Print your own wrapping paper

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most satisfying.

print your own wrapping paper
Why not?

I always find it really hard to find nice wrapping paper – and when I do, I’m then completely shocked at the cost of it. You frequently pay a fiver just to buy some paper to put a present in that will immediately get thrown into the bin once it’s unwrapped. (Don’t even get me started on the cost of cards…)

I used to get round the problem by saving wrapping paper on presents given to me and then reusing it. Now, I still think this is a good idea in principle (just think of the trees, man) but I fear not many others agree with me, and I end up looking like a bit of a cheapskate when friends unwrap presents and find old bits of sellotape still stuck to the inside of the twice used wrapping paper.

But while I was printing out nice images on paper to make my homemade gift box, it suddenly occurred to me that it would also be eminently possible to simply use the paper to wrap presents in the normal way as well.

So ever since then, if I have a small present to give someone, I just find a nice image and print it off to use as wrapping paper.

Print your own wrapping paper
Who wouldn’t want a present wrapped in camels? Or hats? Or leaves?

You couldn’t get a simpler how to than this…

1. Find an image you like. There is a wealth of images that are copyright free and available to use on sites like the Graphics Fairy, Vintage Printable and Clip Art etc.

If you like the ones I’ve used; my camel is from Clip Art etc, my leaves are from the Graphics Fairy and my hats are from Vintage Printable.

2. If the image you like is just a small one (like my camel) you can copy and paste a few onto one page. I use Powerpoint to do this (a deeply embarrassing confession, I know…) If the image is already as you want it, you can skip straight ahead to:

3. Print the image!

4. Wrap up present.

Homemade leaf wrapping paper
This leaf wrapping paper is my favourite of them all

I couldn’t resist adding my little teapot gift tag again, which you might recognise from my experiments with shrink plastic. (Well, I say I “couldn’t resist” adding it, it would be slightly more accurate to say that it was still sewn onto the ribbon which I decided to use and it seemed a lot easier to re-use it than cut it off…)

Homemade leaf wrapping paper
The image is particularly beautiful: a depiction of various different identified leaves

I should say, unless you’ve got an industrial size printer (or utilise one in your office, a trick I used to do a lot until I found myself on maternity leave) you’re obviously only going to get an A4 sheet out of this, which is only big enough for quite small presents.

As the printer paper is a lot thicker than usual wrapping paper, this also works a lot better on square shaped presents, where you can fold in straight lines.

The environmentalist in me wants to print the wrapping paper onto the reverse side of all the various junk mail we get, with endless offers of estate agents wanting to sell our house. However, I suspect that adds a cheapskate element to any present that would be even greater than re-using some other wrapping paper.

Homemade hat wrapping paper
I’ve only just realised I clearly have a thing for different artefacts all labelled. Instead of leaves, this time hats

{Regular readers will notice absolutely nothing new in this photo above. I’ve used the hat image before as an envelope liner when I was making my own bookplates. And there’s also a how to for stamping your own gift tags.}

So, there you have it. Simple, cheap and an infinite number of options to create absolutely any wrapping paper that you can think of… This really was one of those “why didn’t I think of that before?” moments.

Related articles:

  • If you want to hand create all of your wrapping needs, check out my tutorials on stamping your own gift labels, making your own gift box and making shrink plastic gift tags. Now, if I could just figure out how to weave my own ribbons from spider’s thread I’d never need to go to the shops again…
  • That’s the wrapping paper sorted, but what about the presents? I’ve got various articles and ideas for homemade presents in my category called, wait for it, homemade presents.
  • For more wrapping ideas, take a look at my Pinterest board Wrap it up

Linking this up at  Serenity Now, the Shabby Nest, Beyond the Picket Fence, the Shabby Creek Cottage, Skip to my Lou, Sew Can Do and the Graphics Fairy.

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11 thoughts on “Print your own wrapping paper

  1. Very clever and pretty.
    If I got a gift from you that was printed on the other side of junk mail I would think how clever of you not to sacrifice trees. Don’t worry about being thrifty ; )

    1. Thanks Melissa! Yes, you could pretty much do anything you fancy… I’m already imagining some present-related wrapping paper: pictures of books for a book, wine bottles for wine, clothes for clothes!

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