These decorative seals use a simple sgraffito technique, similar to that used to make paste paper. They’re really easy to make and offer lots of opportunities for variations on a theme. If you make a batch up, they’re useful to keep on one side so that you can create simple emergency gift tags, cards, envelope/bag seals or embellishments for gifts at any time of year. Used in combination with scraps of ribbon, you won’t even need any decorated gift wrap – a plain brown wrapping paper or even newsprint will look equally effective. Kids can have a go at making them too.
All you need to make these are scraps of plain foil wrapping paper, or sparkly paper of any kind (holographic is also quite effective). I made mine as self adhesive stickers by using double sided sticky film sheets and attaching the foil paper to one side myself, but it would be much easier to use a sticky backed foil paper instead, or for the cheapest option, just use the foil paper alone and glue the finished seals into place as needed.
I cut the paper into the shapes I wanted using scissors, or for a more decorative effect, pinking shears, and then peeled off the backing and stuck the shapes onto silicone release paper. The shapes were then painted with undiluted acrylic paint, leaving a border unpainted. (Whatever paint you use, it needs to be able to cover the foil fairly densely). You then draw into the wet paint to reveal the paper beneath – I used a blunt pencil, wiping off excess paint as necessary, but you can experiment with different tools for the best effect. Simple drawings are the most effective, and even scribbles and scribbles look good.
Of course you can use the same technique to create variations on a theme. Instead of using the sgraffito technique, we did a few using some of the simple thumbprint characters we used to create gift-tags last year.
Hope everyone has a peaceful and relaxing Christmas – and make sure you save some of that foil wrapping paper if you receive any gifts wrapped with it!