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RAINY DAY ACTIVITY SERIES - Homemade Gift Wrapping Paper

Updated on December 20, 2012
Had fun drawing and coloring!
Had fun drawing and coloring! | Source


If you have young children or are an artist with a creative heart, you know the value of a box of crayons. Equally essential is a roll of brown craft paper or mailing wrap. With these two simple pieces, anyone can create wonderful wrapping paper for any holiday or occasion. This is one great rainy day activity that will consume up the hours and chase away any boredom and create memories when done with others.


Let's begin with the canvas that will become your homemade gift wrapping paper. Usually after end of the year's holidays, you can find 75 feet rolls of brown mailing paper at drastically reduced prices. Always pick up a few rolls, then you will have handy for those rainy day projects and other uses throughout the year. Generally, however, a roll of brown paper is usually around two bucks, rather you get them at arts stores or your local super mart! The only difference I have discovered between the mailing paper and the craft paper is that mailing paper is usually a thicker stock.

Another kind of canvas you can use is those brown grocery sacks. Simply cut open down one corner and cut out the bottom. These are generally big enough to wrap a shirt box. So be sure to ask for those brown paper sacks instead of plastic. Most grocers will have them, but you have to ask for them.

What really becomes wonderful about using this kind of brown paper is the way the colors of the crayons will pop out and how well the wax will lay on the canvas. Since it comes in a roll, the paper will be easier to handle and store both during creation and for later use as gift wrap!

Spilled crayons!
Spilled crayons! | Source


What child, or adult for that matter, does not love opening a new box of 64 colors of wax crayons? When September hits and all those kiddies are skipping back to school, it is a great time to inexpensively pick up a few extra to also store away for these rainy day projects.

The bright colors will pop out against the brown. White is one of my favorites for making snowflakes or Christmas trees with snow on the branches and looks great on the canvas. Use the copper, gold and silver for accenting. Also, don't limit yourself to the regular wax crayons. There are sparkle wax crayons that look good in this application as well.

Avoid trying water colors. They will quickly soak into paper and look dull. Even the magic markers will lose their brightness due to the porous paper. Stay away from any painting with arcrylics, for they will dry and flake. About the only other medium you can use and keep with bright staying color is pencils and oil pastels. Can always use black sharpies for accent and written phrases, however, those great childhood crayons are the best!

Hand tracing, easy and fast to accomplish.
Hand tracing, easy and fast to accomplish. | Source


Unroll the canvas across a table. Ideally several people can work on same piece, adding their each individual creativity to the whole piece. What works well for wrapping paper is if the drawing is medium to small and not huge. Remember this will be wrapped around a box for some occasion in the future. Even a symbol or two, with a holiday phrase, can be repeated over and over. Candy canes is one of my favorites to draw, especially since the white color stands out to well.

Children who are less able to draw fine lines and scenes can use certain colors combinations and trace their hands or even scribble a bit. Then someone, who knows how to write, can use a black sharpie and add a celebratory phrase, like "Happy Birthday". Use red and green and trace those hands then label them "Elf hands". Use your imagination on your design.

You can also use shaped sponge stamps and dip into wet non-achryllic paint and stamp designs onto the paper. Regular stamps and stamps inks can be used for a classic country effect from the ink fade. No matter what medium you choose, you and all others involved will forget about the weather outside and not care about the time of day with this rainy day activity.

After you have completed your gift wrapping paper project, you can easily roll back up for storage until that occasion comes along. It will be a delight to pull that homemade wrapping paper out a few months from now and admire the fun and sharing that went into this creation as you wrap a family's or friend's gift.


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    • backporchstories profile image

      backporchstories 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Thank you both for your comments. I used to do this each year when my boys were small. We had fun!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing. My wife liked to fold plain wrapping paper to make unique and beautifully wrapped gifts,

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      What a great idea. You can even have different themes. It's inexpensive and creative - great combination!