Monday, December 21, 2015

Recycled Gift Wrap 1

This week I'll show you how to make your own gift wrap by recycling some old paper, sacks, and shopping bags, and using a few ordinary things you probably have around the house:

We'll start with the big sheets of paper on the bottom, which is old, wrinkled newsprint that a store employee wrapped around some glass jars I bought. Usually people throw this away, but it's actually great paper to recycle as gift wrap.

For this you will liquid food coloring, water, and (optional) an old clean sponge, and a small plastic cup. First, spread out some old newspaper to protect your work area. Since we'll be using food coloring to dye the paper, you may also want to put down some plastic or protective sheeting under the newspaper to prevent the colors from bleeding through the paper and staining your surface (I used the old metal table on our porch as my work surface, as it can't be stained.)

Wet your paper (which will immediately remove all wrinkles and creases from it) and spread it out on the newspaper:

Dribble some drops of food coloring directly onto the wet paper:

Add some dribbles of another color:

As you work the colors are going to spread like watercolor paint. Now add a third color. If you want more control over where the color goes on the paper, apply with a sponge, as I did here with the blue:

Also, if you'd like to add a subtle pattern of circles, apply the color by dipping the rim or bottom of a small plastic cup into your food coloring, as I did here on another sheet with the red:

Which turns out like this:

Let your paper dry for about an hour, and it will be ready to use:

Some other tips:

If you don't want to get food coloring stains on your fingers, wear plastic gloves as you work.

Carefully lift and tip the wet paper back and forth to help the colors spread.

For lighter colors, dilute your food coloring with a little water.

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