lace, mixed media, origami, paint, textures

Making Holiday Gift Wrapping – Part Two – Holiday Stencils Three Ways

If you have been following me for long you will already know that I am not prone to following the rules. At first, I thought traditionally about using Gwen’s Christmas Collection stencils and you can see that I started off by printing out a copy for each of my party guests. (I’d like to mention that they all wanted to use the stencil themselves. It’s important to mention we shared nicely, taking turns and saying please and thank you.) When starting to make my own project, however,  I veered off in another direction. 

I quickly realized that the stencil could be used to make the paper reflect any style. It really is that versatile. So I challenged myself to use those two stencils to create three distinct styles. Thinking about the hallmarks of each style and breaking down those elements will help you to use these stencils to get the effect you want. 

For the purposes of this experiment, I went with classic gold and cream, shabby chic and boho bright. I chose to make the papers into triangle origami boxes. You know this is my go-to wrapping style. For each of them, I used paper ripped out of my sketchbook. The paper is cream colored. Each box requires 6 pieces – I made them in 5″ and 6″ squares. If you have read my origami boxes posts, you will know that I used to work for Japan Publications Trading Company as a copy editor and translator in their craft department. I favor the directions of Tomoko Fuse. You can choose any style of origami box – the more you make them the more you fall in love with them.

Stencils used for all three variations were Gwen’s StencilGirl Stencils – Christmas Collection – Christmas and Cardinal and Holly Stencil & Christmas Poinsettia Stencil .

Classic Cream and Gold

Sargent Art – Metalic Marker – Gold

Piece of gold star trim for accent

Apply pattern to the paper by tracing through the stencil with the marker. Fold box in the desired style. Add a gold accent. Viola! Classic gold and cream. 

Shabby Chic

Craft Smart acrylic paint in Sailing Sky, Vanilla and Rosy Posy
Ranger Liquid Pearls – White Opal
Piece of white lace 
paper flower

Honesty time here. I was so focused on making the box that I forgot to take photographs of the paper after I stenciled it. 

Paint the paper with a mixture of the blue and white paints and let dry. Pounce the pink through the stencil. Add liquid pearls to the area of the berries. Let the whole thing dry thoroughly before folding into boxes or the liquid pearls will smear. 

Put the boxes together and get ready to embellish. 

I had a scrap of by-the-yard lace fabric, but you could use lace trim. The lace was cut double wide and folded over to create more puff. Thread the needle and make a double knot. With edges together sew a running stitch along the raw edge. Gather and fan out to make a circular shape. Overlap so that the lace goes twice around. Pull the thread to size and knot. With the shape determined, sew through the layers to secure the spiral. Take the needle through the flower. Cut a piece of lace for the ribbons and cut the ends either at an angle or in an upside down v. Fold in half and bring the needle through the fold to secure to flower. Attach to box by carefully putting the needle through the hole between the pieces (if making a triangle box) or by making a stitch through the paper (if there is no hole.)

Isn’t it sweet?

Boho Bright

materials Craft Smart acrylic paint in Plum, Wine, Bright Rose, Bright Magenta, Bright Yellow, and Red.
Dylusions Ink Spray – Tangerine Dream
Ranger Liquid Pearls – Gold Pearl

Irresistible India Mini Woodblock Border Stamps – Paisley 1

Piece of Sari Yarn from Darn Good Yarn – Twisted Sister

Gelli Plate

For the Boho version, I wanted a very layered paper. Out came the gelli plate and a bunch of woodblock stamps from Gwen’s shop. The scarf you see in the pictures above was the inspiration for the colors. That’s when I discovered that I don’t have any strong orange paint. Gelli plates make it really easy to remedy that. 

Each paper was printed many times, layering and layering the stamps and the colors. Some layers are hardly visible, but when tseen together it has a very bohemian, well-traveled feel to it.

When content that there were enough layers the stencil was applied using spray ink. Sadly, it bled. Guess I was a bit enthusiastic. This is mixed media, though, so easy enough to fix. A gold gel pen traced through the stencil put all to rights. 

Add the liquid pearls in gold pearl to the berry areas. That really makes it pop. 

Fold the pieces and put the box together. 

Next, I took out the stitching that kept the embroidered star to the lovely velvet backing and liberated the star. 

To make the tie to hold the boxes together I used sari yarn. Take a stitch at the end of the yarn. Wrap the yarn around your thumb to make a loop. Take a stitch through the bottom of the loop and the end of the yarn. Continue to make thumb-sized loops and secure to the middle using a stitch. When the motif is large enough stitch the embroidered star to the yarn. I put a loop on the back to pull the end through. This is then adjustable. It can secure the packages. It can also be used as an accessory. Two gifts in one! 

So there you have it! Three distinct styles using just the two stencils. So many other possibilities await! 

While I didn’t use any Dresden or Scrap in this project (I thought I was still in November! How time flies!) it would be so easy to use it here. Use a gold medallion with the classic gold and white, scrap and medallions with the shabby chic and my, oh, my, the Dresden would look great with the boho look! 

Stay tuned, because there will be no holding me back with the Dresden and scrap. Meanwhile, here is a discount code so you can get some supplies in time for holiday projects. 

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  1. Oh so pretty! I am loving all the different styles but I am definitely digging the Boho Bright. I am going to have to give this a try but only for those that will appreciate handmade paper. I would cry if I saw it in the trash pile.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lynda!! What an amazing post!! The origami boxes you create are just divine and I must say how clever to create with 3 different styles! Totally changes the look each time- perfect for many tastes when gift giving!
    I love all three styles, but have to say I am drooling over that Boho style! Such rich and luscious colors!! Time to get off my duff and go play- you have inspired me so!
    Happy Sunday in December! Feeling festive and tipping my cup of coffee to you!
    hugs,Jackie Xo

  3. Thanks, Kate! Boho seems to be the most loved at the moment. I never really thought about someone throwing it away. So far even when using plain paper, people have seemed to think the box was as much of a gift as what was inside. Actually, I used to use them as a prize for achievement for my students. That meant I folded a lot of boxes. I'm totally with you. I would cry to see it in the trash pile. You've given me something to think about. Glad to hear you are thinking about giving it a go and hope to see/hear how it went.

  4. Thanks, Jackie! So glad you like the boxes. It is amazing how the stencil looks so different each way. The Boho style seems to be getting the most love. Hope you have fun in the Art Barn this morning.

  5. I love them all, what brilliant versatility! But what made me giggle was your comment on using the same stencil…"we shared nicely, taking turns and saying please and thank you"…love it!

  6. Thanks, Sandee! Civility is the glue of society, is it not?

  7. The boxes re fabulous and especially the boho one. I love those gold/pinks/hot colors together. A wonderful tutorial.

  8. Thank you so much for your input, Jeanie. Glad you like the look. While I have gotten good feedback on the others, the Boho Bright certainly seems to be the favorite for most people. I'm definitely going to make more.

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