it's wrapping a present that you're going to give away, so less opportunity to have an accident with ink or paint. Another thing is that the Caran d'Ache Neocolor pastels are creamy and opaque, and they're a really nice texture when you get them on the craft paper or any moderately textured paper. They just have a really nice texture to them. They can make gift wrap or real tactile sensory experience for the receiver. Not that there's anything wrong with printed gift wrap, it's just a different experience to receive a wrapping that is original multimedia art, no less. With all that texture and visual appeal that comes with it and it really brings so much more depth and pop to the design. It's like a gift on top of a gift. The trade off when using these pastels instead of a pen is that there is a lack of precision because they're a bit like crayons. The pastels are just not going to give you a precise line unless you're able to get an edge. They're not a precise tool, but I actually see this as a benefit because when you're coloring in a gift wrap like this, you don't want to go too much into the details. The ink is really more of where you would want to handle details and then this is the embellishment part. You want to focus on the big picture with the coloring in part because you want to make sure that the colors are used in a balanced way throughout the packaging, as well as the style approach which you use to color in the package. You want all that to be uniform. The fact that you can't get too detailed with these really helps you to focus on that. You'll see the order in which I color. I will do one color in places all over the package and then another color and try to make it balanced that way. You get a good balanced color plan all over your gift. Once I'm done balancing the colors all over the package, I can go a little bananas on the name. That's where all these gradients come in with mixing some of their colors to bring everything together cohesively. It also echoes the little trick I did with the flowers using a lighter pastel in more of the center of the petal and then the darker blue on the min and outside of it. While you're holding these pastels, they will soften a bit when they're in your hand for long enough due to the warmth of your hand. This is especially true with a Neocolor Twos. If you're using the Neocolor Twos, there might be a little transfer of pastel onto your hand. But as for rubbing off on to other things, once the package is already drawn, I have had no problem with the pastel transferring from the wrapping paper to anything else that I put the box on. It's really not a problem at all. In this lesson, we talked about selecting colors that will work cohesively and harmoniously with the color of craft paper, the benefits of using a limited palette, why I favor Caran d'Ache Neocolor crayons for this particular project, planning the color scape all around the three-dimensional space of your gift, and using gradients strategically to add pop and depth to your design. Next up, the final gift. Are you ready to see how the gift was received by [inaudible]? Final thoughts overall. Ready? Let's go. 5. Class Project: Hey, it's time to wrap your gifts and draw your wrapping paper. There's a PDF for you in the resources area which lists details about the materials I used and provides other ideas for you. This project allows a lot of creative improvisation, so please do not feel beholden to using the materials that I used. What theme should you use for your gift wrap? Anything and everything is the easy answer but let's dive a little deeper. I like to think about my recipient. What kind of things do they like? What are their favorite colors? Do they love strawberry ice cream? Do they have a pet hamster? Are they budding archaeologist? All of these things are creative pebbles from which you can draw inspiration for your gift wrap theme. If you'd like to test your idea out before committing it to your gift wrap, do some drawing on some extra wrapping paper to get your idea down first. This is also a really good idea, so you can confirm that the media you'll be using is compatible with the paper you'll be drawing on before wrapping the package. For the wrapping paper, you can use the type of paper I use. Recycled package fill from deliveries or do the old school paper bag trick and cut up paper bag or use whatever paper you have on hand. The main things to keep in mind are you want to select paper that is of course, large enough to wrap your gift in, and also, you want to select paper that will allow you to use your medium of choice over it without the medium seeping through the paper itself. For the medium or for what you're going to use to draw on the paper with, you can use the same materials I used, or you can use whatever you have on hand, from pencil to old school crayons, to water-based markers. When selecting your mediums, the main thing is to be careful if you're using media that requires drying time, or that requires time to set before handling. For instance, the Caran d'Ache Neocolor 2s that I used for surveys gift wrap can get melty when they're held in the hand for a while. These can be easy to smudge when you first get them on your paper. However, when they're given some time to set, the smudge factor does become minimal and eventually, it's pretty much nonexistent once it's dry. You can totally use paint or other wet media successfully if you follow a couple of guidelines. First, you have to make sure that the paper you're using will hold up to the paint, so you'll definitely want to do a test. You will need to use paint that will dry pretty quickly, and that also will dry opaque. If you can't see the paint after it dries, that's not going to be any fun. You'll want the consistency of your paint to not be too watery. Make sure it's not so water down for two reasons. Number 1, we want the paint to be pigmented enough once it's dry. Sometimes you really can't tell beforehand. Second, if the paint is less watery, it's more up to sit on top of the paper while it dries and dry quicker than it saturates through the paper, instead of saturating the paper before it completely dries. A fan or a blow dryer on cool setting can help speed up any drying paint too. Anyhow, you can really get creative and use whatever you have to dress up your gift. Let's get wrapping. Please post your photos to the project area and post any questions to the discussion thread. I look forward to seeing your artful gift wrappings and to continuing the conversation in the discussions area. 6. Our Final Gift + Closing: Here's the final gift. It's an original art, recycled paper, thoughtfully made, artful, hand-lettered treat for the recipient who gets two gifts in one. I wonder if Solveig will like it. Spoiler, she loves it. She told me she would be putting this on her wall immediately, so that really makes me happy. That's one of the things I love about doing hand-drawn gift wrap. Thank you so much for joining me on this creative hand-drawn wrap adventure. Post your final gifts using this hashtag on Instagram. I cannot wait to see what you make. If you'd like to find me on the web, I will put all of my links right over here. See you later.