2 Overlay Stencils - Make your own gift wrap!

Using stencils to create custom gift wrap is a rewarding and money saving DIY project that anyone can take on. Your friends and loved one's will be super-impressed by your creativity. We'll show some ideas for Christmas wrap below, but the same techniques can be used to create custom gift wrap for any occasion. One of the neat things about making your own gift wrap is that you can keep a couple of blank rolls of paper on hand and depending on the occasion just stencil up a design that suits the occasion. No more buying and storing gift wrap for every kind of occasion!

So here we go!

In this example, we've decided to wrap the gift with kraft paper first and then we'll decorate the package. This paper is available at most places where they sell shipping supplies.

Once the gift is wrapped we add some ribbon and then place our stencil in just the right location.

A few things to note. First, notice that we've taped our stencil in place with masking tape. This will ensure that our stencil won't move as we paint our pattern. You'll also notice that we've masked off the "T" (star) in the stencil design. We've done this because we want to paint this area in a different color. This can be done with any stencil where you want to paint multiple colors and it adds a lot of character to your design. Finally, since this is a 2-overlay stencil you'll notice that we have circles (usually called registration marks) in the four corners of the stencil. These marks will assist you in correctly aligning the second overlay. 

Notice that we've placed tape below the stencil and under each of the four registration marks. This will allow you to use a pen or paint to make temporary and removable registration marks on the package. 

We apply our paint through the stencil and then we lift the stencil away without removing the registration marks. Don't apply too much paint or it might bleed through onto your wrapped gift!

[Note for Newbies: one of the most common problems when first learning to stencil is when paint bleeds under the edges of the stencil leaving us with a less that crisp image. The reason why this is happening is because the artist has applied too much paint through the stencil. You can easily avoid this problem by loading your brush with paint and then offloading your brush on a paper towel. The goal is to have just enough paint on your brush to make an image through the stencil. Remember you can build up the paint in multiple light passes until you've accomplished the desired look. We recommend practicing on a scrap paper until you've figured it out.]

Now that we've painted the first layer we'll allow the image to dry. Once the image is dry it's time to place our second overlay. Simply line up the registration marks on the stencil with the marks that you made earlier on the masking tape. This will ensure that the details in the second overlay will align properly with the image made in the first overlay. Once you've lined everything up you'll definitely want to tape the stencil in place to avoid shifting of the stencil while painting. You'll need to choose a different color for this layer so that the details will stand out over the background image.

In this example we've chosen to apply gold paint through the second overlay with the exception of the holly berries which we painted red. You are limited only by your creativity. After we painted the second overlay and removed the stencil we chose to add a bit of a drop shadow to the "T" star. To do this we applied the first overlay again and shifted it a bit. We then applied black paint. There are multiple ways you can accomplish the same look.

And here we have the final package. We added our gift tag stencil and a pinecone with holly. The gift tag stencil is another great option as it won't fall off of the package since it's painted on!

Here's another example of how you can use stencils to make very creative gift wrap.

Shop for stencils at WallMasque Stencil Company!