Goodbye, sparkly holidays, hello, 2015! As each year winds down, I like to step away from the computer and spend a few hours in the studio crafting prints and gift wrap from scratch. There are no rules or rulers — sometimes just a bunch of imperfectly cut potatoes made into stamps, craft paint, all-purpose brushes and a few oversized sheets of paper. The result? A collection of perfectly imperfect packages wrapped with love.
The process is pocketbook friendly and easy for any age. I kept the color palette monochromatic to keep the look simple and chic. I even framed an outtake as a print to hang on our studio’s gallery wall, so if you don’t need any wrap for gifts this spring, you can just hang these as artwork in your home or office. Hope your holidays were just what you needed — wishing you a magical 2015! —Christine Wisnieski
– Potatoes (Trimmed to desired stamp shapes; square, rectangle, half circle, quarter circle, triangle)
– All-purpose paint (I used Martha Stewart craft paint)
– All-purpose brushes
– Paint palette or old plate
– 19˝ x 25˝ sheet of all-purpose paper
1. FIND YOUR TECHNIQUE
I found it easiest to test out a few patterns first. To begin, cover work area with newsprint and pour a few dollops of paint onto an old plate. Next, dip foam brush into paint, apply to desired potato shape and stamp. A few pattern play tips to keep in mind while you experiment:
+ Start simple. Begin by creating patterns using one shape, one size. As you get more comfortable, mix various shapes and sizes.
+ Experiment with applying various amounts of paint to achieve harmony.
+ Consider the shape of the potato and how you want it to repeat.
+ Decide whether you want to print shapes close together or far apart.
+ Combine different shapes for a more complex pattern.
Once you feel comfortable with the technique and have an idea of how to achieve your desired pattern, it’s time to paint your paper.
2. PAINT YOUR PATTERN
Lay down your oversized sheet of paper on your work surface. Begin stamping shapes one at a time, working from left to right, top to bottom. Be careful to not smudge your paint as you work. Don’t worry about inconsistencies — they’re all part of the charm. Once all shapes are stamped, set aside to dry for 10 minutes.
Once dry, wrap up treasures and deliver to family and friends. Add a colorful ribbon or tape for extra pop! (Or just pop the paper into a frame to create a custom print!)