Project by Katherine Tucker
It’s that time of year when ideas for making your own decorations and gifts abound. You could create a Narnia-worthy wreath from wool felt, while away an afternoon making impressively complex paper snowflakes, or bake some delectable treats for friends and coworkers. Sometimes the sheer number of possibilities can get a little overwhelming.
If you’re crunched on time (as so many of us are), we suggest a simpler option: stamps. All you need is some foam, wood, and a little paint to create something lovely that will still satiate your need for a new project. The best part? You can easily create multiple gifts with the same stamp, and each will still retain that bit of individual handcrafted charm you love. Here are the packaging and gift ideas you need.
Add some personality:
Purchase a holiday stamp from the craft store or other online retailer and lend your own touch to holiday packages. White ink on these colorful tags makes for an especially striking accent. You can even glam it up with silver and gold.
If you’re hosting a holiday party or looking for a stocking suffer, consider adding color to paper coasters as an easy accent. Purchase plain paper coasters from a party supply store or online, and make your own statement with a colorful stamp.
Burlap bags from a craft store can make the perfect packaging for small gifts. We cut out foam shapes and glued them to woodblocks for these stamps. Then we used a foam brush and painted them with our favorite colors. The result is perfect for holding playing cards, jewelry, or small electronics. While most packaging is thrown away after Christmas morning, these are the kinds of things your loved ones can hold onto year round.
Stamps aren’t just about stationary. Using the same technique applied to the burlap bags, use larger pieces of foam and wood to create stamps that can be applied to pillows, napkins, table runners, and even an umbrella. Use holiday colors to create quick and easy decorations, or choose colors to complement the homes of friends and family for a personalized gift.
For those looking for a slightly more involved endeavor, borrow a printmaking technique to create something truly your own. This stamp uses a piece of linoleum that has been hand carved, and requires a permanent marker and piece of carbon paper. We fashioned this simple design by writing “shine” on a piece of paper and then tracing the lines with a dark permanent marker so that the ink bled through the paper slightly. By turning over the paper, we had the mirror image of our design that we needed. Then, placing the carbon paper behind our backwards design, we retraced it onto the linoleum. Using a carving tool, we cut away the linoleum to fashion our one-of-a-kind stamp. To finish, we used wood glue to mount it onto a wood block. Make a stop at the art supply store to buy the linoleum and carving tools, and you can let your creativity fly!