Printing Wrapping Paper for Christmas!

Printing your own wrapping paper is an easy way to add a personal touch to presents. We know you’re all really busy this time of year so we’ve got four
quick ways of creating lovely wrapping papers. Why not get children involved too?

Thermofax Printing

Start with a black pen drawing or image. Have a festive doodle yourself or hand the kids a black felt tip. This is a good opportunity to add a personal
message or your name as proof that yes, you did in fact make it yourself!

Scan in your drawing and make sure it fits into the thermofax templates on the website. It can help to print out the template first and draw your design in the middle. Send us your
design and we will send your Custom Thermofax back to you!

Use Acrylic Screen Printing Ink and a Thermofax Squeegee to print
your image in a scatter pattern all over your wrapping paper – we’re using plain kraft parcel paper. Be sure not to place your screen over a wet image
as it may smudge. It can help to print onto a slightly padded surface such as a thin blanket or piece of fabric stretched over your table.

This method also works really well for Christmas Cards!

To make this wrapping paper you will need:

Read more about printing with a Thermofax Screen

and how to use a Thermofax Screen with foils!


Indian Block Printing

Indian Blocks make such beautiful, detailed prints
without the need to carve anything yourself! They come in lots of gorgeous designs including lots that are Christmas themed. For this paper we are
using one of our favourite woodblocks in a peacock design with Gold Acrylic Screen Printing Ink.

Use a piece of sponge to apply an
even layer of ink to the block.

Press your ink down firmly onto the paper to make a print. It helps to have a slightly padded surface under your paper such as a Foam Printing Pad.

Re-ink your block and print all over your paper.

You can also use Indian Blocks to print directly
onto boxes:

To make this wrapping paper you will need:

See our previous Indian Block projects to learn how to use them to Print onto Fabric!


Stamping with Mastercut and Versacraft Ink Pads

If you haven’t tried carving Mastercut yet then this is a great time to give it a go. It’s soft to carve and gives thin lines and lots of detail. It’s easy to cut with scissors or a craft
knife for shaped stamps. For this paper, we are using holly leaves cut from Mastercut with Versacraft Ink Pads and the end of a pencil for the berries!

Press your stamp into the Versacraft Ink Pad to pick up an even layer of ink.

Press the stamp firmly onto your paper. Again, it helps to use a slightly padded surface or a Foam Printing Pad.

Press the rubber end of a pencil into the red ink pad and into the paper to create berries.

Repeat all over the paper in a scatter pattern. This method would also work perfectly for cards and gift tags!

To make this wrapping paper you will need:

Find out how we carved out holly leaves in our Christmas Card project.


Printing a Repeat Pattern

We used a repeat pattern block to print this wrapping paper. See our Repeat Pattern project to see how the block was made. This block is a half-drop repeat but you could use a straight repeat, rotating repeat
or just neat rows of any block you have. This block is made from Mastercut but a lino, softcut, vinyl or plywood block will work too!  

Acrylic Screen Printing Inks work really well for block printing too if you use a sponge roller to roll out the ink! We are using silver. You could also use a block printing ink and a hard roller. Roll your ink
of choice onto your block.

Place your block face down onto your paper and print. For this half-drop repeat pattern we have to position it carefully.

To make this wrapping paper you will need:

See how to make blocks with different types of repeat patterns in our previous projects: try half-drop repeat, straight repeat,
or rotating repeat.

Give one of these methods a try to create your own wrapping paper! We’d love to see your results – tag us in a pic of your project on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or send us a good ol’fashioned email.





Meet the Maker: Polly Finch

Polly Finch of Polly Papercuts is joining us for a very special workshop on Wednesday 23rd November. Participants will get to choose from a variety of designs to cut your own papercut!
Use your papercut to make a photographic silk screen and then print 30 cards! Go home with your original papercut and cards. We
asked Polly to tell us more about her work and process: 

Describe your process.

I work in 2D and 3D. Everything is cut by hand using a scalpel and lots and lots of 10A blades. Each piece is unique – no lasers!

I do a lot of sketching, but no design is set in stone, and I like my work evolve over time. For a 2D piece I will cut from the back, having drawn some
guidelines to work from (this is especially important with lettering, as everything is backwards, of course).

3D pieces are even slower to come to fruition as there are so many aspects to consider- the box, a base, different papers. I love this process.

How and where did you learn papercutting?

I am self-taught. I kind of stumbled across papercutting whilst trying to embellish a drawing, and it just went from there. I started with 2D work, but
for the past couple of years I have also been exploring making 3D pieces, which have been popular – so that’s nice! 

Where do you work?

I work from home in a tiny chaotic studio off my kitchen. Periodically I have to blitz everything as the mess builds up until I have no space to work at

Describe a typical day in your studio.

I don’t really have a typical day. I might do some cutting, a bit of sketching, think about a 3D piece, and then do some making. I work on commissions,
so I’m always trying to keep on top of them, especially in the run up to Christmas.

How long have you been an artist?

I have been paper cutting for 5 or 6 years.

What inspires you?

I love the sea, and live on the South Coast, so my work often has nautical themes, but I am also inspired by the countryside and walk every day on the
Downs with my dog ( lab/ spaniel cross called Stig).

What is your favourite art product?

I know its cliched but I would say my favourite art product is paper – I love sketch books, hand made papers, things created from paper.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I have made several very large 2D paper cuts, which I am very proud of. One of them, ‘Into the Woods,’ won the Fusion 2013 Best Fine Art Prize.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell and teach?

In the run up to Christmas I have one more weekend at the cowshed Studio Christmas exhibition; I am exhibiting at The VK Gallery; The HOP Gallery; and
doing two Christmas Art Fairs on the 4th December in Steyning and 10th December in Brighton. Please see my website for details.

What will we be seeing from you next?

Next year I am very exciting to be collaborating on an original story book about King Arthur with illustrations, papercutting, and collage. It’s my biggest
project to date and I’m really excited about it!

Do you have any advice for other makers and creatives?

I would say to other makers, “keep doing what you love, not what you think other people want.”

Learn more about Polly’s work here. Book your place on Polly’s Workshop on our website, call 01243 696789 or email

Printing with Chine Collé

Chine Collé is a technique that allows you to add colour to your prints without making another block. Using Chine Collé you are able to print on much finer,
more delicate papers which are bonded onto a more sturdy paper during the printing process. Japanese papers are often used but you can try tissue papers,
maps, sheet music, even fabric – anything delicate enough to be printed onto.

Start by carving a linocut or woodblock. This is how our linocut prints without Chine Collé:

To adapt this block into a print suitable for Chine Collé, we carved out the sun to leave space for our yellow sun.

Cut pieces of thin papers (we used tissue paper) into shapes to fit your block. If you plan to frame, sell or give these prints as gifts; make sure that
the papers you are using are light-fast – many tissue papers aren’t.

Ink up your linocut as usual. We are using Caligo Safe Wash Relief Inks which are oil based (but water washable) and will stay wet on the block to give us time to prepare
our tissue papers.

To prepare your papers, mix a little Rice Paste with water to make a thick syrupy texture. You only need a very small amount. Paint the glue in a thin layer all over the back of your papers.

Place your papers glue side up (this is essential!) on your inked up block. This part can be very fiddly so it can help to use tweezers or cocktail sticks
to place the wet papers down.

Lay your printing paper on top and put through the press (or print by hand with a baren).
Your tissue papers should have bonded onto your printing paper with your print over the top!

This technique also works beautifully with etchings and drypoint etchings!

To create a print with Chine Collé you will need:





Printing with System 3 Block Printing Medium

System 3 Block Printing Medium transforms acrylic paints into usable block printing inks. Simply mix the medium with your paints and roll onto your block! Here’s how:

Mix your Block Printing Medium with acrylic paint in a ratio of 3:2. If you want to print in a specific colour, mix your acrylic colour first and then add your medium when you’re happy with the shade.
I did not do this, because I’m reckless.

When you’ve mixed your ink, roll out a thin, velvety layer. Your
roller should make a zzz sound and not be squelchy. If it is, remove some ink and roll out again.

Roll your ink onto your block – we’re using a sheet of lino that we carved earlier…

Place your paper on top if your block – we’re using Kent printmaking paper.
Use a baren to transfer the ink
to your paper by rubbing it all over the back.

This block printing ink will layer up well for a multi-block or reduction print. It is translucent (unless you’ve added a lot of white – experiment with
your colours for layering first) so will show some of the base colour through.

To print with block printing medium you will need: