First off let me say that I do not think this is normal. And normal people do not wrap their presents like this. Nor should they. It's absurd. Just so you're all aware, that I am aware, that this is nuts.
I know. You were probably expecting more. Nothing this subtle. You were thinking I'd do something more along the lines of building box sized replicas of my chicken coop that gifts can be placed inside weren't you? Well, I wasn't going to do that because I only just thought of it. It randomly popped into my brain which is exactly where I'm tucking that idea away until next year.
So. What we have this year is a very simple plaid paper which I miraculously found at my local dollar store in amongst the wrapping papers featuring Bart Simpson, The Little Mermaid and other current animated characters from the 1990's.
It all started out quite simply. Wrap a present in the plaid paper.
This is where things get weird. Although I didn't think they were weird while I was doing the wrapping. I really did not think this year's Christmas wrapping was over the top in any way.
That is until I started to edit the photos below and got to the one where I'm heating up a branding iron. Yeah. A branding iron. There's rubber cement and leather working tools too.
Who's with me?!
Here we go ...
- long leather scraps* (enough to make belts to fit around a standard box)
- rotary cutter and mat
- hole punch
- rivet setter
- straight edge
- branding iron
- tiny buckles
- rubber cement
Listen - you know when your wrapping requires rubber cement, things are getting f*cking serious.
- I have swaths of leather that I got from a reader who was moving out of the country. But prior to acquiring this stash and teaching myself a bit of leather working with it, I used to go to thrift stores and buy old, ugly leather jackets for cheap and cut them up for leather projects.
- Cut tag shapes out of leather. I made a little pattern to use.
That super-cool archaic looking tool up there is a combo hole punch/ rivet setter. I just bought it and I love it.
- Punch hole in top of tag
- Insert grommet
- Clamp grommet with super-cool tool
Now you have a finished looking product. You are ALL pro now with that grommeted tag.
- Time to heat up your branding iron because you are in fact made up of 10% regular human stuff and 90% lunacy.
- Brand that leather with that Christmas tree branding iron. (I got it on Etsy, you can get one here)
The hotter the branding iron is, the more black the brand will be. So if you use the same branding iron for 3 pieces of leather, the brand will get progressively lighter.
I'm telling you this for your interest, not because I believe anyone is going to make custom leather tags for their gifts that they will brand themselves.
Will they? Will you? If so, then you're more squirrelly than I thought and that of course pleases me.
- Grab your tool stamping set and whack the first initial of the gift recipient in the spot where the tree's star would go.
"M" is for mom. Or maniac. Or 'member when water beds were the pinnacle of fancy?
Alright your tag is done. Now we move onto the body of the work. The belt.
- Cut a long, thin strip of leather about 4" longer than the circumference of the box.
- Attach the buckle to one end by punching a hole near the end of the leather and inserting the buckle prong thing through the hole.
- Apply a bit of rubber cement then clamp the leather together to attach the buckle. (you can also use a rivet but I ran out of rivets about 2 belts into the project so I switched to glueing)
- After the cement has dried remove the clamp and wrap the belt around the present.
- Make a little tab to wrap around the belt to hold the strap in place.
- Hang the tag.
And you thought this was going to be complicated.
It couldn't be simpler.
For reasons of a poodle nature, I couldn't pile the presents on the floor this year.
So I decided to use them like a centrepiece on my hall table. That's fresh garland. It'll be crispy and awful in 3 days so don't be envious of how nice it looks. It'll be replaced with fake garland for the rest of the season (blogger secrets.)
What I'm really looking forward to is using this idea on other presents. Those belts with smaller tags on plain white paper for instance? Beautifullll.
I really like the wrapping this year. Plus the little leather belt and tags can be used afterwards by the recipients as well. I'd probably wrap the belt around a plain white cookie jar, or straight sided ceramic vase. And the tag can be used as an identification tag for luggage. Or a keychain.
As it turns out, I really like the presents stacked on the table.