La Petite showed me this technique a few years ago. I wanted to make a poster, and the brick wall motif worked well for the project. Since I'm avoiding buying wrapping paper this season, I thought I'd try it again.
The tools: iron, ironing board, spray bottle for water, marker (black or brown work well), and plain brown paper bag(s).
Step one: Crinkle the paper. Crunch it up. Crumple it.
Step two: Spritz it with water, smooth it out, press it. The water softens the paper and keeps it from scorching. Caution: it also weakens the paper, making it likely to tear.
After the pressing, draw brick shapes on the paper with the marker. I'm not an artist; mine are rough, very rough. It's okay; wrapping paper gets torn apart and thrown out right away anyway. This batch will go in the recycling bin.
But until then, I have two pieces of "fireplace brick" with which to wrap a present or two. One bag survived the process; one didn't. Both will look fine under the tree.
Labels: holidays, it's not easy being green