This year, I have made a commitment to myself to not go overboard; My family will not let consumerism consume our holidays. So far, we’ve sourced our own Christmas tree and made homemade Christmas decorations. We’ve gifted baked goods, and jams and added a personal touch to every gift. When I came across a fresh roll of recyclable kraft paper in my Christmas bin, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to have some fun with my toddler and create a beautiful, unique mess.  We broke out the paints and the markers and made hand-painted wrapping paper! The results were easy, fun and totally “Pinterest-worthy” if I do say so myself.

I would consider myself a pretty thrifty person.  With a complete obsession for vintage clothing, trinkets, art and all other old-world oddities, a full day of thrift store hopping hunting for deals and treasures is my idea of the perfect “Mommy’s day out”. Part of this obsession steams from an appreciation for the unique things you can find, the other part comes from enjoying helping the planet in some small way.

Since having a child, I find myself moving away from thrifting and instead I am regularly searching online for the trendiest outfits, the best toys and educational games. So, this year, my family is making an effort to reuse and repurpose things we already have lying around the house or the holidays. This doesn’t mean I will be regifting toys to my son that he already owns (although I am not above that). It does mean that I will be reimagining old décor, reusing old boxes, and not going overboard with buying. Placing constraints like this on oneself may seem limiting, but it actually gives way to so many opportunities to be creative.

My toddler is currently obsessed with cars, trucks and Cocomelon. I am always trying to find new ways to connect with him and overt his attention away from screens. Being a painter, I love when he observes me in my studio and asks to create along side of me.  These are the moments I treasure the most, because we are both genuinely enjoying what we are doing together- I am not just pasting on an enthusiastic smile while reluctantly playing trucks (if you know you know).

wrapping paper

Hand-Painted Wrapping Paper


  • Kraft paper
  • Paints, crayons, markers, gel pens, etc
  • Tape
  • Twine or ribbon

Step 1:

Find a flat surface (we used our kitchen table) and unroll the kraft paper, securing the corners with tape so it doesn’t roll back up on itself.

Step 2:

Choose a colour palette. We chose greens, purples, and blacks. I am actively trying to avoid red in my Christmas decor this year, and it has been difficult. It is really something I have to be aware of, but being intentional about a colour palette helps to create the appearance of a well thought out design. I laid out only the materials that fit within my chosen colour palette.

Step 3:

We really embraced an abstract approach when choosing a design. This made it more fun for both my son and I. I wasn’t feeling overly ridged about directing him, it was all about having fun and experimenting. My advise is to observe the patterns that your child is drawn to creating and carry that same pattern throughout the paper. For example -My son is really into practicing his shapes right now, particularly circles. With this in mind, I observed his mark making and copied some of his designs through the paper to create a unified design.

Step 4:

If you have a young child, be sure to move them around the paper so their attention is distributed throughout the roll.

Step 5:

After you allow the wrapping paper to dry, cut the roll and wrap your presents as usual. Add some ribbon or string to give it a little extra.

I think hand-painted wrapping paper will become a new holiday tradition in our household. It adds that prefect personal touch to each gift. Watch our painting journey here. Happy Creating!

We would love to see your designs! Tag us on instagram @familyfunyhz and we will share your creations.