Before You Start Your Lessons...
Before we jump into the lesson videos, here are some information to help you prepare for the upcoming lessons. Having the right materials and tools along with the creative mind is the key to make your learning more fun and effective.
1-1: I'm Ready, Now What?
- Your Work Station
- Useful Tools
- Designing Your Package
1-2: Types of Papers
- Yuzen Paper
- Katazome Paper
- Unryu Paper
- Cotton Rag Paper
- Lace Paper (Rakusui Paper)
- Handmade Saa Paper
- Nepalese Lokta Paper
- Gift Wrapping Paper
1-3: Types of Ribbons
- Satin Ribbon
- Sheer Ribbon
- Grosgrain Ribbon
- Wired Ribbon
- Raffia Ribbon
- Natural Strings
I'm Ready, Now What?
1 - 1 : I'm Ready, Now What?
Welcome to the course! Since you're taking this course, I know you love the art of gift wrapping just like I do. This course is for everyone - whether you are a professional gift wrapper or you enjoy wrapping packages for friends and family, you'll learn a plenty of ideas and techniques throughout the course for your future projects.
To make your learning easier and more enjoyable, here are some resources and tips I want to share with you!
1. Your Work Station
- Make sure you have a large enough space to work with
- Keep the table clean and place a trash bin/bag next to you
- Prepare the necessary tools and materials
- Keep pets and small children safely away (just in case...!)
2. Useful Tools
Here are some useful tools I often use for my gift wrapping projects. There are of course a lot more creative tools available, including decorative scissors, glitter pens, glue gun, etc. For your information I listed all the materials and tools used in the video under the description sections in my YouTube videos. For a complete list for the tools I use for my projects, please visit here.
Make sure your scissors are clean and sharp. I use two different scissors for different purposes. One for cutting wrapping paper and ribbon, the other for cutting tape and wire. Reason why I separate them is that I want my main scissors to last a long time and to maintain a clean, sharp edge.
Last thing you want for your beautiful design is to have rough edges of paper and frayed ribbon!
Double Sided Tape
Double sided tape will help you create neat presentations for your gift wrapping without showing any shinny tapes! It's also useful for attaching ornamentations and ribbons to your packages. My favorite width is 10mm or half inch width. You won't need wider than this for working on the regular wrapping projects.
Clear tape is very useful when working on small details for gift wrapping projects. You can see that I often use clear tape to hold down the folded papers in my lesson videos. Many times a small strip of clear tape will be enough to seal a section.
I must admit that I love using craft knives for my gift wrapping projects. They are sometimes easier and faster to cut papers precisely to the appropriate sizes. Along with a cutting mat and a ruler, I often use them for creating handmade message cards and gift tags for my packages.
Decorative Washi Tape (Masking Tape)
Washi tape is a great way to decorate your package easily and quickly. There are so many colors and designs available to create any themed gift wrapping. Use them wisely and you can design fun and creative gift wrapping inexpensively!
I've tried many ways to cut circles out of paper and by far using a circle cutter is the easiest and cleanest way to create beautiful paper circles. All you have to do is to set a triangle mark to the desired number for the diameter of the circle, then place it onto the paper. While pressing down the orange top, move a lever with a tiny blade 360 degree to draw a circle.
More information on how to use the circle cutter, click here.
3. Designing Your Package
How do you start designing your gift wrapping? Do you get inspirations from the materials you use? Do you think about a person who receives your gift? Or do you design based on an occasion? There are no right or wrong decisions, only a series of possibilities of what inspires you the most for designing your gift wrapping. Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself when starting a gift wrapping project, and see which question excites you the most to design your package.
- Who are you giving a gift?
- favorite color(s)
- favorite activities
- anything unique?
- What is the gift?
- box or no box
- other unique features?
- What is the occasion/event?
- other special holidays
- Where is the place of this occasion/event?
- restaurants and other venues
- What is the theme?
- any other adjectives?
- When is this occasion/event happening?
- holiday season
- any other special time?
Types of Papers
1 - 2 : Types of Gift Wrap Papers
There are so many different kinds of papers from all around the world. It's such an amazing experience to be able to design gift wrapping using exotic papers made with various materials, different methods, and processes. Listed papers here are some of the popular papers, often used for gift wrapping and other paper craft projects.
Vivid colors, unique patterns, beautiful designs...you might have seen or used Yuzen paper before if you also love paper. It is for sure one of my favorite papers, looking at them just makes me happy!
Inspired by Japanese kimono prints, Yuzen's beautiful patterns and vivid colors are skillfully silkscreened on washi paper made from kozo, mitsumata and gampi. Yuzen images are often inspired by nature, including plants, flowers, animals, sceneries, etc. No matter what designs are created, a package wrapped with Yuzen paper becomes a piece of art! Yuzen prints are so beautiful that some people also frame and display them on the wall.
Yuzen was named after a famous kimono painter, Yuzensai Miyazaki. During Edo period in Japan (1603 - 1868), Yuzen dyeing became very popular for creating elegant kimono prints and patterns. Yuzen prints on papers using special chemical dye became more popular during Meiji period (1868 - 1912). Today Yuzen papers are enjoyed for many purposes such as gift wrapping, display art, interior design, origami and other craft projects.
Katazome paper is created by stencil dyeing technique using a resist paste. From cutting the detailed design out from the paper to spreading the special glue onto the surface of washi paper quickly and evenly, process of making Katazome paper requires skilled craftmanship. Exotic patterns and vivid colors are the unique characteristics of this paper.
Same as Yuzen paper, washi paper used for making Katazome paper is durable and it's perfect for creating gift wrapping, making paper lamps, decorating boxes and books and doing other craft projects.
Unryu paper is a lightweight translucent paper with thin long fibers added to create beautiful texture and design. The name unryu (dragon cloud in Japanese) came from these fibers resenting like clouds shaped like flying dragons. Unryu paper's soft and flexible texture is perfect for wrapping any unusual shaped items including wine bottles and flower bouquets. Because it is thin and translucent, you can easily layer them to mix colors and enhance designs, you can see how I layer Unryu paper with other papers for my gift wrapping in the lesson videos.
Because of the soft and gentle quality of the Unryu paper, it often used as a fancy tissue paper for wrapping traditional Japanese sweets, chocolates, leather goods and other high-end products. Unryu paper's beautiful texture is also perfect for making paper lamps, shoji screens, origami art, display artworks, etc.
Cotton Rag Paper
As the name suggested, cotton rag paper is made from recycled cotton rags that came from textile and garment industry in India. It is exceptionally strong and durable, making it great for using all kinds of design projects. It's all handmade paying great attention to the details during the process of making paper and screen-printing designs.
There are times I bought them for creating gift wrapping but ended up displaying them as interior decorations because they were just so beautiful to look at. Today so many unique and aesthetic designs are available, giving you great possibilities for your creative projects. Cotton rag paper is a bit more heavyweight than other wrapping paper, so layering or pleating them for your gift wrapping may be more challenging.
Lace Paper (Rakusui Paper)
Japanese Lace Paper, known as Rakusui Shi (paper) is a thin translucent paper with water dropping marks. Rakusui means dropping water in Japanese and it is exactly how this paper is made. After fibers are evenly scooped in the papermaking screen, water shower is dropped over the paper to create small holes between the fibers. Rakusui Lace paper comes in various patterns and designs as well as adding fabric fibers and synthetic materials to make it more durable. Layering them with other papers will make the lace design more visible, perfect for creating many gift wrapping designs and wedding or event invitations. Since the texture of lace paper is soft and flexible, I often use them for wrapping flower bouquets and wine bottles.
Handmade Saa Paper
Saa paper is from Northern Thailand and it's made from Saa (means mulberry in Thai language). The artist village in Chiang Mai has multiple paper mills where you can visit and purchase variety designs of Saa papers. Many Saa papers have natural objects inclusion such as pressed flowers and dried leaves. Many of them are thicker and more durable than most gift wrapping papers and often used for creating paper fans and umbrellas as well as covering albums, books, boxes and other items.
Nepalese Lokta Paper
History of Lokta paper goes back to over 1000 years, this eco-friendly paper has been largely used for official government documents and religious texts in Nepal. Lokta paper is resistant to mildew and insects and it can last over 1000 years. The paper is made from fibers of the Daphne shrub (Lokta bush) and its long fibers make the paper strong and flexible. It is so durable that it can dye into colors or iron it to remove wrinkles just like fabric.
Today Lokta paper has gained more popularity internationally and has been used for many creative projects. For gift wrapping, Lokta paper's variety of colors and patterns give you many design possibilities.
Gift Wrapping Paper
Most common and popular gift wrapping paper is machine made lightweight paper with various patterns and motifs - the ones we often see at the craft sections of retail shops. Many gift wrapping paper is made from wood pulp, recycled pulp and other synthetic materials. After raw materials are boiled and softened, they are bleached (some papers such as brown kraft paper are not bleached) into white. After pulp fibers are gathered and layered in a papermaking screen, the 'wet' paper is placed on a felt sheet then pressed in between the huge rollers to squeeze water out. Once the paper is completely dry, its surface will be treated to make it ideal for printing. It will be then printed in various colors and patterns to become gift wrapping paper.
Gift Wrapping paper can be easily fold, creased, cut and rolled, perfect for wrapping any shaped boxes. Many designs are available throughout the seasons and for special holidays.
Types of Ribbon
1 - 3 : Types of Ribbons
Just like paper, we use various types of ribbons to create certain ambiences for gift wrapping. If you are not familiar with types of ribbons, it can be challenging to select a perfect ribbon for your special occasions. Here are some of the popular ribbons I often use for creating my gift wrapping.
Satin ribbon has beautiful shiny surface which is perfect for creating modern and sophisticated designs for your packages. There are different types of Satin ribbons including double faced satin, single faced satin and acetate. There are different ways to create beautiful bows using double faced satin and single faced satin, and you can learn how to create them professionally in my online course, Gift Wrapping Essentials.
Satin ribbon is often made with silk, nylon and polyester. The gift packages created with satin ribbon often has a brighter look, reflecting the light on the smooth and glossy surface of the ribbon, however it can also be challenging to create multiple loops due to its slippery texture. Satin ribbon is used for many special occasions including wedding and anniversary gift wrapping.
Sheer ribbon is thin and translucent fabric ribbon made with silk or other synthetic fibers. Most popular ones are Organza and Chiffon. Although they resemble each other by look, Chiffon ribbon is softer and flows more smoothly. Both Organza and Chiffon ribbons create soft and romantic ambience and often used for bridal gift wrapping and other special occasions. When creating multiple bows using sheer ribbons, overlapped layers create beautiful colors and appearances. Sheer ribbon is relatively easy to work with - even for the beginners to create beautiful bows.
Grosgrain ribbon is a thick and sturdy ribbon with a ribbed surface. It has a unique and distinctive look that has been largely used for fashion design, interior design and craft design projects. Bows created with grosgrain ribbons look authentic and elegant. It comes in variety of colors and designs. With polka-dots and stripe patterns, you can create gift wrapping designs for a baby shower and a kid's birthday party, and the solid color grosgrain can be used for creating sophisticated and elegant designs.
Wired ribbon is one of the easiest ribbons to create any types of bows. It has thin wire on side edges in order to keep the ribbon in shape. Having wired edges makes this ribbon perfect to create multiple bows and larger size bows, including pop-up bows which is impossible to make with other types of ribbons. Because it can shape and form a perfect bow, wired ribbon is ideal for creating gift baskets. It's also perfect ribbon for beginners to practice making bows.
Raffia ribbon is a unique type of ribbon made from strips of raffia palm trees. It looks like straw or hay and perfect for creating earthy tone for your gift wrapping. It is durable and flexible you can tie around any objects or create any shapes with. I often use raffia ribbon for creating gift wrapping with natural and organic themes.
There are many strings you can use for gift wrapping including jute, burlap, hemp and cotton. They come in natural color or dyed in various colors for your creative projects. Natural strings are very strong and many of them have rough surface. Just like raffia, they are extremely useful for creating a natural tone for your gift packages.
Tulle is a lightweight soft mesh fabric made from both natural and synthetic materials including silk, cotton, rayon and nylon. Its soft and translucent texture is perfect for designing dresses and wedding veils. Tulle can create a romantic feel for your gift packages and often used for creating bridal gift wrapping, anniversary gift wrapping and valentine's Day gift wrapping.
Decorative Paper Resources
Here is the list of some online paper stores. Please let us know if you know a good online source too, I'll share the link here :)
This is the end of this week's lesson. How was it? Did it help you prepare for the upcoming lessons?
Don't forget to leave your comment below 😉
Hello, I'm Shiho.
For years, I provided gift wrapping services to individuals and corporates until I found my passion for teaching others the art of gift wrapping.
Now I upload free craft videos to share my ideas with YouTube audience, teach gift wrapping courses online and occasionally conduct workshops to directly work with students.
I love dogs, coffee and beaches. In my free time, I enjoy hiking with friends & family and playing with my dog.