13 November 2011

Weekend DIY: Hand Printed Christmas Gift Tags



A guest post by Nikki Shipard of BIRCHseed and BIRCHseed blog. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Here is a simple and organic way to make some unique gift tags for the upcoming festive season...

Not only will these tags add a personal handmade touch to all your gifts but they can also be added to your Christmas tree as sweet decorations or strung together into some bunting to hang across a doorway or blow in the breeze of a window.

This DIY is also great to do with kids (being careful of course when using the knife). I stretched out a roll of brown paper for my 2 year old son, who had so much fun stamping it in all sorts of colours… and now we have some very special Christmas wrapping paper to use this year too!




MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED


  • a potato – medium size
  • lead pencil or  kitchen knife or lino cutting tool
  • some card stock or cardboard from a cereal box will do
  • cup or glass jar
  • scissors
  • some nice twine
  • hole punch
  • reinforcing stickers
  • ink pad or any non-toxic paint you might have
  • some scrap paper
  
HOW TO DO IT


  • cut potato in half with a nice straight cut
  • use a sharpened lead pencil or lino cutting tool (with a fine blade) to scratch out or carve a design into the potato
  • ink up the potato and do a test print on your scrap paper
  • go back and carve to make adjustments (if needed) and test print
  • you can just use this one design or make as many as you like (I made 4 different designs for a bit of variety)


  • once you are happy with your carved designs print them out onto some nice card stock
  • I used a recycled 300gms weight cardboard + a pure white card stock too
  • make sure you leave enough space around each separate print (you will see why in the next steps)

  • grab a clear wine glass or jar that has a circumference that sits just outside the print
  • use your lead pencil and draw circle around each print as a guide
  • cut each print out
  • now hole punch them all about 1cm in from the edge (if you are using a thinner type of card stock you can use the reinforcing stickers to strengthen the holes)


  • grab your twine (I used some sweet black & white hemp twine) and thread through the holes
  • leave the ends open, so you can tie them into stuff if you are using as gift tags
  • tie a knot at the ends if you want to add them as decorations to your Christmas tree


  • for a bit of spice and variety… you can use other nice ribbons, twines and strings…
  • here I have used some green and white striped grosgrain ribbon on the white printed tags
  • and I have thread some lime green paper twine through a series of the tags to form a string of bunting


  • and remember that this simple form of printing is so much fun and easy very for kids to do
  • grab a plate and spread some non-toxic acrylic paint on it
  • on the floor roll out some brown paper or even newspaper could work well
  • and let them stamp away ‘free form’ to their hearts content
  • & when the paint is nice and dry… its wrapping time!



Enjoy a lovely organic, handmade Christmas this year!


We live in a sweet 1950s fibro cottage in a quaint little town town situated in an extinct volcano caldera in subtropical New South Wales. 'We' is my partner, 2 year old son and me + 3 chooks and a cat called Kenny.
I love gardening, it's in my genes.
My favourite plant atm is pineapple sage.
I have a degree in health promotion, but choose to be at home being a mum right now.
I like eating cold watermelon.
Blockprinting is my creative outlet. I do up in the back shed... it keeps my brain ticking over amongst nappy changes and tripping over toys.
I am currently learning to crochet for some fun.
My family and I are going on a 4000km camping/road trip for 5 weeks for Christmas break. Yay!!

Photos courtesy of BIRCHseed.