There's no escaping this year's woodland trend, with oak leaves, acorns, squirrels, deer, tree stumps and of course good old faux bois (fake wood grain) popping up all over the place. You may even be buying some Christmas gifts with a forest-y feel to them, so why not extend this trend to your parcel wrapping?
The key ingredient to get this look is a roll of dark wood-effect sticky back plastic / self-adhesive vinyl / Fablon / whatever else it might be called in your part of the world! I was lucky enough to find a roll for the princely sum of 49p in a local charity shop (amazingly this find happened the very day I thought of this idea, like some sort of charity shop magic) but you should be able to get a roll quite cheaply from your local DIY emporium:
Start with a nice plain parcel, wrapped in brown paper:
Measure round your parcel, cut a piece of the vinyl to fit the way you want (I opted for a large decorative band around the width leaving the folded ends free for easier unwrapping) and apply it very carefully:
You might want to try applying a test piece to get your technique right before trying it out on your real parcels. Also remember to cut enough to have a bit of overlap and to start on the back of your parcel so the join is hidden and so it won't matter if you don't stick it exactly straight...
If you are a true minimalist this may be enough for you, but if not you'll need a bit of yarn or ribbon or rustic-looking twine...
... I only had a small bit of this and had to cheat and stick the ends to the underneath of the parcel with sticky tape (tsk tsk) but ideally you want to tie your knot on top of your parcel leaving a few inches of string left for securing your leaves.
The leaves are simple brown paper oak leaves, like the ones from yesterday's garland how-to (leaf templates included) but with a hole punched in each of them. These are a great way of re-using old brown envelopes, and using a mix of envelopes will give a great mix of browns and different paper textures. For each parcel you'll need three or four leaves in an assortment of sizes plus one large leaf to use as the tag.
Glue the large leaf to some thin card, cut it out and (if you want to) draw on some detail with a black biro or marker pen. Then punch a hole near one end - you can attach some string as I've done here
- or attach the tag directly to your parcel with the string already tied round it. Tie the tag and the other leaves to your parcel in a bunch. If you wanted you could draw the vein detail onto all your oak leaves but I quite like how the tag stands out here:
A simple oak leaf tag like this would make a sweet addition to a more traditional Christmas parcel, or you could make simple woodgrain tags with leftover pieces of your vinyl. Stick your leftover section to a piece of card (I used a cardboard box from some shortbread we scoffed this week) ...
PS, can't get your hands on any wood-effect paper? For a lo-fi, DIY version you could always just take a marker pen to some brown paper and make your own woodgrain giftwrap - just remember to do this before you wrap your parcel so the marker doesn't seep through to your gift!
Please feel free to borrow one or two photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!
For more crafty goodness, check out my books: Super-Cute Felt and Super-Cute Felt Animals.