Dec 16, 2009

Homemade wrapping paper printing with laser cut felt

Ages ago we made some wrapping paper with foam stickers and a rolling pin. The drawing robots from ages ago made pretty cool wrapping paper too. Anyway, I only had five foam snowflake stickers left over from the advent calendars that we made last year though, so we weren't going to be able to use that rolling pin technique this year unless I went out and bought more.

Instead I figured the kids would have fun just stamping them one at a time, especially if I made a couple of really big stamps.

This post is more about how I made the stamps than the finished wrapping paper, because I know a lot of people have blogged about stamping wrapping paper in other places around the interwebs.

Big awesomeness discovery of late has been this simple little hot wire foam cutter. I picked it up for $1.50 at Daiso, and have used it to cut up loads of old polystyrene that was tucked away in the garage for various projects. It's so easy to use and so flippin' cheap, and I love the flexibility and recycle factor in being able to cleanly cut shapes from
old polystyrene. I'll post about some other cool stuff that we're been able to make with this little tool at some point. Can you tell how excited I am to have it? Hubbins was all geared up to make me a foam cutter from guitar wire and a model railway transformer, but no need!

If you don't have a Daiso near you then I'm pretty sure this is something that could be hacked together with magnet wire/guitar string, battery and other random stuff, providing you are careful not to burn the crap out of yourself in the process. Mind you, then you would look like you had tres sexy catering scars like I do (turns out broccolli and stilton soup is the culinary equivalent of napalm). Where was I? Oh yes... I may persuade Fangletronics man to put together a tutorial to make one, because most of the ones that you can buy are the big table top foam cutters rather than this hand held, compact and cheap version. Feel free to harass, er, I mean *encourage* him in the comments ;)

So I stuck the foam stickers onto the polystyrene sheet and then cut around them with the foam cutter to make little stampers. You could stick them on anything though, bottle lids would work pretty well too.

The big stamps I made using some laser cut felt tree ornaments that I also found in Daiso. They were $1.50 for a pack of three trees or three stars. I liked the idea of using these as stamps, because the felt would soak up the paint well. I've seen packs of flowers and hearts made from laser cut felt in the Dollar Tree before now. They were a little bigger and would be great for making valentine or birthday wrapping paper with!

Anyhoo, the other component that worked rather well for making these stampers were the plastic ends from rolls of catering foil that we got from Costco. The smaller rolls of foil don't have these supporting end pieces, but the heavier duty foil that comes in the whopping rolls does, and I'd saved them thinking, "cor they are an interesting shape. I wonder what they will be handy for."

I pushed the plastic ends into the foil to mark the shape to cut out with the foam cutter, then hot glued the foam shape into the plastic thingummydoodle.

Then I just took off the hanging thread and bead from the ornaments and hot glued them to the foam. Voila! Giant Christmassy stamps for the kids.

Big bit of brown paper, paper plates with kiddy paint, and off we go. They did a pretty darn good job! The felt stampers worked way better than the foam snowflake ones, but it was good to have the snowflakes, because the kids went around filling in spaces with them. They could get about four stamps out of the felt stampers before they had to reload them with paint.

Later that evening I got a sheet of brown cardboard that we'd got from between the rolls of kitchen paper at Costco, and stamped some more trees and stars to use as gift tags with the wrapping paper.

here's the finished stuff. Looks pretty tidy for being done by a five and a three year old! We'll definitely be making more with the Dollar Tree felt hearts and flowers!

I'm sure you can find appropriate bits and bobs in your recycling bin if you don't have access to the plastic ends from the catering foil. a big mayo jar lid with a smaller lid glued to the back of it?

We could even try it with regular craft felt cut into shapes. It's thinner than the laser cut stuff, but I reckon it would still work. There's no way I could cut out anything that detailed from it though. Maybe simple shapes like a bubble car and a truck that you can draw little windows and wheels on with a sharpie when it was dry?


Mama King said...

So cool. I can't wait to see what fun projects you and that little cutter come up with in the future.

Vacskamati said...

Your blog is in the top ten for me!
I really love your ideas- thank you for this one too!! :D

Shalini Chandak said...

Superb. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Adorable...and...genius, of course the felt would make perfect printing pads : )

We just started making stamps with foam shapes and have been having a blast with them.

(PS thanks for the heads up about broccoli napalm!)

Amy's Stocking Stuffers said...

Lovely! And I think it's terrific that your kids are learning early how to recycle/re-use!

biancifiore said...

oooh, really wonderful!

LiEr said...

Beautiful, beautiful stamps! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I wish we had a Daiso here. There's one (or three) in Singapore which I will camp out at when I am back there visiting this winter. Magnet wire and guitar string! Brilliant idea. I am just about ready to change the (very old) strings on my guitar and now I shall have a new use for them! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your great crafts. I used to teach preschool and we used to use cookie cutters for the wrapping paper we made. I like this better. It looks awesome.

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

What a great foam cutter, wish we had a Daiso here in Australia!

Love the photo of the big roll of paper too, looks like so much fun and it is so simple but effective.

Liz said...

I love the stamps and paper. I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for laser cut felt shapes! Thanks for sharing.

Valerie said...

Those are so cute!

Лена Бородина said...

This is just adorable! Never seen such creative things before!

stephschneider said...

Love your post, I did this as a kid and was just googling to find inspiration, thank you!
I linked to you from our post:
Happy Holidays!