:wrap: roller printed paper



For my Christmas wrapping this year I decided to use one of the techniques Eko and I had taught in our gift-wrapping and paper printing workshops for studiOH!. It’s called roller printing and it’s a really quick and easy way to print large quantities of paper with a simple pattern. I chose a black and white theme with a Christmas tree pattern but you can print all sorts of patterns, colours and even textures using the roller printing technique.

Here’s how!

Cut some simple shapes from cardboard. I used the studiOH! 3D tree template for my tree shape, but you could just as easily draw something freehand. Simple shapes work best so don’t go for anything too detailed. You will need at least three cardboard cut-outs of the shape.

Wrap a piece of scrap paper around something long, smooth and cylindrical like a rolling pin or a wine bottle. A rolling pin is perfect as it has handles, but in this instance I used an old gas cylinder as it’s what I had handy! Secure the paper around the rolling pin with sticky tape. This is to protect your rolling pin from ink or paint.

Take your cardboard shapes and arrange them evenly over the surface of the rolling pin, securing with sticking tape. You can use as many shapes as you can fit on your rolling pin or bottle, but 3 to 5 usually work well. Spacing them evenly will ensure an even pattern when printed.

Dab your shapes all over with ink or paint. I used VersaCraft ink in real black for this print, which produces a light, crisp print. Paint will give more of a textured result with less crisp edges – if you use paint make sure you dab it on lightly with a sponge and don’t add any water. Make sure your shapes are well covered with ink or paint.

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Holding the ends of the rolling pin (or anywhere on the bottle), start at one end of the paper, on the top edge, and roll downwards. Press down firmly as you roll to get a good print. Re ink your shapes after each roll. Start the next roll at the bottom of the paper and roll upwards – this will give the whole sheet a more even look as the print will become lighter towards the end of each roll. Continue until you have covered your whole sheet.

If you used ink it will dry within minutes; paint will take a bit longer.


Once dry, use your paper to transform your Christmas presents into beautifully wrapped creations!

You can use the same technique with a piece of string wrapped around a rolling pin to produce a lovely pattern of stripes, too!


This entry was published on December 17, 2012 at 9:45 am. It’s filed under wrap and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “:wrap: roller printed paper

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