Practical Print: Unique Wrapping Paper + Gift Cards + Tags | Jennifer Belair | Skillshare

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Practical Print: Unique Wrapping Paper + Gift Cards + Tags

teacher avatar Jennifer Belair, Printmaking + beyond

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

12 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Carving

    • 3. Hedge Hog Gift Tag Test

    • 4. Bear Layer 1

    • 5. Bear Layer 2

    • 6. Bear Layer 3

    • 7. Bear Cards

    • 8. Hedge Hog Layer 1

    • 9. Hedge Hog Layer 2 + 3

    • 10. Hedge Hog Cards

    • 11. Class Project

    • 12. That’s a Wrap

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About This Class


For our class you will be learning how to print your own unique wrapping paper, gift cards and name tags. We will have fun experimenting with different block combinations in addition to different inking methods. 

This class is meant to be quick and easy and ideal for artists who already have some lino blocks lying around. Remember you can even go back into your blocks and carve away--making a totally new image!

Check out the Pinterest Board for some visual inspiration. 

I will be brushing through the process of carving so if you would like to learn more about how to carve Linoleum check out my other class
Illustration Based Linoleum Block Carving + Printing

The Materials

  • Block Printing Ink +/or Stamp Pads
  • Plexi or Glass for Inking
  • Rubber Brayer
  • Newsprint or Craft Paper Roll
  • Cardstock paper or any scrap paper you may have (great for name tags and gift cards)


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jennifer Belair

Printmaking + beyond


Jennifer Belair Sakarian is an artist, educator, and writer living in Michigan. She received her Master's in Fine Art in 2013 at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Her primary focus is printmaking and mixed media approaches to art-making. As an avid nature lover, she tries to instill green practices into her studio practice and subsequently into her Skillshare classes. 

She loves working with students and creating projects that are fun, inspiring and approachable. She is transitioning from traditional academia to online platforms such as Skillshare and hopes to keep learning along the way!

During graduate school, she had been designing and silkscreening gig posters for her favorite bands--some of which you can purchase on her Etsy page-cle... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. It's Jennifer Beller, Sac Korean and today's class is titled Practical Print. Unique Wrapping Paper. In this class, you're going to learn how to make and design your own wrapping paper, using the linoleum block printing process and a few select materials. This class is great for anyone who has a little bit of experience with printmaking, but it's not 100% necessary. It's great for the printer or creator who maybe has a bunch of old linoleum blocks that they've used for other projects. I'm going to be going over in a very little detail how to kind of create an image using the carving methods that we use this linoleum. But essentially, this class will be all about producing the project, producing your gift wrapping paper. In addition, Teoh, how else you can use it, for example, on some stationery. Our cards, Um, in addition, Teoh the actual wrapping paper, which already have something wrapped rate over here. So it looks super cute, and I think it's very creative and has kind of a very personal touch. Do it. So we're going to focus on that less emphasis on carving more on actually creating and using different inks and materials. I just want to show the actual wrapping paper that was created. S O. This is just printed on a piece of newsprint using kind of a more random pattern. But we'll go over the details in just a few minutes here, but I hope you are all as excited as I am and let's go ahead and start talking about our materials. The materials that you're going to need for this class are pretty easy and straightforward . Ah, the 1st 1 being paper. I'm just using some newsprint. So I just got a big pad of this 18 by 24 inch newsprint, and I'm going to mostly be using that. In addition, you can also use Kraft paper, our postal paper, anything that's lightweight that you could easily wrap something with That doesn't have any kind of plastic coding or anything like that. So paper's gonna be important. News prints pretty cheap secondary. One of the other most important things you're going to need our linoleum prints. So this is actually the one that I'll be carving a quick demo for this class of a little hedgehog. In addition, you can resource old old images and old prints. So I have kind of a stockpile of some different designs that I have built up over the past years. And I just want to give them a new life house, a new place. So you'll just need to mine any of your old blacks or create new ones just for this project , which is perfectly fine to Ah. In addition, you also need a couple different things. I'm going to be using some ink pads. I have a couple of different ones here. Um, I don't know that one's better than the other, but just ink pad. Sometimes people have these lying around, and they don't always think about them. For printmaking projects, the small size works great for smaller, um, plates are smaller linoleum blocks, so just keep that in mind. In addition, some type of relief printing ink. I have fabric, black printing ink, and I'm just using it cause I don't use it for anything else, usually fabric if I do print on it, but otherwise it's just kind of hanging out there. And it's not my favorite Inc. It's not my most expensive Inc. It's not my best quality one But that's okay. This is a project where the paper is probably gonna get torn up. So we just wanna put effort into it. But not too much to where were were over analyzing it. So some type of ink I've seen people use acrylic paint as well. Um, I don't personally have experience with it, so I'm not gonna recommend it. So I would prefer some kind of black printing ink. In addition to that, pretty much the street straightforward supplies your Breyer is you'll need a couple of different ones cause you'll be doing a couple of different colors at a time. Otherwise, you'll have to do one color at a time, which is fine. Uh, and last but not least, your plexi glass. So my obviously doesn't look so great, but it gets the job done, and that's for inking enrolling. So now that we know what materials that will be needing, we can go ahead and get started with our project. I hope you guys are as excited as I am and let's go ahead and get started. 2. Carving: If you do intend on designing a new black for this project, a great place to start is actually in your sketchbook. I like to use different markers and India ink washes and things like that just to give myself a general idea of the shape that I'm trying to achieve. Ah, what I decided to go with, it was a hedgehog. So I'm kind of sketching that out, and I'm gonna go ahead and transfer that sketch of that drawing onto a scrap piece of linoleum block that was actually left over from another project I had done. So I'm just kind of transferring that just by eye, kind of the shape of the hedgehog. What is it gonna look like? Which areas am I gonna carve? What are kind of the textural details that will happen and again, Very rough style. Just kind of giving myself an impression or an idea. Um, not something you want to spend too much time with, because they will be going on wrapping paper. But if you want it to kind of go along with the theme that you're trying to create, it's a great idea. Um, then, as faras carving goes you want to start with your bigger gouges first, and you want to try to clear way larger areas and then work smaller as you go. I also like to use my Exacto blade to kind of carve in a line first and then use my gouge to follow that curve. It just sort of creates an easier route for the gouge to follow without cutting through or past it. Eso That's another really great tool to have on hand and again just keeping in mind that anywhere that you do carve with your gouge will be the white of the paper, and anywhere that's left raised will hold onto the ink. So I'm just working at this. I have some various time lapse is going on here just to kind of show you What does that look like? How many different tools that I'm using? I like to pull from different types. I have, like, a set of four and then also my speedball gouges that have the interchangeable, um, gouge sets with, um so those are both really great options. I'll put a link to the materials that I'm using for carving as well. In the video description or the class description. Um, but you can see kind of just following loosely to different marks that I had made with permanent marker and deciding what kind of textural element do I wanna have? What kind of variety of mark making? If you're really enjoying this, I would highly recommend checking out some of my other classes on relief. Printmaking. Um, I have, uh, quite a few, actually Know some that will show you different patterns and mark making and how to achieve kind of variety with your mark. So feel free to check those out. Some of them are project based. Others are more expressive and experimental. But, um, like I said, this class is just kind of getting you warmed up to a what that could be. And it's always fun to play around with variety of texture in line. It's just gonna add a little bit more visual interest. And you know, once you carve it once you can print it, see what it looks like, and you can always start again or add back into it by taking things away. That's never a bad idea to have your Sharpie close spice. You can kind of see the lines that you want to follow. You'll notice the lines that I'm making are actually mostly ones that I'm carving away. So it's kind of working in reverse, which is pretty akin to printmaking. Everything that you prints with most processes besides silkscreen will be printed in reverse. So that's also something that I have to keep in mind as I'm working on this using. And so I think it's getting pretty close to where it's it needs to be. And this is actually a little hedgehog that I'm starting to use for my etc. Sales. So, for my story, have these little name tags and it'll just be printed on a brown piece of craft board or Kraft paper. And I just like to write my little thank you cards on that, um, so you never know where linoleum blocks can take you. The beautiful thing is that they can be used over and over and over again. Um, some of my blocks there many years old, and some of them are brand new, which is really exciting. Another great thing you could do is just kind of carve away any of the access linoleum. You're not going to need it on. It's going to get a little bit confusing as you start printing s. So I just tried to cut kind of the shape that I wanted my head talk to be in and to be kind of living in, And I also like to kind of soften the edges. So I'm just going at it with an angle with my Exacto blades, like a 45 degree angle just to make it little look a little bit softer and less harsh. Um, of a lying quality. So that's kind of my own personal aesthetic. You can try it if you like, but a sharp blade will get you very far with this type of printing process. Um, in addition, just kind of adding more visual variety. So for this one, I'm adding some kind of parallel lines for kind of the ground that he's walking on and you'll see how it looks in the print. It turned out really sharp on his guesses, Poke ease that he has on his back are also very, uh, lots of variety, and it not just once thick, wow, carved, but also very thin ones, too. So try to experiment with different gouges. See what it looks like. Don't rely on just the same one, the whole through eso. That's kind of my quick little demo on carving and let's go ahead and get started with some of our projects. 3. Hedge Hog Gift Tag Test: before we get started. I wanted to go ahead and print my head jogs, so I just put out a little line of the relief printing ink, and I'm gonna go ahead and charge my Breyer and start to see what my images looking like. This way I can decide if I need to make any changes before printing him on the wrapping paper newsprint, and you'll notice that it takes a little bit longer for the image to fully charge up and have enough in Ghana to print because this is a raw piece of linoleum and it's very absorbent, but it looks good. So I'm gonna go ahead and take my pieces of, uh, card stock and go ahead and see what that looks like to print it. I'm just using a good amount of pressure and trying not to move my hand too much. Otherwise the image could smear, but I think that looks pretty good. It looks super cute. It wasn't printed 100% solid, but that's something I am open to because I like the kind of human hand elements. So I'm gonna go ahead and put a bunch of these, so that way I can use them for some of my Etsy store in sales. And like I mentioned before, I like to use them for Ah, little thank you cards. So you just never know the kind of life that your line oh print image or your block can have. It can be kind of your branding. Um, you know, use it for cards, for family, for holidays and things like that. And that's what this class is all about all about. Um, sometimes you'll get a little bit of hair or something like that. So just make sure you get that off, and I'd say this little hedgehog printed out really nice, so I'm gonna go ahead and use him for the class project. 4. Bear Layer 1: first thing you want to decide is which blocks you want to use together. So for this first set, I decided to use a bear and acorn, a twig and a oakleaf. So I'm gonna go ahead and start with my blue or turquoise ink first, which will actually be part of the bear that I have. Ah, the bear that I'm using This from a much older project. A couple years ago, I went back and did some more carving with him. So this is the first time that he'll be printed in his new new evolved kind of form. So just trying to get a nice and even coding of the ink on the linoleum block. Some blacks are more absorbent than others, so you just want to keep it consistent all the way through from there. You're going to take your clean piece of newsprint paper for your wrapping paper, and you're gonna go ahead and start printing essentially just one. Apply a good amount of hand pressure. So that way the image prints really clear. You don't have too much ink, though, when you print. Otherwise, the block could slide as you're putting pressure. So it's not really a formula that I can say this money passes equals a full block. It's more or less. You can have to get a feel for it. If you need to do some test prints on some more scrap paper, you can always do that. A. Someone who's printed for a number of years, I just sort of have the feeling of when the image is charged are full and, you know, just something you kind of you adapt to and you get used to over time. So what I'm doing here is loading up my Breyer and continuing to print the image. And I'm kind of going for a regular pattern in some ways. But it's also very by eyeball. It's not perfect by any means. It's, ah, kind of playful imagery. So I'm all about embracing that and seeing how I can work with it, how I can keep it playful and things like that. So it's more or less. You're going to get a lot of practice printing, which is great. You're gonna feel really confident in your skill sets. You'll notice my desk is a little wobbly, so it can be a little a little rough here and there, but my pages looking nice and filled up and, um, it's getting to a place where I feel like the bear has, ah, a good space. But I want to add a couple more just to make it feel more uniform and more complete. And it's great to do this all in one go. So if you're working with one block, you want to make sure you're doing that black all at the same time. You can do some sketches and see if that helps. If you want to work off the edge, make sure you put a piece of scrap paper. So that way you're not printing on your work table or the surface. So any kind of old newsprint and things like that can really help. So that's all we have for the first layer, which is our blue bear. Let's go ahead and see what we can do next 5. Bear Layer 2: now into the second part of our bare wrapping paper. I'm gonna go ahead and do the acorn, and I'm actually going to use the ink pad. Um, this is a nice small image, so it makes it really easy to charge it up. And Teoh get a nice even coat and the in qualities a little bit different. So just keep that in mind as you're printing. This type of ink is going to dry a lot lot faster than the Relief Printmaking Inc. Um, but it's a lot of fun, and it's great to try if you've never done that with your relief block prints. And I was fun is your image is starting to come together. It's starting to look like a repeating pattern and starting to look like a wrapping paper. Um, you can be playful with it. You can notice from the video that my acorns air kind of dancing along the page or the surface, so I'm kind of shift in it or tilting it as I go. And I think that looks really fun and playful and super cute. Um, you can also overlap to I'm not really doing that for this part for the second layer of our image. But I'm going to do that a bit with some other components you'll see in a little bit here. And ah, I'm a visual learner. So I need some kind of direction to follow. Ah, and again, you can do sketches. If that's gonna help, you kind of understand where you want the layout to be. I'm more of a visual, intuitive person, so this is kind of mind. Method works great for myself, but it might not be the best for you, but I think it's looking really good. So let's go ahead and start layer three. 6. Bear Layer 3: Now I'm ready to start my third and final layer for this one. I decided to keep along with the same of blue, so it's more monochromatic. Nothing's really popping on. I kind of like that look or that aesthetic. So I'm just going to go ahead and charge up. My Breyer and I have my newly carved twig or stick design, which I'm really proud of. I like it a lot. It's really playful, and I feel like it's something I'm going to use a lot. Ah, and some other projects. So I'm just going ahead and charging that up, trying not to put too much in Gonnet, which is cumbia struggle. But again, you get used to it as you go. And I'm just deciding kind of where do I want this twig or the stick to live? And I'm going to kind of play around with it and the different ways that it interacts with both the mayor and the acorn, kind of tilting a in different directions and things like that. But overall, I can say that the color looks really sharp. It looks really clean, it feels cold and it's winter in Michigan, so it seems like a right combination of colors to use for me. I really love working with animal based imagery, so this feels very playful, natural for my work. And I know the people who received gifts from me in this kind of packaging or this rafting will really appreciated as well. Eso the twigs air kind of getting, uh, rotated and twisted and turned throughout the page. It's never a bad idea to kind of step back, look at it and see where the next changes need to happen. Remember again. If you're going to be working off the edge, you want to make sure there is some scrap paper. So that way, it's not too Messi to clean up. And it's always a great way to reduce your waist by just using some old newspaper something like that from the post. Um, and it adds that nice effect were not. Everything is kind of crunched in that it's very breathable. It's moving around. Things were coming off the page, so that's it for our bare wrapping paper. I think it turned out really great and let's go ahead and get started on the next one 7. Bear Cards: Besides creating wrapping paper, you can also use these relief blacks for making cards. So I already have some card stock folded up and ready to go. Just some scrap pieces, since we already have these two blocks within Gonnet are plexiglass already is dirty. We might as well keep using them and making some more prints. So I have my bare already printed one just to kind of see what it's gonna look like. But same same kind of process. Um, you know, just have to kind of decide how you want it to be laid out using the hand pressure. It can be hard with different paper, cause not everything prints exactly the same. So something to be aware of. But another thing to think about two is the drying time of the ink. So if I was going to go back and redo this, I ply wait for the bear to dry and then maybe do another color later on. But it's it's fine. It's not a big deal to something to be aware of. As your printing. You might like the look you might not. It might sit on differently sometimes when the ink still wet um on both ends, both the bear and the tweak it can mix. So just keep that in mind. I don't think one way is right or one way is wrong, but to something to be aware of. And it's kind of nice, because now you have some stationery that can look really cute and will match really well. With your whole wrapping project, you might have to add more Incas I've done throughout this little video. Just keep that in mind. I would add little bits at a time, not too much. Keep it really clean, keep it consistent, and you'll have some really great playful and matching it. Gift wrapped that you can send your friends, family, loved ones, etcetera home with eso, these air looking really sharp. Let's go ahead and get started with our next sequence of wrapping paper 8. Hedge Hog Layer 1: For the second combination, I decided to go with the hedgehog Thedc own flower the daisy and also the oakleaf again. So with ease using reusing blacks, you always want to make sure they're cleaned off first before you get started. But I'm gonna go ahead and start thinking up the hedgehog prints, putting out a little bit of ink and starting to charge my Breyer With this particular kind of beat of ink, I put a little bit too much. So try to use less to start with, and then you can always add more. That's why I'm sort of making these different piles of ink, which you're gonna see your on the second just trying to get off some of the excess. So if you do happen to do that, I wouldn't go back into that man pile that has a lot of ink. But just try to get some of it off by rubbing the Breyer on some clean piece of plexi or a piece of newsprint. Eso going ahead is starting to print my actual image on the piece of newsprint and going about it in a similar manner. Kind of a playful approach putting the head child in different locations and just kind of seeing how he's going to interact with those different objects that will get printed with him. You could, even if you wanted, like, print the same black over and over, but you just use different colors. So, for example, if I did a whole pattern set of black, um, hedgehogs, I could clean that block and then do a whole set of yellow or pink or red or what have you ? So I'm just trying to fill up my wrapping paper sheets and a uniform, but also kind of intuitive manner and seeing how it looks, this one's printing really well. I'm super happy with the image itself and almost as kind of this teardrop shape to it. Um, so I feel like it's something I'm gonna keep using over and over for other projects down the line, just like you saw with my little tags that I made a couple of videos ago. Um, but again, just going through. And like I said, this is how you get really good at relief printing. It's a little bit of a different approach. Using your hand is the pressure instead of a barren or a wooden spoon. But if you're interested in more printmaking classes again, check out some of the other ones that I have through my skill share clan skill share channel plenty and similar to how we approach the bear. One. If you're going to work off of the edge of the paper, which kind of adds this really nice touch of variety, make sure you put a piece of newsprint or scrap paper on the edge there, so that way it feels more running off the page unless confined. 9. Hedge Hog Layer 2 + 3: now I'm going to get started on the next elements of the hedgehog print. I have decided to cut it back to two blocks. Um, after the head chug, I'm going to be doing the oak leaf, which I'm working on now and also the daisy. I just feel like the the cone flower is gonna be a little bit too much visually, and I want to keep it more simple. Eso as faras printing goes, it's really straightforward. You just place your black into the ink pad and you can even move it around a little bit in different locations. You can't really add too much to it. You can add too little. So that's why I like to kind of precedent to the soft ink pad, making sure that it's grabbing all of the ink that it needs. Ah, the things great, cause it does dry really fast. You don't have to worry about it. Taking a couple days a couple hours to dry. It dries pretty quick, but you still want to be careful because it can smear eso with these prints. You just are for this project. Do you want to make sure that you're not um, getting your hands into it too much. You'll notice because I am pressing into the ink pad. My hand is starting to get died. Um, the red color. So just be careful that I'm being is cautious as I can. I can always do a better job, but, uh, I think it's it's working out quite well. Ah, the ink pads, like I mentioned, work best for smaller size blocks. So things that are a little bit too big, it's going to be hard to do to get a nice even coding. And that's also why I decided not to do the cone flower. It was a little bit bigger than the ink pad, and it just was going to feel a little bit awkward. But I think this is turning out really nice. It looks has sort of this fairy tale kind of looker aesthetic to it on, and we're gonna go ahead and make a couple cards to go along with it. 10. Hedge Hog Cards: 11. Class Project: so Noah into your class project. So hopefully you have a better sense of how to repurpose your old linoleum blocks to kind of create a combination of Prince that can create some really cool and very unique wrapping paper as something that's truly from you and that you can't purchase in any stores, which is super exciting. And I know the people that you present your gifts too will be so appreciative. So just keep that in mind As you're building your project for this, I'm gonna have you build your own or create your own wrapping paper, as you see here. So again, it's kind of a no pressure situation. I would encourage you to play around with different colors, different blocks, maybe choosing, choosing some that go really well together. Um, you know, different designs that that work well, maybe some things will overlap. Maybe they'll interact in some kind of fun and playful way. You can keep yours more sparse or more negative space like mine has, or you can really fill it out again. Check out the Pinterest board that I'm I am going to link for this class just to give you a little bit of inspiration and ideas of how you can make this project truly you. And another thing I can't stress enough is that this paper will probably be torn apart. Maybe your opener of the receiving the gifts will do it carefully, but we can't always guarantee that. So, um, spend time on it, but maybe not too much time with it. It's very fun. It's very playful, but it also gives you opportunities to create things such as these cards here, in addition to some name tags. So be open. See where this project can take you the wrapping papers, only one part of it. You can obviously expanded into different ways different different combinations and things like that. So have fun with it. I hope you're getting excited about the upcoming holiday season. The new year. Birthdays and things like that just sort of adds another creative twist and a creative approach to how you can use your old black prints and bring them new life and have kind of new conversations with, um, eso for my printmakers and non printmakers out there. I hope you really enjoy this class. I hope you found it to be very informative and feel free to show your projects with me. I can't wait to see what you've created on what kind of reactions you get from those who do receive your gifts. I know I'm getting extracts excited about sending this one out. And this is my actually my book of poetry. It's called. I'm Okay, Okay. And I'll put a link to that as well, in case you're interested, but nothing better than a handmade gift. So thank you all so much and happy printing. 12. That’s a Wrap: