Today I’m going to teach you how to stamp a beautiful sheet of buffalo plaid gift wrap paper using a hand-carved stamp. I love sharing this creative idea because it's big and the results are dramatic.
Spoiler alert: I won’t be teaching you how to carve the actual stamp in this blog post because you can learn how to do that in my Hand-Carved Stamps Made Simple video on my YouTube channel.
So, to start of I found some gift wrap paper in my stash that was red and I use this very simple stamp design that I carved. It’s a very straightforward square design that is at a 90 degree angle and I made it kind of big so that it covers a lot of surface and gives that big bold buffalo pattern. I first sketched the stamp design out on graph paper to keep it even and you’ll see that I kept one corner open because that’s going to be my negative space of the design. It creates an L shape.
If you use this stamp in repetition going in the same orientation, it’s going to line up and look pretty good. Now, it’s not going to be perfect, so you’ll have to drop the need for perfection at the door for this one. I personally think the imperfections lend to that hand-crafted feel.
However, if you take your time and pay closer attention to what you do, than what I did here....you can get it pretty close. But, I kinda like my grunge buffalo plaid.
Before you get started, make sure that you have as much paper as you need and plenty of space, light, and time as this process isn’t quick and you’ll need to be patient. You’ll want to make sure you have a flat surface as well so that the paper can lay flat and dry quickly as you stamp and move along. It’s also going to get rather messy so make sure you have some rubbing alcohol nearby to clean your hands.
In order to avoid smudges and smears, I used a solvent based dye ink pad because it is permanent and dries fairly quickly. Make sure to have a re-inker because you won’t get very far unless you have a lot of ink. To stamp the pattern, I faced the stamp upwards and inked it up making sure that I covered all of the stamp and checked to make sure that there are no fibers. Once the stamp is fully loaded with ink and fiber-free.
Test print it. It's a great idea to always test print and get a feel for the stamp and how the ink works with the paper.
You may need to secure the paper on your work surface with washi tape.
You can start the printing process anywhere. You can start at a corner, at the bottom of the paper or the middle, whatever feels right for you. Once you know where you want to start, place the stamp down and apply even pressure all over. Then carefully lift the stamp to make sure everything looks evenly inked.
If you see any areas where the ink wasn’t imprinted fully, make sure to really distribute the ink on the stamp well on the next reload, which you will do after each print. You will be able to see if and where you need to use/distribute more pressure when applying the stamp to the paper. And then you just keep reloading your stamp and moving along, applying the stamp in a straight line as you go.
***Making sure you keep the stamp going in the right direction***
I also find that going in a straight horizontal line as I apply the stamp vs building the pattern upwards keeps the pattern more straight and even. If you want to see the difference, you can watch my How to Make Buffalo Check Gift Wrap with a Hand Carved Stamp video on my YouTube channel.
As you go along stamping your pattern, be careful to avoid touching the pattern you’ve already stamped down because even though you’re stamping with solvent based ink on non-porous paper it does still take some time to dry and touching it prematurely can cause smears and smudges.
Once you get to the edges of the paper, make sure to place some scratch paper behind the gift wrap paper and then stamp the rest of the pattern so you get the ‘off the edge’ look of the design.
One tip I would suggest is if you know what size box or boxes you’re going to be wrapping, go ahead and measure out your paper first and then cut that size out to stamp as it might save you some time and also let you see how you like the pattern and see if there are any changes you’d want to make.
And there you have it, a fun and simple way to elevate your solid colored gift wrapping paper.
I hope you’re inspired, and if you try this project please let me know in the comments below!