wrap it up again

I am leading another gift-wrapping class this Sunday. I led one last year as part of a Sunday School series related to gift-giving. This week’s class is a three-hour workshop at Paper Source.

I was telling Meredith about my class last night and she asked about tape on packages. Should you show tape on your package? Officially as part of our training at Paper Source, we do not show tape. We use double-sided tape, which neatly hides the tape out of view. But this gets a little tricky when you are using a heavy thick paper, like craft paper. Point blank, thick paper needs a lot of adhesive to stick. There are a few tricks that I will share in class. And of course, there is the beautiful bow, which was originally used to hold paper around the packages. In the origins of gift-wrap, they didn’t have tape and ideally you untied your ribbon and the paper gracefully dropped from the box revealing the surprise inside.

I am a little nervous about the bow-tying segment because I never quite got the square-knot in training. Somehow my bows always twist upside. After years of tying hundreds of tiny bows onto my bra note cards, I began simply turning the item upside down. That seemed to work for me. When Hayley saw me do this, she asked if I was left-handed. Nope. I guess somethings are just really hard to relearn.

I have watched Sue on the Paper Source web site. This is something that I like to do before all of my workshops. The videos are fairly entertaining, but I also want to pick up any additional tips to share with the class. Most of the gift wrapping items are fairly easily. I need something a little more challenging to fill three hours of class. Plus I always like to have my students create something unique. I prefer to have them rummage through sheets of left-over papers because how will I know what they like. And these classes are just as much a part of creative expression and having fun as learning a few new skills.

One of my favorite planned activities involves the magic of collage and color copies. Paper Source has partnered with Epson and we now have a three-in-one printer that we can use in our workshop space. I discovered this after my summer hiatus from Paper Source. I returned to find that technology was now available at our finger tips. And just like my dad, who is a total sucker for anything shiny and new, I WANT this new printer. Because Paper Source has loaded a bunch of templates for several of their die-cut items online and you can now print on them. Brave souls have done this before and we would all gather around to oh and ah over the placement of a peony on a pyramid box. But now it is official and something I have eagerly taught in all of my workshops since my first experience with the printer.

I was in the store preparing for a workshop and thought I would test it out with Elise’s help. I made a little collage with papers, cards, ribbon and even a moo card and fortune from my wallet. I didn’t glue them down or anything. I just laid everything on top of the scanner and copied. I was so impressed that I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures of every step. I later showed them to Henry, who was not impressed enough to pause from his discussion about American Gangster. I sat quietly in the car thinking, this changes everything. Aah – the power of a new tool.


my collage


collage copied onto the box affixed to the template


the template after removing the box


the completed box

This experience instantly brought back memories of creativity classes from the early 90’s in which several women were obsessed with color copies. Somehow the copy gives your composition a new effect with the shadows and compression that you wouldn’t really expect. I never really got into the idea of going to Kinko’s to play around with the color copier. But now you can do it in your very own home.

I actually have an all-in-one printer already. It no longer works with my laptop after I ran an auto-repair. But I pulled out one of my little nesting tables and it still works with my iMac. So it has a new home that allows me to scan images in a way less precarious position than crouching down in front of our bookshelf in the living room. So I guess I am not getting the Epson printer at this point. Maybe if this one throws itself on the floor and commits suicide.

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