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DIY Gift Wrap With Kids

boys making DIY gift wrap

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My boys and I love to make and give homemade gifts. I think the personal touch plus hard work that my boys put in to their DIY gifts makes for wonderful memories-for the givers and receivers.  To add to our holiday prep fun, we are reintroducing DIY gift wrap!

This frugal and creative project is a fun way to include your kids in preparing gifts for others during the holidays. We use materials on hand and even use brown packaging paper to add a recycling component (and save money!). The greatest aspect of this DIY gift wrap activity is when my boys’ faces light up when seeing their hard work wrapped around our gifts to loved ones.

DIY gift wrap is not a new activity for our family. I worked with Captain when he was a toddler to create gift wrap for presents for friends and family. We were often told that it was like receiving two gifts in one! Recipients would often save his gift wrap to admire as art work-and he would be thrilled to see it displayed in their homes.

We have periodically made DIY gift wrap over the years. The boys asked me if we could do it again this year and I gladly agreed. We had all necessary materials so I included this DIY activity into one our arts and crafts homeschool time periods.

boys making DIY gift wrap
Professor, Captain, Smiley, & Bear ready to make gift wrap!

If you think this activity would be a good fit for your family, I have a few tips to share from experience.

  1. Use a cheap, disposable plastic table cloth under your work area. A cheap or old shower curtain would work well. I do not recommend using cloth (DIY fail-paint seeped through paper right onto floor!).
  2. Prepare all materials prior to starting. I learned the hard way that pouring out paint prior to placing paper down or giving directions led to little footprints all over my kitchen floor.
  3. Give gentle directions but let your kids create! One year, I had a vision of creating Pinterest-perfect gift wrap (I was pregnant with #4 and was dealing with tons of hormones!). Well, that vision quickly went up in smoke-as it should have! DIY Gift Wrap with Kids is made by kids! It should have their individual touch.
  4. Baby wipes!  Have a container of baby wipes (or at least wet wash cloths) very close. So helpful in quickly wiping off messy hands, arms, noses, etc.
  5. Do activity on a sunny day. It is helpful to take large brown paper outside to dry.
  6. Brainstorm with your kids about materials to be used as stamps or for painting. A few of the items that we have used over the years to consider are:
    1. hands
    2. feet
    3. plastic forks or spoons
    4. cotton balls
    5. Q-tips
    6. pine cones
    7. pine needles
    8. feathers
    9. cars
    10. sponges
    11. foam
    12. cork
    13. apple cut in half
    14. potato (cut in half with carved shape)
    15. DIY stencils
    16. cookie cutters
    17. pencil erasers
    18. pom poms
    19. marshmallows
    20. sticks
    21. paintbrush
    22. foam brush
    23. aluminum foil ball
    24. plastic straw (fun to watch paint spray around!)
    25. toilet paper rolls
    26. paper towel rolls
    27. bubble wrap

boys making DIY gift wrap
Professor, Captain, & Xman painting

Materials for DIY Gift Wrap with Kids

  • brown or white paper (We try to collect large pieces of paper that come as package filler to reuse. I flatten it out a bit but like a textured look. We have also found rolls for $1 at Dollar Tree.)
  • stamp or paint materials (see list above)
  • plastic table cloth or shower curtain
  • baby wipes (or wet wash cloths)
  • paint (We use washable. We have also used markers, crayons, colored pencils, & stickers.)  We have these Crayola paints-they rock! (We got a great deal on them at Discount School Supply-click on that image to save too!)

Save on Crayola!

boys making DIY gift wrap

boys making DIY gift wrap
DIY Gift Wrap–drying outside on deck

boys making DIY gift wrap
Smiley adding finishing touches on his DIY Gift Wrap

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Have you created your own gift wrap? If so, what materials have you used? Share your ideas and experiences in the comment section below!

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