THIS YEAR’S CHRISTMAS WRAPPING.

All hail Christmas. The time of year grown ups can unabashedly play with glue and sparkles as much as they want! This DIY Christmas wrapping paper with sparkle silhouettes will inspire you to make your own art inspired wrapping paper. 

 

I’m going to walk you through the evolution of a creative idea today.

Normally when I get an idea to do something the whole thing just pops into my head.  Then, I fiddle with it, work it out, plan it, change it and finally execute it.  Sometimes it all goes exactly as planned from the get go with no changes at all, but a lot of times it’s an evolution of the first thought that popped into my head.

Let me give you this as an example.  Last night a thought popped into my head.  It was “I’M GOING TO HAVE FRENCH FRIES FOR DINNER!!!”  That idea obviously didn’t need any changing at all.  I had french fries for dinner.

Earlier in the day I had a different thought.   “I should really start to organize my tax receipts“.  Well,  that idea evolved into “I don’t need to organize my receipts immediately.  I mean, not this minute, but later tonight as I sit on the couch and eat french fries maybe“. Which then evolved into “My Christmas break will be a great opportunity to get caught up on all these things like tax receipts without having to worry about working as well.”  Which then evolved into “I’M HAVING FRENCH FRIES FOR DINNER!!!”

See?  One idea worked out right from the get go, the other one got to the exact same place, it just took a bit longer to get there.

I had a really hard time coming up with an idea for my wrapping this year what with being so busy thinking about the delights of salty, crispy, deep fried chips I suppose.  (Guaranteed one of you will be eating french fries for dinner tonight by the way.)

I had almost given up and resorted to wrapping my Christmas presents in my tax receipts this year when  all hell broke loose on another craft. And just like that, I had my Christmas Wrapping idea thought.

I had some trouble getting what I felt was the right glitter for my Snow Globes.  The stuff I originally had in my house was too thick so I bought more glitter that I thought was finer, but it only looked finer in the bottle for some reason and was actually exactly the same as my original glitter. So I went back to the dollar store and bought two more containers of gold glitter.  So now I had 4 bottles of glitter, plus, surprise, I found another one in the cupboard.  Of these 5 bottles of glitter I used approximately 1 teaspoon for my snow globes.

Nothing makes me more angry than having too much glitter on hand. Seriously. It spoils my mood.  Just look.

 

I’m a f*ckin’ angry mess, I am.

So I decided it would make sense to use up some of that anger inducing glitter in my Christmas wrapping.  The seed of the idea was that I knew I was going to add glitter to plain white paper.  I just wasn’t sure how.  Designs?  Words?  Outlines?

SILHOUTTES! I was going to make silhouettes on my wrapping paper from gold glitter. I’d get rid of my glitter and have fun Christmas wrapping. I’d be my usual cheery self in no time.

I considered doing reindeer and Christmas tree silhouettes, but it wasn’t quite right. It didn’t feel me.

That’s when I had my Glitter epiphany.  If you’ve never had one, it’s similar to a migraine aura only you also hear music.  Mariah Carey specifically.

 

As a proud Canadian, I was going to do Group of Seven tree silhouettes.  If you don’t know the Group of Seven I’ve linked to them. They were a group of Canadian landscape artists who had a very specific style.  They and their work is distinctly Canadian.

You can use this technique for any silhouettes you want.

Print off the silhouette you want on your wrapping paper.  I found a Group of Seven painting, then using Photoshop isolated a tree.  I converted it to black and just like that I had a silhouette.

Place the printed silhouette under plain white wrapping paper and trace it.  If you can’t see the silhouette well enough under the paper put it on something that’s glass and shine a light under it.  I use a roll of kids drawing paper which you can get way cheaper than wrapping paper at any craft store and sometimes Ikea.

Once you’ve traced the outline of your silhouette with a pencil paint regular white glue onto it. The glue goes anywhere you want the glitter to be.

Then sprinkle your glitter.

I’m a grown up and I make my living by gluing glitter on things.  For real.  IT’S A DREAM COME TRUE. I always wanted to be Mr. Dressup when I grew up.  Canadians will understand that reference.

 

Don’t worry about being stingy.  Only a tiny amount of glitter will stick to the paper.  The rest you can pour back into your cup and reuse over and over again.

 

 

 

You can see the glitter completely covers up your pencil lines.

 

This is SO much fun to do and SO easy.  When it worked I was amazed at how great it looked.  In fact if you follow me on Instagram you SAW me getting ready to test this very craft a few weeks ago.

 

I threw in a deer there so you could see what the technique looks like with something other than a Group of Seven inspired tree.

 

 

QUICK TIPS FOR GLITTER GIFTS.

  • Keep your paintbrush dipped into your pot of  glue to stop it from drying out between using it.
  • Once you load on your glitter shake and shimmy the paper around so you get good coverage.
  • Pretend to wrap your present with the paper, then cut the amount you need and work with that.
  • Before marking your silhouette, put your present onto the paper and mark around the base of the present with a pencil.  This way you’ll know exactly where present will be in relation to all the wrapping paper.  It will make placing your silhouette in the right place foolproof.
  • DIY light table.  If you have a clear glass table, you’re set.  Just set a lamp underneath it.  Otherwise, support a glass shelf on kitchen mugs and put an LED flashlight underneath pointing upwards.

 

 

The countdown now begins.  There are only 10 more days until Christmas. Which means I have exactly 10 more days for “tag” inspiration to strike.

 

 

92 Comments

  1. Sally says:

    Well I didn’t grow up in Canada but lived in Bellingham WA for many years so I’m familiar with the Group of Seven and Mr. Dressup. Thank you for reminding me of the Group of Seven I saw an exhibit in Vancouver BC it was fantastic.

  2. Robin says:

    As pretty as glitter is, I use it very sparingly and very carefully in my house as I don’t want or need two cats who have the run of the place, running around spreading glitter everywhere with their furry tails and butts… or need them ingesting it!

  3. Thera says:

    I finally got to coordinate my wrspping paper this year, I have plain brown, plain blue and blue w/silver snow flakes. For ribbon I have twine, thin blue yarn, blue ribbon, glod washi tape, gold sequined ribbon and a braided blue, silver, gold thin rope stuff.
    Love your wrapping, another thought might be to use cookie cutters to trace.

  4. Connie says:

    I confess, I didn’t read all of the comments but I wondered why you didn’t wrap the gifts first and then put the glue and glitter on the paper? Wouldn’t that be easier and not disturb the glitter afterwards? Just a thought. Lovely by the way. Just used my glitter excess in an empty glass ornament with a few drops of mop-and go, shake and it’s wonderful.

  5. Mel says:

    and thanks for the “instructions”, too. Intstructions often elad to misspelled words.

  6. Mel says:

    I like you. You’re like Martha Stewart and Ellen all rolled into one glitter-bearing, deer-shirt-wearing, blogging do-it-yourselfer with talent. Thanks for the laughs, intstructions, and…hmmmm, I like to say things in groups of three. Hmmmm…Ideas! Yes, thanks for the great ideas! Even those that involve yogurt.

    • Karen says:

      That’s very astute of you Mel. I AM Martha Stewart and Ellen rolled into one. I say that with the confidence of someone who has both been in jail and had lesbian relationships. Actually no. I haven’t. But it makes me seem much more interesting to say I’ve done both of those things. ~ karen!

  7. Laura Bee says:

    All this post needs is ….omg….my train of thought just went crashing ahead.
    hmmm, Canadian things…what could make it more Canadian? Beavers, no – maple syrup maybe. Maple syrup instead of glue…nah, too messy. Wait – they make edible glitter. Glitter pancake stencils!!!!!!
    Creative process in action. Ha!

  8. I love glittery stuff! Too bad I’m done wrapping all the gifts. Lol.

  9. Maggie says:

    Thank you for introducing me to the Group of Seven….I grew up in Calif., didn’t know about them.
    What great paintings.

    • Lynn Johannson says:

      I grew up in Seattle and first ran into Emily Carr’s work on a trip to Victoria with my Girl Scout troop in the 70’s. Because of her work, I found the Group of Seven. They have influenced my own work more than any other style. Check out W. P. Weston (1879-1967). His major works were done in B.C. a decade or so after the Group of Seven but the same feelings and lines are there! Yum.

  10. Dana says:

    I love it! And I’m planning on making mini gingerbread houses with my 3 kids this weekend. I also noticed the Danish whisk tied to someone’s gift under your tree–lucky them! For fun, I searched kitchen shops in Denmark this fall, and never saw a Danish whisk there.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Well as the saying goes, maybe they just all them whisks. And maybe they’re so popular everyone is bequeathed one and no one ever has to buy it in a store. ~ karen!

  11. CoCoDubai says:

    I can never decide which I love more – Karen’s posts or Karen’s readers’ comments. Life is good when I am reading The Art of Doing Stuff.

    • Karen says:

      Glad to hear it CoCo! Life is good when I’m writing the Art of Doing Stuff. And yes … I have the world’s best blog commenters. ~ karen!

  12. Heather (mtl) says:

    So cool and so fun! I’m a (rubber/acrylic) Stampaholic and have often used favourite stamps then the glue and glitter. I also tried heat embossing the images, just for a change. Makes for such an elegant and pretty presentation. Versafine Crimson Red ink is the perfect vintage red for Christmas.
    Mr. Dress Up would indeed be proud as would the Friendly Giant 🙂
    BTW, thanks for the kind words on the (minor) surgery. Darn thing was postponed at the last minute.

  13. marilyn says:

    love it! we are in the middle of a kitchen reno tho so christmas has been relegated to a fake tree half covered in lights and a 12 “santa statue outside my door..poor!

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