Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Another simple eco-friendly lifestyle option – DIY Hand-painted Wrapping Paper

Lately, I’ve been looking for simple solutions for our lives and home. Solutions that are natural, sustainable, and DIY. I want us to experience hands-on living. Life in a way where we get our hands in the mud; where we do more than just delegate; where we experience fulfillment in crafting the dailyness of our lives by being more present, more engaged in the simple rituals that make up the fabric of life.

So this would mean cooking more simple yet nourishing meals ourselves rather than getting a cook to do it. Gardening ourselves to grow a percentage of our own food. Painting and crafting to make our home warm and pretty. Creating home-cleaners at home with a few basic non-toxic ingredients. Having a good time as a family within our home (now that does not mean that we don’t go out at all!).

DIY and eco-friendly living also spills over to our gifting options and gift-wrapping options. Instead of packing our gifts with tinsely plastic foil, I’m trying to paint my own wrapping paper or craft my own painted paper bags to hold the gifts. It’s a simple yet practical way to fit some creativity into my days as a mom with a toddler at home (those of you who have little humans around the house, know how much of free time that leaves you with!). The final product looks pretty, it takes less than 30 minutes and pops out amongst a crowd of shimmery packages.

If you’d like to paint your own wrapping paper, here are two simple techniques.

Floral Watercolor Wrapping Paper

1. Spread out a large sheet of white paper on your work table.

2. Dip a broad, flat brush in water and cover the entire sheet in a thin layer of water.

3. Working quickly, dip another brush in your favorite color and paint freestyle (and freehand) flowers.

4. Cover the sheet like this. If you feel that the paint or water has pooled, ball up a paper napkin and dab it over those areas. Now let the paint dry.

Eccentric Streaks Wrapping Paper

1. I use little pots of tempera paints for this. I spread a large sheet of white paper out on the table and dab a dry, flat brush into a pot of paint.

2. Then, I paint strokes and circles and figure of eights around the paper, letting my brush be a whimsical ice skater making her way around the skating rink. Let a pattern emerge this way.

3. Once the paint is dry, paint some quick motifs like small flowers or ladybirds or big polka dots among the streaks to add an element of interest to the pattern.

Use these pretty papers for gift wrapping or scrapbooking!

P.S If you can lay your hands on sheets of plain white recycled paper for this project – then even better.

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