Homemade Holidays: Homemade wrapping paper

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At some point when I was a kid my Mom decided she was tired of buying wrapping paper for it to be ripped up and gone so quickly. It’s expensive and wasteful she said. So, about 4 or 5 months before Christmas we’d start getting our groceries in paper bags, and we’d rip the bags apart and use them to wrap the presents. The presents that were being mailed were wrapped in normal paper.

Then the kids (that would be mainly me because my brother wasn’t really interested in this) would decorate the presents with ribbons and Christmas cards and whatever else we had on hand.

Fast forward a bunch of years and now I have kids. And I LOVE this idea. However, now they look at you funny if you ask for paper bags. Most stores do not have paper bags anymore. Which is super weird considering the big environmental push and the whole idea that plastic is horrible. So I buy 10 yards of butcher paper for about $5.


So, I cut it into lengths that fit my kitchen floor and we paint it. Or stamp it. Or as Superman is apparently doing we draw monsters on it. He drew a whole storyline on this picture.


I can sometimes get them to paint handprints. I think those are some of the cutest.


Here he’s adding in paper cutouts. That wasn’t really what I was intending it for…..


First painting spree’s finished product. We’d used almost every type of painting implement we had. I introduced them to the idea of cookie cutter painting, which looks super cute for making wrapping paper. And all in all lots of fun was had by all, followed by a bath!

11 thoughts on “Homemade Holidays: Homemade wrapping paper

  1. I so admire you – painting on the floor with three kids! This is a great idea – I might try some wrapping paper for grandparents done that way. We have ton of IKEA roll paper, and we could just as well put it to good use.

  2. This is awesome Ticia!

    My mom makes homemade wrapping paper too.

    I haven't ventured into this yet:-), but hope to one of these years.

    Your kids had a blast doing this!!

  3. We did this last year for D's birthday presents with dinosaur shape sponges. We should try this out for Christmas. Do you remember where you bought the butcher paper? It sounds like a good price and we LOVE to large art work.

  4. LOL – I also did this with roommates in college (no footprints, though) and had a blast. Your mom's frugality had multitudes of applications! I miss it. 😦 Might need to get Evelynne started early and resurrect the tradition! Hope your kids had as much fun (or more) as I know we did.

  5. What a great idea! We have a huge set of nesting, reusable, boxes that we use for most family birthdays, etc. Actually got us in trouble the other day- Ernie took a friend's birthday present in one of her “special” boxes. I kept asking “Are you sure you want to use that box?” Well, she handed it to the little girl fully expecting to get it back! Perhaps your idea is better for the future 🙂

  6. My kids and I use to do this every year. I haven't thought about it with Selena. But we don't buy many gifts anymore. We just don't have as much family around to buy for.

  7. I'm an elementary school art teacher and I absolutely adore the fact that you are encouraging your children to play and create! Kudos to you and all of the other mom bloggers 🙂

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