Friday, December 26, 2014

Don't Throw Out that Used Giftwrap!

Rather than throw away that used giftwrap, I use it to make next year's Christmas cards -- or thank-you notes for gifts received this year from distant friends.  Today I'll show my way of doing this.

No giftwrap to recycle?  

Any paper can be used; in the past, I've worked from my stash of "catch-all" papers.  These are foreign-print newspapers used for off-loading leftover acrylic paint from just-used paintbrushes, before dunking those brushes into water.  (This practice is best for the environment.  The less acrylic paint that goes down the drain, the better for all of us.)  Here are two of my catch-all papers --

Having chosen an area that I like on this paper, I placed a stencil over it, using masking tape to hold the stencil in place ...

Heron (shown above) was one of the stencils I chose for today's "re-run" post because I needed a design that lets me easily trace inside its cut-out areas.

Some of my other stencils work well, too --

Queen Anne's Lace (9"X12")
Boxed Vines (9"X12")
Cats (6"X6")
Osprey Wings (6"X6")

For tracing along the cut-out stencil edges, I used watercolor pencil since it can be easily removed afterward, if desired.

Below is the Heron tracing, after the stencil was lifted --

Above:  the heron has been cut out with fine-detail scissors and placed on the cover of a 6"X6" greeting card.  On the left, atop the stencil, is the watercolor pencil I used to make the tracing.
When I used the stencil Queen Anne's Garden, I decided to place the stencil on the back of the catch-all paper, instead of working on the paper's painted side.

Above:  the back of the paper, after the stencil has been lifted off.

After I finished cutting out the flower, I decided to add leaves that I cut out free-hand.  I also added a few additional "rods" and "blooms" to create a greater contrast with the background I had chosen -- a pearly white 6"X6" blank greeting card, shown above.  (If you would rather not freehand-cut leaves, you can use Striped Leaves Stencil by Terri Stegmiller.)

Above:  the finished greeting card with the heron on the cover.

In tracing part of Queen Anne's Garden with a red watercolor pencil, I simply drew lines inside the narrow openings at the top of the flower, rather than try to faithfully trace every fine detail. 


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