How to Create Custom Gift Wrap
The holiday season is rolling, yet it’s early enough to be thoughtful about how you want your season’s givings to shine. Part of the fun of giving is the beauty of the package itself. This year, I decided to give my gifts a custom touch, and in a day’s time, I was able to draw, design and order these rolls of custom-printed gift wrap using Concepts and Spoonflower.com.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Dream up your design with Concepts.
I wanted to make a couple styles of gift wrap — a classy one for my elegant kinfolk, and a playful type for my sweetheart kids. Where I live, snow brings a joyful, holiday glow, so snow was the way to go. And my other two wintery favorites? Polar bears and penguins.
I began to work on the snowflakes first. I thought I could use the same snowflakes for both papers, using the Make Your Own Objects ability in Concepts.
Make Your Own Objects is perfect for collecting everything you can imagine — from doorways for floor-plans to seasonal themes like sun and beach or squashes. Whatever inspires you now can become a collection of useful objects for later, ready to drop into your current project.
I set my tool to Filled Stroke. I love the raw character that comes from using this tool — it gives illustrations a texture I can’t resist. Using this tool, I made three intersecting lines for the frame of the flake. Then I linked them together for easy selection and movement later on.
In the Object menu, I made a new Object Library…
… selected the snowflake frame…
… and added it to the library by touching the plus button.
Then I got busy designing snowflakes. For each new snowflake, I tapped the frame into the picture, and decorated it. Once done, I selected the design, linked all the strokes together, and added my new object to the library.
Look at the collection grow. So satisfying!
In a new drawing, I brainstormed my scenes, polished them up, then dragged the snowflakes into a background layer. Polar bears and trees on silver for the elegant paper. Penguins cavorting with snowballs for the fun paper.
I added the penguins and polar bears to their own object libraries. This is great for themes. Matching gift wrap, gift cards and thank you notes? Easily done.
Tip: If you look at gift wrap varieties that feature characters, you’ll see multiple emotional scenes illustrating a theme. Use several of these scenes following the Rule of Odds to give your composition visual appeal.
2. Format your design.
For many people, it feels comfortable to have a preset image boundary so you can get a feel for the dimensions of your drawing. If you prefer this, you can choose your paper size in the Settings menu. A roll of Spoonflower gift wrap is 26” x 72”.
But you don’t need to do this. Spoonflower’s options for repeating, bricking and sizing your image makes scaling your drawing unnecessary in the end. I simply drew my designs on an infinite canvas, arranged it on my screen, then exported to my photo roll using the Screenshot option.
Spoonflower recommends 150dpi for a clear image. 150dpi is the minimum recommend for printing (300dpi is the minimum for photos). On Concepts, the iPad Pro exports at 150dpi with a JPG file, but iPads and iPhones export JPG at 72dpi, so choose PNG on these devices to maintain resolution. The file needs to be less than 40MB to upload to Spoonflower’s site.
Also, make sure you select Paper + Grid to have your background color come through. If you choose transparent, it will be printed onto a plain white roll of wrap.
Tip: Do you see how I spread my objects across the page, right to the edges? This image is what will be repeated on the gift wrap. To get an even spread without gaps of empty space in between, space your scenes well and touch the edges of the screen. Take care not to cut off the edges… just touch the edge or scoot it in a millimeter.
3. Upload your design to Spoonflower.
Create a Spoonflower account and click on the Design tab. Choose Upload.
Find your image, confirm that it is your property, and upload it. It will bring you to a screen like this:
Here, you can see your options. Choose Gift Wrap on the right of the materials tabs. Next, choose which kind of Repeat option you’d like. Then choose the Design Size by clicking on the Smaller or Bigger buttons. For my gift wrap, I set my image size to be 16” x 12” with a half-brick repeat.
Note: The image appears blurry in the site system, but it will print as clear as your uploaded image.
Choose your number of rolls, submit your order, shipping preferences and payment… and feel the tingle course through you while you wait for it to appear at your door.
Fluttering anticipation. Life in between. Until…
… the Day of Arrival.
Shipping was lightning fast. While my expedited order was promised for 10 business days after, I received a notice it had printed next day and shipped the following. The rolls of gift wrap came in a lovely triangle box, well protected, in pristine condition. My friends peeked from the plastic.
I unrolled them.
Beautiful, satin, quality paper. I set to wrapping…
… and finished with some touches of red eucalyptus.
Spoonflower, you are a win.
Please recommend this article, your hearts let us know you’d like more. And we’d love to see your gift wrap! Send your pictures to email@example.com and we’ll share. Happy designing!
Written by Erica Christensen — writer / artist /designer.