Did you know that most commercially-produced wrapping paper cannot be recycled? Things that make it look more festive to our eyes on Christmas morning, like sparkling glitter or an attractive sheen are intact evidence of mixed materials that mean the paper in the wrap cannot be recycled. And with the big rolls available for so little money, who even takes the trouble to save their wrapping paper to be used again next year?


We hope that by crafting your own handmade wrapping paper, you'll produce a DIY wrapping paper that can is well worth saving and using again and again! The DIY wrapping paper is made using craft stencils and acrylic paint, to produce beautiful handmade wrapping paper that can easily be recycled but also deserves to be reused next year, too!

Handmade wrapping paper materials

  • Acrylic paint
  • Stencilling brush or sponge
  • Christmas-themed crafting stencils
  • White paper
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil and scissors
  • Plain paper and cellophane
  • Luggage tags
  • Ribbon or twine
handmade wrapping paper tree

How to make handmade wrapping paper

Step 1

Put one of your stencils onto white paper and trace around the edge of the stencil. Cut out the area inside the outline, creating an aperture that’s about 5mm smaller than the stencil but the same shape. This is your mask.

Step 2

Place the stencil over the aperture and use masking tape to stick it to the mask all around the edge. Turn it over and you’re ready to go.

Step 3

Dab a small amount of acrylic paint onto your stencilling brush or sponge and do a couple of practice dabs on some scrap paper to remove any excess paint. (If there’s too much paint on the brush it could bleed under the edges of the stencil.)

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Step 4

Now place your stencil on to your plain wrapping paper and dab the paint through it. Hold the stencil firm as you apply the paint – if it moves, the design will smudge.

Step 5

Once you’ve covered the whole stencil with paint, gently lift it up. Repeat in rows to build up a pattern. Leave to dry for 30 minutes.

Step 6

Wrap your gifts and add ribbon or trims to suit your style!

You can use this technique to stencil patterns onto cellophane that you can layer over plain or stencilled brown paper. Try decorating gift bags and cardboard tags too.

DIY wrapping paper

More Christmas crafts

We have plenty ore festive projects for you to try here on Gathered! Take a look at our How to make a Christmas wreath tutorial or mark 2020 by sewing a Christmas face mask.

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