Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Christmas Craft: Special Gift Wrappers

Christmas comes very early in this part of the world. Last year, in anticipation of a December birth, I yielded to the blaring holiday songs and embarked on a Christmas craft project in September: homemade gift wrappers. It was a fun and frugal activity that fascinated my then two-and-a-half year old daughter.I am happy to share it with you today.


  • Manila paper 
  • Pattern paper - thinner than manila paper but nicer looking; available at all National Bookstores
  • Construction paper or any other paper you might have or want to use
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Watercolor and other painting materials
  • Different objects to make patterns with, such as round plastic cups to make circles with
  • Scissors
  • Glue
Most importantly, though, you would need:
  • An open heart that will accept whatever your child will make, no matter how different it is from your notions of beauty and order!



  • Choose a paper
  • Choose a coloring material
  • Let your child go wild!
  • If you use watercolor, make sure to let the paper dry first before lifting it up
  • Some designs:
    • Handprint, footprint
    • Faces
    • Whole body -- You can most probably trace your child's whole body on one sheet of manila paper
    • Connected dots -- It's a game! Draw some dots in any shape and let your child connect them
    • Different shapes
    • Plain scribbles 
    • Brush strokes
    • Pieces of art paper glued to the wrapper
  • For gift cards:
    • Cut some construction papers and fold into gift cards
    • If you have already introduced the alphabet, ask your child to identify the first letter of a recipient's name and write the letter in dashes
    • Ask your child to trace the letter 
    • Let your child dictate a message for you to write
Little T's cousin PJ actually looks a bit like her drawings :)


  • Cut and wrap as you normally would
  • Let your child glue or tape the gift
  • Let your child glue or tape the gift tag


I decided to make big Christmas boxes to hold all the gifts in because we were done wrapping by November. It looked neater too, under the tree. Here's how:
  • Get or buy an old box from a grocery store 
  • Wrap with any kind of paper. I used Japanese paper.
  • Let your child put some glitter, ribbons, etc


I saved the wrappers we worked on from September until November when we started wrapping. This activity gave us countless hours together on the floor. I look back to those times with fondness and I want to do it again - right now!

Craft paper as gift wrap is definitely more frugal than buying from the store. More than that, homemade gift wrap involves children in the process of gift-giving and allows them to create something while giving them the satisfaction of seeing their work valued. Usually, we relegate our children's early attempts at art as "mess" and throw them away. Here's our chance to showcase their work and let them know we are proud of them and of what they can do. 

I can't wait to start making this year's gift wrappers. Care to share some more ideas?

Make magic!


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1 comment:

Katey (Having Fun at Home) said...

I really like the connected dots idea! I think I would have liked to do that when I was little!