Christmas Gifts for Husbands | Gift Wrap Lettering Tutorial

 

My Facebook mini-feed lit up with a common dilemma this holiday season:  “What should I get for my husband for Christmas?”

Why is this always so difficult?  I don’t understand it, either.  Maybe it’s because I think I’m exceptionally easy to buy a gift for (Step One: Go into any Michaels or Jo-Ann store.  Step Two:  Find the paper-crafting tool aisle.  Step Three: Pick anything.  I’ll love it.).  Or maybe it’s the overabundance of options for women in general (lotion, candles, accessories).  It just doesn’t seem like it should be this hard to buy for the man in your life!  But it is.  The best options are often either super pricey (gadgets and gear) or yawn-stiflingly practical (socks, dress shirts). Finding something in between is always rough.

Pinterest saved me this year.  It might as well have flown down with a little cape trailing behind it.  I saw someone pin a “date nights in a basket” gift.  The idea is that you give them pre-planned dates for a year.  It’s a perfect mix of romantic, personal, fun, with a pinch of practical for good measure.

It didn’t take me long to come up with 12 date night ideas, one for every month of the year.  I created a little card describing each date and wrapped it in kraft paper, with the name of the month on it.  I saw this lettering idea on Pinterest as well, but I found an easier way to do it (tutorial below).  Danny loved it!  We’re both looking forward to a fun year, and it’ll be like opening a new little gift each month.  I’m posting a few pictures of the finished product here in case it rescues anyone else from a husband gift dilemma in the future!

 

Gift-Wrap Lettering Tutorial:

I saw the idea of Helvetica lettering as gift wrap on another blog, and loved it.  It’s a cool way to wrap a gift for a guy – it’s sleek and interesting.  They suggested cutting out a bunch of letters and using them as stencils – but tracing all those little letters would have taken way too long for what I needed to do.  Here’s my method:

1) Open Photoshop or Word and type out the months of the year.  Depending on what kind of patterned paper you’ll be printing on, you may only be able to do a couple months at a time.  I was using old psychology jounals from the 1950s for my paper, so I could only do 2 at a time and have it fit.

2) Size the font to be large and thick – you’ll probably need to use a bold, heavy font.  I used bolded Helvetica and just stretched it thicker in Photoshop.  If you’re using Word, you’ll need to pick a font that’s thick on its own.  Thin fonts will probably bend/tear when you try to cut and glue the letters.

3) Make the letters light gray.  You just need to be able to see them well enough to cut along the edges.   If it’s too dark, it’ll show through thin paper – I used a very light gray that was still visible on the paper.

4) Flip the text to get a mirror image.   In Photoshop, you flip the text layer using File >> Transform >> Flip Horizontal.  If you’re using Word, you’ll need to Google “mirror image printing” and the version of Word you’re using to get the specs on how to do it.

5) Print the text onto the UNDERSIDE of the paper you want to use.  For example, if you want to use paper that has music on one side and is blank on the other, you want to print the lettering onto the blank side.  Then when you turn the letter over, they’ll have the music notes on them!  My paper was two-sided, so it didn’t matter.

6) Cut out the letters and turn them over.  Voila!  Perfect letters, with no pencil-y outlines.  You might need to use an Exact-o knife (or even a regular pin) to get the little holes out of letters like “A” and “O”.

7) Paste and you’re done!  I used a regular gluestick.
Happy crafting!!

Rachel - January 4, 2012 - 12:15 am

CUTE!!! Well, now we’re all dying to know what is planned for each date night? Did he open each one? Or does he have to wait until that month to open it?

What a great idea – both the gift, and the gift wrap. One that I will perhaps be stealing/copying. 🙂

Jenika - January 4, 2012 - 11:06 am

Hey Rachel! They’re surprises for each month. Steal away!!!

Bonnie Hart - February 7, 2012 - 12:52 am

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! I am co-chairing West’s Choir Dinner Concert, so I may have to find a simple faster way to do the letters. I could. Carve the time out of sleep! So incredibly thoughtful. Great gift idea!!

Kathrine Wardell - September 29, 2013 - 8:08 pm

A cricut would work too to cut out the letters, Just borrow a friends for a day.

Paola - May 12, 2014 - 7:34 am

I am thinking a gift to give my husband to be the day of the wedding. I was thinking of starting from one year from the wedding with some main events or pictures happened in that month, to arrive at the day before the wedding and a letter to open the day of the wedding.
Do you think is a crap idea?

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