Homemade Wrapping Paper Ideas

Homemade wrapping paper ideas! Easy to make Christmas wrapping paper that everyone will enjoy. Fun and simple designs bring back traditional Christmas with the commercial aspect.

Christmas, the time for giving and receiving, has suddenly become very commercialized.

Everything from gifts to decorations can be obtained in any department, hardware and variety store in town from July though the end of December. Then, look out, it's time for the after Christmas sales, which also can be quite daunting.

Whatever happened to doing things together the homemade, old-fashioned way? Some of my family's most enjoyable times were spend making gifts, decorating the tree, and creating our own Christmas wrapping paper.

Let's get back to that creative mode where families spent quality time together making unique quality items. Christmas wrapping paper is easy to make, inexpensive, and can be as detailed as you want to get.

Start with a base material. My all-time favorite material, is newspaper butt ends. Butt ends are the end of the paper rolls. Newspapers don't use the butt ends, and in my experience, are always eager to get rid of them. The paper is thin, and absorbent, and holds up quite well to any kind of design.

The most simple design is a potato stamp or other stamping method. Holiday stamps can be purchased at craft stores for small change, and can be used time and time again. Potato stamps are made by cutting the potato in half and cutting a design into the potato, then dipping into ink.

For fun, create spirals and stars with gold and silver glue pens. Glitter adds a nice festive touch to an otherwise plain background, and can be purchased in huge amounts at craft stores. Remember, a little goes a long way.

Also use puffy paints, watercolors, chalk (remember to spray with hair spray after the design is finished), finger paints, and crayons. Children especially enjoy creating their wrapping paper this way. Since the paper comes on a roll, it's easy to lay out flat across the kitchen floor or table and allow everyone to join in on the fun. Add a little mystery to the pot and see if everyone wants to create a surprise piece for sharing.

Again, I have to confess, I prefer the simple designs over the complicated ones. At our house, we each pick two Christmas cookie cutters of similar design (two different angels, two different Christmas trees, etc.) and then using two matching shades of paint (light green and dark green, or red and green) stamped the designs on the paper randomly. The end results were beautiful! We poured the washable paint (youngsters tend to get a little rambunctious) into old, shallow plates.

The same idea can be incorporated using old discarded newspapers. The only problem here is that the newsprint can leach onto your hands and onto gifts. It's smart to pre-wrap with white tissue paper before wrapping. And always add a matching bow and/or ribbon.

Plain fabrics, such as old sheets, make good wrap. Simply cut the sheets into squares, fold the edges under and sew, then stamp or cover the fabric with snowflakes or candy canes designs out of paint. It's easiest to use one simple pattern. The finished product is beautiful and ready for anything. To fasten, use matching ribbon or colored pins.

If the gift you're giving is a set of towels, a large sheet towel or matching shower curtain makes the perfect wrap. If you're giving kitchen towels, try a brown grocery bag decorated with raffia bows and scented gingerbread ornaments. A cookie jar makes a nice wrap for a set of silverware.

Cardboard boxes are great, as well. Simply find the box at your local grocery store (call early, they usually crush the boxes) and paint or stamp designs on the sides. Ribbons work wonders for a plain brown corrugated box. Throughout the year, keep shoe boxes in a dry place...you never know when you might need them again.

Grocery bags, and small lunch bags make great packaging, also. Use ribbon for limp handles or cut pieces of raffia paper for stand-up handles, and add designs on the outside of the bag. Snowflakes and the phrase "Let it snow..." or Snowmen and the words "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." make the heart sing.

And don't forget the wonderful, useful garbage bag. It's inexpensive, comes in several colors, and is great for that huge I-can't-get-it-under-the-tree gift.

Remember, if the wrap is plain, add a dazzling bow, or yards of ribbon. If the wrap is busy, downplay the bow. Just make sure the wrapping is inviting enough to catch the eye!

© High Speed Ventures 2011