Thursday, June 30

DIY -- how to make brown paper gift wrap with a homemade block print stamp

here’s a quick & easy way to make some ooak sweet brown paper gift wrap, using a simple handmade stamp & some paint.

so make yourself a cup of tea and clear some space on the kitchen table, because this is paper is simple and homemade!

materials you will need to complete this project -

  1. roll of brown parcel paper - or brown paper bags
  2. stamp
  3. paint & paint pad
  4. some nice string or twine to add the finishing touch
  5. good size table to print on
  6. a long room to unroll your paper as you print so it can dry
  7. an old thin towel to lay on the table under the paper

ok so let begin with designing & making a stamp to print with. because i am a blockprinter, in this project i used one of my hand-carved lino blockprints.

if your up for the challenge to make one of these, you will need a few extra materials... i.e. lino, carving tools, mounting block, & a stamp design in your head. there are many great online video tutorials of how to carve lino on youtube, so i recommend heading over there & linking with one to get the basics. it is quite easy once you get going. (i have made a couple of brief videos linked on this blog, but they are snippets really, rather than instructional).

but for a simple stamp - grab yourself an apple from your fruit bowl and slice it in half from top to bottom with a good size kitchen knife. if you want the stem to be a part of the print as well, use a sharp pair of scissors & snip the stem in half lengthwise before you cut the apple with your kitchen knife. using an apple for your stamp will make the prints look more organic!

next get your stamp pad ready. i found these non toxic kids hand-painting stamp pads at a local store for around $3.00. if you can't find these, simply make one at home by placing a thin piece of foam onto a dinner plate and add some acrylic paint to evenly saturate the foam. but you don't want too overdo the paint (just enough, so that when you press your finger into the foam, you can make a nice finger print onto the paper without skidding across the paper).

next you want to get your printing table ready. I wipe my table with a damp cloth and then smooth out the towel onto the table. this helps the towel to kind of stick to the table surface a bit. get your roll of paper and roll across the towel so you can start printing.

to ink up the stamp... simply press the apple or lino-cut block into your stamp pad a few times whilst checking the stamp surface. you want the paint to be evenly blotched over the entire raised surface, yet minimal paint any where else if you can help it. i tend not to worry about creating 'other' accidental marks, as i think this adds to the charm of this printing method. once your happy with your practice prints, think about what pattern (random is also good) & stamp away!

and keep stamping.... and stamping.... and stamping - but make sure you 're-ink' between each pressing if you want a bold even pattern like i have done. soon you will have beautiful printed brown paper strewn across your floor!

change colours if you want.... but make sure you wash your stamp in between colour changes (or swap to the other half of the apple, easy!)

and there you are... your very own way to make gift paper. this is a great activity to share with your kids... your could use so many other another veggie or things like leaves, or even jar lids will give some lovely circle patterns. imagine your own handmade christmas paper? after trying this project, & you become hooked.... you could then take it one step further & start printing on different surfaces - fabric, wood, t-shirts, walls and things like tea towels....... 

the world of block-printing awaits you. enjoy!


:: don't forget to come back and tell me if you tried this...i am sure you will come up with some clever new ways to do this for can even upload a pic on the BIRCHseed facebook page if you dare!!

ps: i put together this DIY when BIRCHseed was featured on the Poppytalk Handmade market. it was featured on their The Homemade Artist blog. if you have not heard of Poppytalk, i highly recommend checking it out, because its loaded with wonderful things, inspiration and creativity.

pss: also features today over at the our creative spaces blog


  1. Lovely stamping work! looks great - especially on the towel!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  2. great idea! i've got the tools to make some stamps so will have to try this some time. brown paper is my favourite, but with prints it looks even better :)

  3. What an awesome way to make special wrapping paper! This would be a great idea to do with the kids to make a gift more personalised.

  4. I love that wrapping paper. I also really like to use brown paper for wrapping too but I've never thought to make cool prints like that!
    p.s. You have a really lovely blog here!

  5. I actually tried this for Christmas last year - and it worked a treat (It was a bit uneven when I let my 3 year old do it, but not too bad).
    To have a look:

    Love your apple - it looks fab! :)

  6. great post nikki !! i am going to be stamping away at christmas for sure! mel x

  7. I love block printing. Your apples look wonderful on brown paper!

  8. Such a great idea..tried and tested and so effective to give that handmade gift in. Thanks for sharing.

  9. This looks so easy but super effective! Thanks for sharing.

  10. What a clever idea, it looks adorable! Thank you for sharing the tutorial.

  11. ooooh... how overwhelmingly happy am i with all these lovely comments. thanks everyone for making the effort to tell me you like it -- its made my week!

    next to come in the free tut / diy will be 'how to make your own clothing labels at home'... is this good do you think?

  12. It looks great!
    I can remember we used to carve stamps out of potatoes! You have inspired me!

  13. This looks great! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who does this my husband thought I'd gone mad when I wrapped all our christmas presents in brown paper!

  14. bring on the clothing labels post, I say!! Mel x

  15. It looks great! Thanks for the tip!

  16. Those apples are divine. Love it!

  17. i love this idea. i actually have a stamp on its way to me from the uk so might have to pinch your idea and decorate some of my kraft paper. dying to hear about the tag tutorial. something else i wanted to add to my products. love your page thanks!


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