Wrap Stars

HandsOn3-dec15A recipe for DIY wrapping paper that makes the packaging as sweet as the gift inside.

by amber gauntlett

You don’t have to resort to last year’s leftovers when it comes to gift wrapping. Add some playfulness to this busy season, and get out of your wrapping rut by teaming up with your kids for this colorful homemade wrapping paper craft. Simple household objects can go a long way with a little stamping, rolling and your kid’s creative eye.

At Smartypants, we embrace messy to make way for kids’ creative freedom and carefree family memories. This holiday activity is easy to plan, simple to execute, and quick to clean up — you can enjoy every moment and end up with the prettiest presents to boot!



Rolling pin
Wax paper
Foam shape stickers
Water-soluble block-printing ink (you can use washable paint, but it will be more slippery).
Tray, such as an old cookie sheet, or newspaper taped down to the table
Large pieces of white paper, butcher paper, paper shopping bags, or the backside of old wrapping paper


HandsOn2.5-dec151. Wrap the rolling pin in wax paper. Secure it with tape.

2. Peel the backing off of the foam stickers and arrange the stickers onto the rolling pin. Keep them evenly spaced and alternate with different sizes.


3. Squeeze a little ink into the tray. Using the brayer, smooth an even layer of ink around the tray.

4. Lightly roll the rolling pin through the ink to coat the foam shapes.

5. Roll the rolling pin across the paper.

6. Allow the ink to dry before wrapping your gifts.

Helpful Hints

Looking for a slightly simpler method? Skip the rolling pin and use a wine cork, pencil eraser, or cut-up sponges dipped in paint as stamps instead. If you’re really pressed for time, put out some paints and paper and let your kids go wild, bare handed. Finger paintings make charming wrapping paper when tied up with coordinating ribbon.

Try topping your gifts with a doily, paper snowflake, pom poms, short leafy branch or a stick of cinnamon.

To tie up your gift you can use ribbon, twine, strips of fabric or thick yarn. We love using patterned washi tape, too!

Amber Gauntlett
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