DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial

Here’s my tutorial that was part of Sugar Bee Craft’s guest posting extravaganza last week.  Enjoy!DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

I don’t know about you, but it seems like I never have the right wrapping paper on hand – – don’t get me wrong, I have plenty, but it’s either too feminine or too childlike, not the right holiday or not the right size.  So, I’ve been experimenting lately with alternatives to store-bought wrapping paper, and I’ve come across a few discoveries I’m eager to share with you.

Here’s the deal:

By the end of this tutorial, you will have an arsenal of five fabulous methods for making your own wrapping paper.  Why are they fabulous?

  • they’re quick  – five minutes or less
  • inexpensive – you can find your supplies around the house
  • & eye-catching – your gifts are bound to be stand-outs under the tree this year!

Let’s get started, shall we?

First, you’ll find that a standard base paper of either brown butcher paper or white/black craft paper is helpful.  We bought our butcher paper at Home Depot to serve as a “drop-cloth” for painting – – however, I’ve rescued the roll to be used for wrapping.  My roll of white craft paper was purchased at Staples, and my black roll was purchased online at  All are really affordable and with enough paper to last you for years!

#1) Chalkboard-Style Wrap: I recently have been inspired by the wealth of chalkboard projects out there…including chalkboard-style gift wrap, which I first spied on Pinterest.  All you need is black craft paper and a white paint marker or chalkboard marker.  It feels too easy!

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

No gift tag needed!

There are so many possibilities here – – you can write the TO and FROM on your paper, draw a holiday picture, write a quote, a cool design.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

There’s something about the white on black that my just eye loves.

#2) Glitter Glam Wrap:  Glam up your neutral butcher or craft paper with some holiday colored glitter!  Even add a fancy glitter bow.  Just use Elmer’s glue to create your design, sprinkle your magic fairy dust (a.k.a. glitter), and use a dry brush to wipe away excess glitter.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

You’ll see in the images above that I didn’t bother to fill in all of the gaps with glue, and it ended up creating a neat effect.

I also decided to add a gift “tag” in green glitter, careful to shake my green glitter away from the red.  And…voila!

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

#3) Wrap it with a Map!  You know that stack of road maps you’ve been saving from past trips?  (Or are we the only ones with a file folder JUST for maps?)

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Why not give them a new lease on life as beautiful gift wrap?  You can even highlight a memorable route or circle a significant city for the recipient.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

And if you open your eyes, you’ll find you probably have a multitude of paper around the house that could be recycled as gift wrap – – such as the funny pages in the newspaper or the pages of a damaged book.

#4) Watercolor-Effect Wrap:  Watercolor is a really beautiful medium to work with, however, you don’t have to be a great artist to create the same effect.  First, grab your washable markers (Crayola are my brand of choice) and create a design.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Then, using a brush dipped in water, paint over the marker, and you’ve got instant watercolor!  It dries rather quickly, too.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Note: I wrapped first, then designed, but if your paper is thin and you’re worried about bleeding, do your watercolor before you wrap.  This is a great one to try with kids!  As is our last method…

#5) Stamping with Paper Towel Rolls: Recycle paper towel and toilet paper rolls by turning them into stamping machines.  You can use them to create snowballs, ornaments, snowmen, or a simple design…like I did.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

I recommend stamping your paper prior to wrapping, and then letting it dry for an hour.  Or if you’re in a rush, blast it with a hairdryer.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

You can even bend your roll in the middle to make a heart stamp.  Valentine’s Day wrap, anyone?

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Or, cut out six triangles at the base of your roll, and press back the points of a star of David.  Perfect for Hanukkah wrap!

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

So, there you have it.  5 quick, inexpensive, and eye-catching methods for making your own wrapping paper this holiday season.

DIY Wrapping Paper Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

I love to join these link parties!

This is Lauren, signing off.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    My favorite is the map wrapping style. “I like it a lot!” – Lloyd Christmas 😉 Great ideas. I chose ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’ theme one year and it was lost upon everyone. I don’t think a single soul understood my reference. 😉

    • says

      The map method is one of my faves as well; it’s one of the easiest, too! And I would have totally appreciated your brown paper packages…and would have probably broken out into song! 😉

    • says

      I hear ya on the “get r dun” phrase. It seems like the to do list just keeps getting longer and the days pass by so quickly. Trying to keep it all in perspective and take moments to stop and smell the evergreens if you know what I mean! 😉

    • says

      You’re a busy bee this year with all of your sewing projects, so I don’t think you should feel obligated to wrap anything! Just hand it over. Your recipients will be amazed at your handiwork, regardless of wrapping.

  2. says

    I love these ideas! I also made some stamped paper a while ago using brown paper, gold paint and (because I’m old school like that) a potato 😉

    Btw, love your blog background – I have a fabric that looks exactly like that! =)

    • says

      Your d.i.y. wrapping paper sounds loverly; stamp potatoes are on my d.i.y. to do list! (And thanks for your sweet comment about my blog background; it was a free background using the japonizer site. I’d love to see it in fabric form!)

    • says

      Ha ha! I know, I’m amazed at all of the creativity out there in blogland when it comes to empty toilet paper rolls. In fact, I’ve started collecting them! Thanks for stopping by. I so enjoyed visiting your blog the other day. What a neat project for you and your family.

  3. says

    What great ideas. Love the map wrapping paper especially – so pretty and would be great for birthday wrapping too. Pinned and loved – thank you for sharing at MightyCrafty Mondays!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Pam! Yes, I love it when I can repurpose something that’s just collecting dust or clogging up my file drawer! 😉 Happy gift-wrapping. (We’re getting into that season now, aren’t we?)


Your comments make my day!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *