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Crafty Kate: Gift Wrap with Handmade Letters

Posted on 10 November 2016

Dear Kate x Handmade Letters


It's official. The holidays are upon us. Hot chocolate, sugar cookies, tinsel-ing the town. And gift-giving. Which means gift-wrapping...where the fun really starts. 

We partnered with our friend Janice at Handmade Letters to make some gift wrap of our own. Handmade Letters is a design studio specializing in calligraphy, illustration, and letter writing. Janice's work is so exquisitely beautiful that we were ~beyond~ when she invited us into her studio to show us how to create our own beautiful gift wrap. And now we get to share it with you! Welcome to Inspiration Station, all aboard!

Janice is an amazing illustrator. But since Team Kate isn't quite so talented (is drawing a straight line hard for anyone else?) we decided to stamp our wrapping paper. Did you know that anything can be a stamp? Potato? Stamp. Eraser? Stamp. Feet on a miniature gorilla toy? Stamp. (Really, although not pictured here.)

So we started with making potato stamps and moved on to carving erasers. The best thing about stamping is you can do whatever you want and it will still turn out awesome. Stamping is fun! Go rogue or do what we did and carve stars and trees into potatoes. 

Gather your supplies:

  • potatoes
  • erasers
  • scissors
  • paring knife
  • x-acto knife
  • kraft paper (brown)
  • butcher paper (white)
  • markers
  • paint (we used acrylic)
  • Janice's "Winter Wonderland" stencil

We started with carving potatoes into stamps. Wash the potatoes and cut them in half. Make sure to let them air out for a few minutes and press them with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Then carve away! We first made stencils on paper for these and then carved the potato around them, but you can also use pre-made stencils or freestyle.


Starburst, snowman, star, circle, candy cane, square, and tree (oh my!)

Once you're done carving, your stamps are ready to rumble. For paint, we used acrylic that was barely watered down -- you'll find that the potatoes still have a lot of moisture in them (even though we paper towel-ed them!), so they'll water down the paint all by themselves. We just wet our brushes and dipped into the paint. 

White butcher paper will work best for tracing Handmade Letter's calligraphy stencil (download), but we loved the look of kraft paper, too. 

Let your stamped paper dry and then write away. Markers are great for this and don't forget to use an accent color for extra oomph. Everyone will be blown away by your beautifully wrapped presents, no matter what's inside them.

If you want to replicate Janice's gorgeous design, just download and print the stencil for "Winter Wonderland" on 8.5"x11" paper for a repeating pattern or print it larger for a larger design.

Got leftover paper? Don't forget name tags! Of course we need to make them for all of our favorite ladies :-) Hole punch to the top of the tag to thread your ribbon through, et voila! 

Need ideas of what to wrap with your new wrapping paper? Visit our gift guide

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