Hedgehog Wrap

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Wrap art contributor Carmen Zimmer submitted this imaginative wrap. With an odd shaped gift, the flexibility of tissue was the choice for a base wrap. She used the contrast of color for graphic punch.

But the material of the moment was chenille (pipe cleaner) stems that form the animal’s fur. To place them she wisely avoided my usual hot-glue technique and instead included a layer of styrofoam underneath the magenta tissue. Then it was a simple snip and poke to place each one.

Corks made legs. And she happened to have eyes left over from some toy to complete this curious creature.

Snowy Mountains

Christmas is in two days. I’m going for simple wraps. I wrapped another person’s fed-exed gift in solid green paper. I cut strips of white foam from a food take-out box and sliced them into mountains. Hot glue holds them on the wrap. I added one piece of red ribbon, and a small name tag.

Car Wrap

Toys are ubiquitous at Christmas. Why not a wrap that aspires to be a toy? Such are the thoughts a wrap artist may be driven to entertain on the 23rd of December.

I used a shiny blue mylar with built-in swirly pattern. The wheels are aerosol-can lids. I used pieces of corrugated box to make special gluing hardware whose job it was to make the lids attach to the thin and flexible mylar.

The windshield is made of soda-bottle scrap. Red chenille wires outline the windshield and passenger compartment, and make the steering wheel.

The bumpers, grill and headlights are made of fragments of a silvery shopping-bag paper.

The “C” on the hood is the present’s label.

Take-out Box Samurai

samuraiI’ve been thinking about this one since we brought home some bison ribs from The ( inimitable) Fort restaurant in March. It was a dinner honoring Chips Barry, and presented by Patty Limerick, two of the funniest people in the world. The sharp wit and the excellent meat joined forces in my mind, and when we got home with the night’s extra (not to say spare) ribs in wonderful black foam take-out boxes, I began to see a samurai wrap.

The sides, shoulders and helmet are made from the boxes. The arm protectors, which are visible in this view only because of their three red stripes, are from a coffee-insulator sleeve. The vertical grooved panel is a plastic pencil tray from a Prismacolor boxed set. Black bag-handle string cleans up the lower edge of the package. The gold paper is actual wrapping paper (a scrap). The red and white details are craft foam.

Samurai enthusiasts will, of course, know how far this is from the truth of samurai armor; liberate us from perfection, as Ms. Limerick says. I do plan to make some more samurai wraps at some later date, and will make reference to the many other design details of samurai armor. But this wrap serves the initial vision I had been generating in the weeks since the black-foam take-out boxes passed through our kitchen.

Doric Cork-and-Cap Temple Wrap

Cork and Cap Temple

One night while I was washing the dishes (and recycling plastics), my mind was wandering.  I suddenly saw columns made with corks, and capitals on those columns made with milk-carton-caps.

This wrap is what I saw: a Doric temple in recycled materials. I wrapped a flat box using some used wrapping paper, pink with shells. I glued the corks onto the wrap. I glued the white milk-carton tops onto the corks.

Next, I had to construct the triangular roof. I cut pieces of plain cardboard, gluing the triangular pediments on the end of the roof and a base underneath. I wrapped this roof and glued it onto the columns.

Recycled-bottle Lilly Wrap

lilly-39I took a kefir bottle and cut off the printed wrap. Underneath it was a pure white bottle. I cut off the top area and then took scissors and cut down along the corners and back up again, four times. This made the four petals. I trimmed their tops to round them out. Working the petals with my fingers I was able to give them soft curves.

I wrapped the gift in orange tissue and placed it inside the lilly. Then I took the scraps cut from the four corners, and made the pistil stems. I made a small ring to glue them to and added yellow foam to the ends. It was necessary to add some ribbon around the gift in order to make the pistils’ ring stable on top of the gift. A few pieces of scrap foam made the orange gift more secure in its white lilly holder.

Wrap Synergy

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I have already posted the two separate wraps you see in this image (December 25 and 30, 2009). When these two wraps went under the tree, I suddenly saw that they were meant for each other. So, without the need for any additional fastening technologies, they rested one atop the other until Christmas morning, when they went their separate ways.

It is perhaps not so surprising that they would go together, a head and some legs. But I was pleasantly surprised at this amusing synergy arising from this year’s theme of animal wraps.

Simulating a Common Christmas Toy

lego-212This is a quick wrap if you have been saving your carton-caps from milk or juice cartons. Wrap the gift in plain white paper. Glue on four caps. Now you have a scaled-up imitation of one very common piece of a common building-block toy.

I have saved up some green, blue and orange caps; next I must find the matching paper colors so that I can simulate more kinds of bricks.

Sea Urchin Wrap on Silver

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In keeping with my animal wraps this season, here is one that resembles that bane of coral-reef surfers: the sea urchin. The base wrap is silver paper from a fancy shopping bag. The black sticks are coffee-stirring  straws, which I saved from a recurrent meeting that I organize. I cut them in half.

There are a lot of straws here. The technique requires that one places six to eight dabs of hot glue onto the paper at a time, allowing the glue to cool. That way you can place the straws quickly and not have to hold them in position. This is not a quick wrap. But it has a distinctive feel, and one that is much friendlier than real sea urchins.

Candy Cane Reindeer

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I started this wrap with a scrap of a favorite wrapping paper from seasons past. Recycled at least 3 times, this paper is now in short supply. But I wanted a bold texture to resist and contrast with the very simple symbolic elements that would make the reindeer head. I used thin craft foam to make the antlers, ears, eyes and nose. I drew simple patterns for the antlers and ears, cut them out and traced them onto the foam. I cut the foam with an exacto knife. The label is a simple office label, placed on the end of the wrap, just underneath the deers nose.

Being small and light, this wrap can even be hung on a tree as an ornament.