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Hand drawn wrapping paper

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

For many years I have been on the look out for a really good parcel wrapping paper, a simple print on brown paper, nothing too fancy but had to be relevant to the ethics of my brand. Recently I gave up the search and decided to design my own. This paper will be hand stamped and hand-drawn making each sheet 100% unique and very original.

From my research I have found that there is virtually no-one actually making hand drawn wrapping paper. The obvious reason of course is that it would take an artist a long time to draw up a sheet of wrap, but there are ways to cut corners.

I chose to find a large stamp that I liked and came across these big 8cm daisies with an extra half open smaller daisy to accompany it. After printing a large sheet and trialling many different mark making ideas I decided some sort of order was needed and so I started out by stamping daisies in little random clusters. Before starting I measured and cut the paper to perfectly fit the box and shaped the edge so I could see where the main surface would be. This is marked to show you with red dots in the photograph above.

Once the daisies were stamped in place I used a black brush pen to add stalks and little berry shoots. This trial sheet of wrap was to be used for a Drafty in the post and so I have left a space blank for where the address label will be, ensuring none of the major aspects of the design would be hidden by the label. Placing the daisy stamps in natural positions is the key here so the final piece will flow and look like it has been planned from the start and not just thrown together. It was real fun planning where the flowers should go and once the half-open daisies were added there were real relationships formed between the blooms in little clusters.

Before starting this hand-drawn wrapping paper I had to do a lot of research on how to create a monochrome design with a big impact. There are a lot of printed sheets of hand-drawn wrapping paper and handmade paper embellished with flower seeds etc but actual hand-drawn wrapping paper is very rare.

Using a thick, liquid paint pen I added white dots to the middle of the daisies and seed pods. Instantly the flowers started to pop off the page and the black and white on brown had a really basic, rustic aesthetic, exactly what I was trying for. Now that the basic structure of the design was established I added a

fluttering line of bumble bees zig-zagging through the flowers. The design was developing a healthy balance of delicate and heavy, dark and light, printed or blank, bringing together the bee and flower stamps and hand-drawn lines into a carefully composed, professional looking wrapping paper. Any places that seemed to have large gaps were filled in with one of the flowers, so the overall piece was completed as a whole and consistent throughout. Some of the brush lines needed perfecting as this is a long time since I tried using a brush pen, but I also needed to make sure the drawing was clearly done by hand and not something faked on a computer.

The main reason for this blog is to show that this paper is completely hand-drawn and I don't think a few imperfect lines will matter.

I then needed to add some more white. In my trials I used a very fine white gel pen and again the white liquid pen. Here is the liquid pen and it looked a little heavy and the gel pen looked a little too faint. These white lines need a little more work to be perfected whilst maintaining a hand-drawn appeal. The thin white lines on the bees worked a treat and I think the fact that the bee is a very heavy stamp really adds to the make-up of the design.

The finishing touch was to add my traditional wide, green organza ribbon. I have never changed the colour of the ribbon as I feel the green and brown really epitomise rustic oaks and traditional countryside living. The ribbon is really wide, 40 mm (4 cm) so that it doesn't get lost on my larger 40 cm boxes and just one band looks really good. With smaller boxes the over exaggerated ribbon and bow is really impressive.

I am really happy with the outcome of this wrapping paper after three months of researching, trials and tests. Of course as I practise drawing more in a sketchbook I will no doubt add some extra little features, but as it is, it's perfect for now. The paper will also have tags to

match, printed on brown card and threaded with thin jute twine.

This is genuine, 100% hand-drawn wrapping paper. The paper is cut to fit the box it is to cover so there is no excess paper bulking out the folds. It is then folded around the box so that the main surface is known, ensuring continuity and balance around where the bow will be.

An A2 sheet takes about 30 minutes to draw and so this paper is a viable sellable item. I have also designed tags to match the paper.

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