Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is J.R's birthday but since he's doing his military service and is therefore unavailable during weeks, I gave him his gift yesterday. And that leads to a thing you probably didn't knew about me: I love to give birthday presents. It's not only because I like to give presents, but because I really love to wrap them.

Gift wrapping has been my hobby for about three years now. It all started on one Christmas when I was reading a newspaper and thought that some of the ads could make an outstanding gift wrap. I've always been a fan of recycling so I decided to give it a try. And to my surprise those gifts turned out really nice when I finished them with paper strings.

It's easy to make an extraordinary gift wrap, so I wonder why so many go for boring printed wrap papers and cheap plastic ribbons instead. You only need these three things to success:

  1. Handmade paper. It's not easy to get for free, but if you keep your eyes open you will eventually end up with a nice collection like I do.
  2. Paper string: It's cheap, so go get some. And have a little practice to make a nice bow. It doesn't behave like a plastic ribbon so it can be a bit frustrating at first.
  3. Some cheap paper that looks like recycled: I personally like white see-trough paper you get when you buy something fragile. Remember to get loads of this when you visit Ikea! I normally wrap the gift with some heavy print first, and then use one layer of this, so the the print sheers through very nicely.
I was a bit out of material when I wrapper the gift for J.R. but I think I did OK anyway. I wrinkled some brown paper (originally from flower shop) to get some texture. Because it was so thin I used some Christmas wrapping paper under it, but I turned it upside down first. The paper ribbon is something very cheap from Tiimari, but I think it works with this look.

Not so much blingbling since this was for a boy.

I also made the Birthday card myself, but I don't have picture of the finished card. But I do have some pictures I took while the process:

I'm not an artist so I like to trace pictures and then to modify them. In this case I used only the ribbon and Tux the penguin. I tried to make Tux to look friendly, but I think it still looks a bit "arrogant" to me. I should have modified the eyes to be more rounded.

Yep. My friend is super old.

This is how the picture turned out. If you click to enlarge you probably wonder if I draw it or paint it. But I did both. When I was a kid I got these super cool Derwent Watercolour Pencils you can first draw with and then wet the drawing with a small brush to make it look like painting:

It's funny how I still use them. It's been like ten years since I got them. Unfortunately I lack the color black, and that's why my Tux was more greyish than black.

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