Do you want to wrap your Valentine’s Day gift with unique yet thrifty gift-wrap? Stamp brown paper to make your own. It’s easy to stamp some brown paper using a simple heart stamp you make from a Styrofoam ball cut in half. The Styrofoam stamp gives the wrapping a nice textured look. Use red acrylic paint or substitute red sparkle paint for a flashier look. Brown paper is an inexpensive alternative to pricy giftwrap and you can even use a recycled brown paper bag you get from the grocery store absolutely free! What can be more frugal than that? Top it all off like icing on a cake with a pretty Bowdabra bow. Your gift will be almost too pretty to open…almost.
· Brown paper or recycled grocery bag cut open.
· Styrofoam ball cut in half
· X-Acto or craft knife
· Serrated steak knife
· Paper plate
· Acrylic paint in choice of color
· Sharpie marker
To make the Bow:
· Bowdabra Mini Bow Maker
· Bowdabra Bow wire
· 1 ¼” wide wired red ribbon (I found a really pretty red ribbon with white dots on the edges)
· Pencil or end of paintbrush
· Tape or hot glue gun and glue sticks
1. Cut the Styrofoam ball in half with the serrated steak knife. Use the sharpie marker to draw a heart shape on the bottom. Using the outline of the heart, cut all around with the craft knife inserting it about ¼” deep. Next, insert the craft knife around the sides about the same depth. Carefully remove small pieces of the Styrofoam from the sides to reveal the raised heart. (See photo) Work slowly around since Styrofoam cuts very easily.
2. Prepare your brown paper by cutting a piece for your needs. If you are using a recycled brown bag, cut it open, smooth it out and work on the inside.
3. Add some acrylic paint to a paper plate. Dip the Styrofoam stamp in the paint and stamp in another area of the paint to remove any excess paint. Stamp your paper with as many or as little hearts as you want. Let dry. Wrap your present.
Make the bow:
1. Cut a 24-inch piece of bow wire. Fold it in half and place in the Mini Bowdabra. You will have a loop on one side and two pieces of wire on the other.
2. Cut about 33 inches of 1 ¼” wired ribbon an insert into the Bowmaker.
3. Make a loop about 2 ½.” Make a matching loop on the other side.
4. Continue to make another loop on each side for a total of four loops.
5. Bring the rest of ribbon across with a small loop in the center and insert into the Bowdabra
6. Scrunch down with the Bowdabra wand.
7. Thread the two loose ends through the loop and pull tight.
8. Remove from the Bowdabra and tie a knot in the back. Fluff up the bow and adjust the center loop. Use a pencil or end of a paintbrush to curl around the leftover bow wire and pull to the front. Attach to the front of your wrapped gift with tape or hot glue.
Note: Although cutting these stamps are not for kids, the finished stamps are great for little hands. Just have mom or dad cut the stamp and let the kids enjoy some stamping fun!