diy speckled gift wrap + wood burned gift tags

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one of my favorite things to do each year is choose a gift wrapping theme. one year it was recycled newspaper tied with yarn, the next was huge glittered initials for each package. the last two years i used black kraft paper to create 'chalkboard gift wrapping' (you can see them here and here). this year i decided to make speckled paper and wood burned gift tags! with some brown kraft paper and a little paint, i think they’ve turned out really cute.

here’s how i did it:

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materials:

- brown kraft paper - beware, this is a huge roll!
- white, gold or silver paint - i love the liquid metal series!
- paintbrush - any old brush will do
- wood edging - see notes below
- wood burner pen - a must have!
- alphabet branding set - oh, the possibilities!

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to make the splatter paper:

step 1: roll out the kraft paper. i rolled mine out on a long narrow stretch we have in the woods which worked out really well! i could splatter a large amount at a time and didn't have to worry about 'over splatter'. outside is best, but if you protect the area well, you could also do this in smaller batches inside.

step 2: dip the ends of a paintbrush in paint and start slingin'! splatter as much or as little as you like. i did a mixture of white and metallics and fell in love with result.

step 3. let dry thoroughly and roll up. it's now ready to use as gift wrap!

things i learned:

* be sure the paint is really dry before you roll up the paper. i had some larger paint globs that weren't quite dry when i rolled mine up, so things got a little sticky (but it still works fine!).

* consider adding a few weights or rocks to the edges of your paper if you're outside to keep any wind from blowing up the edges.

* consider splattering paint on the outside (instead of the inside like i did), so that when you roll out the paper to wrap with, the paint is on the correct side (i currently have to flip it over, which makes the 'curl' go in the wrong direction.

* this kraft paper is a bit thicker than standard wrapping paper, so it helps to use a stirdy tape (i recommend scotch gift wrap tape).

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to make the wood burned gift tags:

the wood edging i used (and linked to above) comes pre-glued on the back so all you have to do is iron it down. at first, i wasn't sure if that's what i wanted, but in the end it worked really well! it also makes stacking gifts for traveling really easy (no damaged bowes!). if you'd rather not have a sticky back, you could always purchase plain wood veneer and cut them out yourself, and even add a hole in the top with hole punch for stringing through twine or ribbon!

step 1:  begin by cutting 2 - 3" strips of the veneer. unscrew the standard tip on the wood burning pen and screw on the first letter you wish to use. plug the pen in to let it heat up.

step 2: in a smooth motion, press the pen straight down on the wood making sure to apply even pressure. it only takes a split second to brand the wood!

*to change letters either turn the pen off and let completely cool between each letter, or use an oven mitt to unscrew and screw on each letter. please be careful! this thing is so hot it nearly burned through my oven mitt!

step 3: once your initials are finished, cut a 'v' notch out of the end of either one or both sides of the strip to make a flag or banner.

step 4: place the finished wooden strip on the package and set with a hot iron. *of course, make sure you package can handle a little heat!

things i learned:

* this wood burner tool gets HOT. i mean HOT.

* when you place the branding letters down on the wood, it heats up the glue on the backside and causes it to stick down (just where the letter hits). so, just be sure to put something underneath your work area you don't mind tossing later.

* write down the initials or words you want to make first and be sure to brand each letter all at once. i tried to rely on my brain and ended up having to go back and reattach a few letters to finish up.

that's it! i hope you enjoy wrapping your gifts this year. if you use this tutorial, be sure to share your results with us over on instagram using hashtag #ghtrspecklepaper!

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