The plastic turf fragments turned up this summer in my ever productive alley. I had been waiting for them to have a purpose. Last week their first mission became obvious: turf wrap. It is green (half of the seasons branding colors). It is unexpected. It is inherently silly.
It is also hard to cut. But I persisted and got my rectangle for the lid of this gift’s shipping box. I covered the box with the brown-dot paper in such a way that the lid can still be opened. No need to rip up the wrap. One piece of paper covered three sides of the box. And a fourth piece I glued on the flap of the lid. Next the astro turf went on top. I chose a red ribbon with the gold trim; it provides that sense of traditional wrapping aesthetics. And of course red is the second seasonal brand color not to mention the complementary color of green.
I had been testing the shiny red ball all along as a component to complete the grass box top. While searching for another shiny object I found the golf ball. I paused for a bit, resisting the natural symbolic affinity of ball and grass. I finally gave in and placed it in the composition. Then it occurred to me that the red ball would gently confuse the reference to golf by hinting at “snowman.” I added the label and was done!
This is an example of accretive wrapping. It starts with a “base coat” of plain paper, applied in the traditional way: a single piece of paper wrapped, with two folded ends.. The first layer of accretion consists of six separates rectangles of imagery taken from magazines and marketing literature.. I cut them out to fit the six sides of the gift box, gluing or double-taping them onto the base wrap. Then I cut and fitted six triangles of stiff paper from printer’s paper samples. These are all glued on the image layer. The wrap can rest on any of the six sides. All views of this wrap are good.
The gift had three parts. In the middle of the night I had the idea of conjoining three boxes. In the light of day it became three tubes. The engineering was challenging. Since the three tubes were to be covered with wrapping paper scraps, I had to figure how to join them without relying on the flimsy wrapping-paper skin as a structural gluing surface. So I drilled holes in the sides of the tubes. I hot-glued six 1″ dowels into the holes. Then I wrapped the three tubes with striped wrapping paper scraps, and then completed the task of gluing three tubes together using their various dowel pegs and holes. It was not easy, and I do not recommend trying this wrapping strategy with angled cylinders. But it did finally come together. I plugged the lower ends with cardboard cross beams and inserted the three gifts into the upper opening of the tubes. I stuffed those upper ends with blue tissue, and added the gold ribbon trim, to give that completing note of wrapping tradition to this non-traditional wrap. When placed amongst wrapped gift boxes it has it own peculiar presence.
Three identical pieces make up the gift. I wrapped them all the same. Then I placed four corks to space them apart while make it one. There are four half corks under the ground floor. I put two corks on the top with two tiny bows.
I collected a handful of twigs that had fallen off their trees during a recent icy snowstorm. My intention was to replace two damaged twigs on an old pine-log reindeer christmas sculpture. But two other twigs from our backyard proved better. When it came time for the first wrap of the season, I thought these twigs might make a fine “bow” when bundled together with ribbon and place cross-wise on the long white box of the gift.
But that idea proved wrong in execution. The bundle of twigs never looked elegant. The twigs were awkward with each other. When I paused to ponder new design vectors the twigs piped up with “legs,” a wonderful but often overlooked wrap tactic.
I then made a wrapper for the box, using the white bag in which the gift’s source store had made the delivery to me. The wrapper covered only nlne of the gift’s eleven inches length and used no glue or tape on the gift’s box. That meant that the box could be slid out of the wrapper quickly and effortlessly, with no ripping or tearing.
I divided the sides of the box-and-wrapper into sixths, marking the five spots that separated those sixths. I began hot gluing the legs onto the box. Once they had cooled, I trimmed them to a common length from the bottom of the box. I could then stand up the whole rig, stand back and judge the result.
I felt it could use some color. So I cut up ribbon fragments —purple, teal, red, and gold— to become abstract leaves. I glued them on, examining both sides as I went.
For the label, I made a strip of typography, printed it out, and cut it into a ribbon. I folded the ends and tucked them into the ends of the white wrapper.
This wrap did not even have a box. I put a gift of notecards between two pieces of corrugated board. Two pieces of tape made them a unit. Then I picked up a magazine that had lots of ads with large photos with tasty textures. I placed the first piece at an angle and proceeded to wrap it, folding the ends and gluing the foldovers onto the back. I then selected another page from the magazine. I positioned it in various ways until I knew what I wanted. I folded the two edges that would be visible on the front of the wrap, and then began gluing the piece into place. Next I took a strip with imagery of marble and folded its edges, making a traditional wrapping band. I positioned it and glued one end. Snugged the other end tight and glued it. I then took, from a jar of alphabet beads, the initials “N” and “S” of the recipient’s name. I glued them on, using a nail to hold the hot glue, and place it on the wrap. I then added the two beads. It is a moody wrap, with a rich materiality conveyed by the continuous tones of the photographs.
Simplicity conjoined with contrast. Two presents conjoined with ribbon. The wrap continues this season’s theme of magazine wrap. This is only my second two-piece wrap. The other was Wrap Synergy in 2010.
I decided it would be quicker to pack this gift between two squares of corrugated cardboard, than to cut out a custom box. My plan uses corks as pillars to create the space for the gift after creating the two square collages. I covered the two squares with paper from a large design magazine whose ads and special features provided a variety of engaging textures. I used my hot glue sparingly and assembled the collages speedily, wrapping the around the edges of the squares.
I used seven corks to separate the squares. Where the eighth cork would have gone along the middle of one side, I left open space, to ease the retrieval of the gift. To keep the gift from rattling around inside and ripping open the paper walls I planned to glue around the edges of the wrap, I hung the gift inside using three lightly-glue corks, placed strategically in the interior. Then I closed up the wrap with four pieces of cover stock pages, cut to the height of the corks. They are glued to the corner corks. One corner has a “pull open here” sticker placed to guide the recipient in un-wrapping.
It looks like a large picture book, except that there is no spine.
The two pieces of paper I used came from a large-format magazine with elegant advertisements. The smaller piece with the dot gradation ends in blank white, with an intriguing curve of remnant typography. I labeled the gift with alphabets, whose dimensionality gives the wrap a sculptural tease.