Making your own wrapping paper is a fun activity that children or adults can do. With some creativity you can create gift wrap that is unique and different – everyone will know the gift is from you!
When making gift wrap with children you will probably want to use either craft white paper or craft brown paper (like the grocery bags). You could even use the inside of a grocery bag if the gift is small enough.
At several points depending on your child’s age – they may need help. If your child is not ready to cut with scissors, then manage all of the scissor work and let them have fun gluing everything. Remember to select non-toxic materials. Consider all art materials toxic unless they say they are non-toxic.
Stamping Shapes Paper: To make this you can use either sponges or potatoes. The ease with potatoes is they give children (and adults) a “handle” to hold onto. Sponges are a little harder to hold onto once they get wet, and your designs may not get as clean and clear results.
Use tempura or acrylic paint. Be sure with children to use non-toxic paint. Remember with art materials that if they do not say they are non-toxic, chances are they are toxic – so be aware and stay safe.
Select your paint colors and cut simple designs in your potatoes or sponges. Great shapes include stars, hearts, arrows, lightning bolts, circles, triangles, letters, numbers and smiley faces. Help your children cut the designs depending on their age level.
Lay the paper flat on a dry and protected surface and stamp away with your potatoes or sponges! Remember to put your design all over the paper so that it shows all over your gift, not just one area of the paper. Let it dry overnight before wrapping gifts.
Names or Shapes Paper: To make this paper you will need several sheets of fluorescent paper (8 ½ x 11”) is fine. You will also need glue sticks and scissors.
Select a name or a shape that you wish to do for your paper. Think about the size of your gift, is it big? Is your gift small? If your gift is big, then your letters or shapes can be bigger. If your gift is small then your letters or shapes need to be smaller.
If you are giving a birthday gift it could be fun to write the birthday child’s name. If it is a gift for Mom then you could write Mom. Or consider writing a short message like “Happy Birthday” if you have enough room.
Write boxy letters or cut out shapes and glue them onto the paper. Write the name and glue it onto the paper several times. Allow it to dry overnight. Then wrap gift.
Picture Paper: To make this paper you will need magazines or newspapers. Catalogs such a flower catalogs or children’s catalogs are also good. Comic books are good for this also. You will need scissors and glue stick.
Select a theme for your paper. Are you going to cut out pictures of animals? Cartoon characters? Flowers? Home images? Or are you going to cut out words? Find the images and cut them out. Glue them onto the paper. Allow it to dry and then wrap your gift.
Special Message Paper: This is good for most children of any age. First select how large the gift will be and cut the gift paper to size.
Select markers or crayons. You are going to write a special message to the friend or loved one to wish them a Happy Birthday or other good wishes. Help your child select their message.
Write the message on the paper. Now write the message again in other line with a different color marker or crayon. Continue until the paper is full. You can use medium to large handwriting – actually any size handwriting is fine. Just continue until the paper is completely filled. Let this paper dry before wrapping the gift.
When you give the gift remind the birthday child they need to read the Special Message on the wrapping paper.
Feminine Doily Paper: This is a cute gift wrapping paper for a girl’s gift. This is also an easy project to do with even most young children because it only involves glue sticks.
To make this paper you will need paper doilies, either white or metallic (your choice). This project works best with the small doilies. You will also need a glue stick.
Glue the doilies onto the paper. Glue them in an even pattern all over the paper. The doilies will give the gift wrapping a feminine look. Once the doilies are dried, wrap the gift.
There are many other ideas for gift wrap that are in your home and right in front of your nose. Just use your imagination and you will find many other ideas to use with your children. Happy wrapping!
Abigail Beal a.k.a. “the Gift-wrap Goddess” teaches gift wrap in suburban New York. She is the author of 2 ezines: GiftWrapGoddessWraps and CreativeCraftsTeachers. To subscribe: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreativeCraftsTeachers/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GiftWrapGoddessWraps/
Abigail Beal © 2004
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