Kaspar's friend Tessa is turning two, and her birthday party is this afternoon. She loves books and animals, so Aaron went out this morning to choose a book (about animals) for her at our local bookshop, while Kaspar and I stayed home and created some DIY up-cycled gift wrap. 

The inspiration for this project came from  Creative Carmella, but, while I think Carmella's painted photo canvases turned out quite chic and modern, we went for a more rustic, free-form (read: made by a two-year-old) look with our gift wrap. Kaspar, for his part, found his zen of toilet paper roll stamping; he became so absorbed in this activity that we busted out a full five "sheets" of gift wrap -- which I'll no doubt use for holiday gifts in December -- before lunch time. When we'd finished, he admired his work and said, "Tessa will love that I made this." I love that he said that. I also love that we found an awesome use for our rather large stash of paper grocery bags. (I always bring a few of these -- and some canvas bags -- to the store with us, but we somehow always return home with more...)
Want to make some gift wrap, too? Cool. You'll need:

  • Paper grocery bags
  • Cardboard toilet paper rolls
  • Ink pads (we used one that's multi-colored)

For each sheet of wrap, I cut one of the paper bag's corners (where it folds) lengthwise, and then cut out the rectangle bottom (the part that sits on the floor when the bag is full of stuff.) I then trimmed the sheets to what looked like a good size, and lay the bag flat on our kitchen table, print side down. Next, Kaspar simply pressed one end of the toilet paper roll onto the ink pad, and stamped its shape (a circle) onto the bag. Over and over and over again. (Ommmm.)

And here's Tessa's gift!
I love the handmade look! Kaspar's proud of his work, too. Thumbs up all around; this was a cheap and easy project that I can see working well for kids of all ages. (I'll admit I got my toilet paper stamping zen on, too.) Definitely sibling-friendly, and a nice way to save some trees during the holiday season. 

What do you think? Love it? Are you digging back through your recycling bin? What are some other green gift wrapping ideas?
11/04/2012 13:15

I love it! What a great idea. But did you make the card that can be planted? How did you do that? We bought a book last year at christmas that came with a book mark that we planted this spring. It grew some pretty flowers, my 5 year old was thrilled!

11/04/2012 15:21

Hi Cherie! I bought the paper the card is made from; it's from Green Field Paper Company (http://www.greenfieldpaper.com/AWSCategories/c/71/GROW-A-NOTE®%20PLANTABLE%20SEED%20PAPER). All of its ingredients are recycled and it does indeed produce beautiful wildflowers when planted! I actually purchased a package of the paper on large sheets a full two years ago, for holiday cards, and I still haven't made my way through all of it. I love the way it looks and I use it for birthday cards all the time, especially for kids. :-)

11/04/2012 19:31

That is way better than the "here, scribble on this paper with a crayon and we'll call it wrapping paper" thing we do. The present is so pretty!

11/09/2012 12:36

Haha! I love scribble gift wrap!

11/11/2012 03:30

love this idea - I always feel awful when I see the pile of wrapping paper that is just thrown in the trash during the holidays.


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