This is a classic two-piece wrap. I used a remaining piece of blue Pantone paper on the bottom. Then I reached for a packet of printed American flags that somehow made it into my paper drawer. I chose to use only the stripes, which still left the wrap with a strong hint of flag. I covered the join with a bit of skinny black ribbon. A mini label completes the task.
For the first step wrapping this medium sized gift, I cut down a white shopping bag and wrapped the entire box in it, using hot glue to secure the thick paper of the bag. I put a secondary blue wrap on the bottom, a piece of old Pantone paper. I then took a page from my magazine of the moment, an image with rectangular forms, a person, abstract photo detail and color complementary to the blue. I did not cover up the shopping bag’s branding, because the typography lends the whole composition a poster-like quality. Also the gift’s brand diverges completely from the this bag’s. Wrap Humor. To finish it off I took another magazine scrap and cut slices partway through it. I folded the uncut edge and glued it on top of the wrap. Carefully I shaped the teeth of this comb into gentle curves. The interplay of the rectilinear scrap & scissor-cuts with the curves of the actual spiral imagery in the photo & the shaping of the comb’s teeth adds a bow-like quality and completes the wrap.
On occasion wrap art will take the shape of animals, buildings, trees or recognizable objects. But almost all wrapping is abstract sculpture, and thus abstraction itself is not innovative. There are, however, times when found materials can take wrapping in a new abstract direction, creating very different feelings. I found a strange plastic object in my alley a number of years ago. It sat in an outdoor shed waiting for purpose. It is about 14 inches long, flat on one side and curved on the other. What is it? Parts divorced from purpose can have immediate mystery. The small, “bottom” side, the plane of attachment, was open. In goes the gift. I then glue on a cardboard closure, including a door for quick access. Two rows of cord, thick and thin hide the seam and start the reference to wrapping tradition. The second reference is ribbon with black and white angled pattern. It starts on the “back” and curves around the end; it breaks with tradition by stopping partway along the facade. That terminus is completed by a red cap which holds the giftee initials. This definitely has undertones of transportation, whether it be streamlined 30’s locomotives or concrete traffic barriers.
The concept was contrast: contrasting patterns, foil/flat contrast. I used band ribbons made with the silver foil paper.
The layout is traditional ribbon cross. To liven it up I made and angled name tag, double-taped into place. The patterned paper is a small fragment left over from a small shopping bag. The dark blue is a fragment from a kit of Coloraid paper I bought many decades ago and only recently discovered.
This wrap also follows my wrap-art mandate for no-fuss construction; the backside is not elegant.
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.
While cleaning the kitchen one day, I consolidated an excess of plastic knives, spoons and forks. The beauty of multiples forced me to save them in plastic bags. The knife bag went into my wrap warehouse.
On Christmas day my son was attending to his last-minute wraps, and I volunteered to wrap one of his smallest presents.
I gave it a white-paper wrap and then began gluing plastic knives onto the box. I looked upon them as lines or strokes, and began creating a constructivist composition of angles. I had planned, and still do plan, to glue on a lot more of them. But we ran out of time and so this was my wrap. The dense-pack knife wrap awaits some future opportunity. In the meantime, the relatively sparse application of knives works quite well, and perhaps better honors its derivation in Russian artists.
I thought I might make a box with unequal sides. And I just happened to have a stack of corrugated board rectangles just large enough to cover the gift.
I cut two sides of one rectangle. Then I proceeded to cut and match three more on their long edges, fixing them progressively with hot glue until I had a four-sided box with open ends.
I stood this construction on end to trace a end panel. Glued it on and did the same on the other end.
Wrapping the pale paper proved to be easier than I imagined it would be. The folding occurred on the small ends.
Then I added two contrasting ribbons, placing them on angles, in sympathy with the capricious shape of the box.
Continuing my fascination with packaging trash, and the malleable materials of the meat market, I offer your here yet another yellow-foam wrap. This time I decided follow another fancy of mine: disrupting the form with a 45 degree angle.
I drew lines on the two foam trays, then joined pairs from the four fragments with hot glue, to make two containers with 45 degree open faces. A bit of trimming was required to make them fit. Then I inserted the gift in one side, protecting it with some paper packing, and glued the two halves together.
The trays have words embossed in the middle of their now very-visible undersides. I thought a triangular form would make a useful addition to the design and would cover the words. I cut the long diamond shape from purple paper, folded it on the short axis, and glued it onto the foam box.
Next I glued black woven bag-handle cords along all the glue seams of the yellow box. And I added the two white bows, making risible reference to the traditions of quotidien wrapping.
But I could see it was not done yet. I thought it needed a crest or crown. I grabbed a piece or coral-colored packing foam and a scrap of white paper. I drew, cut and fit the sun-burst form in scrap paper, then traced it and cut it out of the foam. I glued it in place.
The little indentations that occur along the edge of the foam trays now called out for adornment. I cut little triangles of the coral foam scrap, and glued them in place. At last I had it, an exhuberantly odd wrap, ready for the parliament of packages under the tree.
The wrap began as I rummaged through my wrap paper drawer and discovered an old type catalog, “X-Height.” It’s tall large page size, each page with a grid of square type samples, offered a paper suitable for small boxes, and one that was rich in non-repeating graphic forms.
I wrapped the present. However, the end folds did not quite cover each other, so I reached into the ribbon box, and retrieved a wide orange ribbon. I like to use ribbon on the small sides of a wrap; it provides more color and a texture change, but it leaves the stage empty for sculptural play.
Next I glued on four wine-cork legs. Raising a wrap on legs has an amusing and quietly transforming effect on any gift. The resonance with tables and benches lifts the wrap away from the metaphor of storage or inventory and places it into the non-wrap realm of furnishings.
At this point I did not have to place anything on this table. The paper’s symbol-filled square were amply entertaining. But I was having fun, and began to play with the variety of wood and rock materials cluttering my studio. A pedestal of sample engineered bamboo felt good sitting on the type-sample wrap. I then tried numerous rocks and twigs until I finally settled on the flat gray “label” rock and its companion, a shiny black rock. I added the name of the recipient in white colored pencil, and glued all three pieces onto the table wrap.