When giving a gift to a friend of family member, the wrapping can sometimes be the most fun part. Sometimes I’ll make a custom ribbon bow (see my tutorial to learn how) or sometimes I’ll tie fun little presents onto the package. One of my favorite tricks, though, is to decorate the package with giant letters spelling out the recipient’s name. It’s not only fun and easy, but inexpensive as well.
This technique is a lot easier for people with short names, of course, but it will work for anybody. I especially like to do it for young kids who are just learning how to spell their names, because it really appeals to them to see their name spelled in big, bold letters. The adults always love it just as much.
The simple approach
The easiest way to do this technique is to simply cut large letters out of coordinating paper and stick them onto the gift, overlapping if needed to make them fit. For my friend Mike’s birthday, I wrapped his gift and then picked a yellow-orange card stock that matched the wrapping paper. I cut bold letters out of the card stock and just attached them to the gift with double-sided tape. Easy, quick, and no fussy bows to deal with. He loved it.
The fancier approach
For my mother’s birthday recently, I decided to do the same technique, but make it a little fancier for her. I started by choosing several colors of coordinating paper that matched the gift wrap. One (the yellow) would be my primary color for all letters, and the other colors (pink, green, and purple) would serve as backgrounds for each letter.
I cut the giant letters M, O, and M out of yellow paper. Don’t worry if your letters aren’t perfect — the look you’re going for here is bold and quirky. Just take broad cuts with your scissors and let it be crooked if it wants to. If you’re not comfortable with cutting letters out freehand, try opening a word processing document on your computer and typing the letters in a VERY large font, then print that out to use as a template to trace around.
Next, I took the first M and held it in place on top of the pink paper, grabbed some scalloped-edge scissors, and cut the pink paper a little bigger than the M, all the way around. I did the same for the O in green and the other M in purple.
Now to give the letters a neat 3-D effect, instead of using regular double-sided tape, I used bits of double-sided mounting foam. You can get this stuff in dots, tabs, or rolls. The key to the mounting foam is that it has a thickness that will make your letters pop up on the package. I put several pieces of mounting foam on the back of each yellow letter, then stuck it to the scalloped background piece. Then I put more mounting foam on the back of each scalloped piece and stuck them all to the package, overlapping them slightly for a nice look.
My mother liked the package so much that she didn’t want to open it!