As the gift-giving and gift-wrapping season approaches, let your kids customize your wrapping paper for a fun and crafty presentation.
About 20 years ago as I was finishing college, I lived with a family from my church. Kathy had three boys and modeled all kinds of great characteristics for me, frugality being one of them. That Christmas she stamped her wrapping paper for a fun and creative way to package her gifts.
I did the same for a few years afterward, and then got out of the habit as kids and my fear of paint on the carpet came along. (She must have done her painting at naptime, ya think?)
Last weekend I decided to let my kids go at it. They had a blast decorating custom wrapping paper for our gifts.
The craft is super simple and appeals to kids of all ages. The process is not as nerve-wracking as I once feared. We did our painting outside with water-based acrylics. And the end result was this super cute wrapping paper to package our family’s gifts in.
I thought this might be too old school to share with you, but after I posted a picture on my personal Facebook page, all these younger and/or hipper friends expressed that this was something new to them.
Whether this is new to you or an idea that you’ve visited before, I think it’s a great one for kids.
From my 10-year old to my 5-year old, my kids enjoyed the process, making it something that all kids can participate in. I’m pretty sure that my bigger boys might have gotten into it if they weren’t generally annoyed with their younger siblings.
It’s helpful to explain to kids the nature of wrapping paper. Wrapping paper is more like abstract art than it is a true “picture”. My girls got really caught up making fancy illustrations that unbeknownst to them would be folded, hidden, and obscured as the wrapping paper did its job around a package. I tried to explain that it wasn’t a picture, but a design.
My five-year remembered an art lesson from her Nanna, “You mean it’s an abstract?”
If your child is more visual, show him or her a piece of commercial wrapping paper and talk about the repeat in the design.
One of the great things about this method of decorating wrapping paper is that you don’t have to make the whole roll Christmasy. Only decorate what you need. Then when Valentine’s Day rolls around, stamp it with hearts. At birthdays, do a different design. In this way, you can have custom paper all year long.
This is an easy craft to swing. Ya ready?
How to Make Custom Wrapping Paper
- white or brown craft paper or poster paper
- acrylic paint
- paper plates or plastic paint palettes
- foam spouncers or sponges
- old cookie cutters
- Tape the paper length to your work surface to prevent shifting. We worked outside, and the wind picked up from time to time; it was good to have things secure.
- Place paint on the palette and allow the kids to stamp with the cookie cutters and sponges.
- Allow the paint to dry completely before wrapping gifts or rolling the paper for storage.
Well, that was easy, wasn’t it?
I found these really cool spouncer caps at Michael’s. They attach to the paint bottle, essentially eliminating the need for a palette. If you can’t find those, you can use any shape sponge you like or even let the kids dabble in brush painting. There’s really no end to the designs your kids can make when they decorate wrapping paper themselves.
Do you ever make custom wrappings?
For more gift ideas, check out this extensive list of DIY gifts for every man, woman, and child.