Kids’ artwork = wrapping paper

Child made wrapping paperKids often make a lot of art pieces – often a lot in one art session!

I’ve often heard of people using some of the larger art pieces as wrapping paper. What do you think – is that a good idea?

Artistic wrapping paper is good

I like this idea because:

  • it is bright and cheerful – and stands out under the Christmas tree
  • I like the personal touch over the commercial shiny paper
  • it’s good for the environment to use artwork you already have rather than buy more paper that will just be thrown out. Especially given much of the paper children paint and draw on is recycled in the first place!
  • it’s positive to display their artwork this way, and  negative to just throw out artwork when it builds up
  • children can be very proud of the gift they carry to someone if they see their artwork is on view to all
  • kids learn that their efforts (ie painting in this case) is appreciated and probably given more attention than a shop bought gift

 Artistic paper is cheap

Using your  children’s art work is certainly cheaper than buying rolls of gift wrapping paper – I think that’s a positive as it makes your Christmas budget go further (I could spend $15 on a gift and $5 on wrappings and cards or $20 on a gift, or $15 on a gift and have $5 still in my pocket for necessities).

Yet some people think gifts must have pretty wrapping to pass some unknown standard, so would see ‘cheap’ wrappings as a negative.

Do you think kids artwork is a cheap cop-out for gifts or something good?

Are there other negatives of using artwork this way?

Have you ever received a gift wrapped this way – did you like it? How did others respond to it?


64 Responses to Kids’ artwork = wrapping paper

  • tajnz says:

    I don’t think parents or grandparents should use artwork their child or grandchilden has given them as wrapping paper for other peoples gifts. However I think it’s a neat idea to get giant pieces of white paper for kids to decorate as wrapping paper for family and friends each Christmas. 🙂

  • Santa's Elf says:

    I have done that – ie given the kids paper and asked them to actually make wrapping paper.
    I have also used their other artwork for wrapping paper – never anything they have ‘given’ me, just off the pile of paintings they’ve done – usually I ask before it goes in the wrappng pile though to be sure it isn’t a special one. And they’ve always grinned with pride when I’ve done it.

  • Mays says:

    Yes, using our children’s art work is certainly cheaper than buying rolls of gift wrapping paper

  • I think this is a very nice idea, especially if the gift is from the child. It adds a special touch. It makes the kids proud of their work, too.

    I’ve done some variations on this theme. I’ve let the kids create their own wrapping paper. I’ve let them decorate a box that was too big to wrap with markers and stickers. This can occupy them for hours.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      That’s a great idea, FamilyTreeClimber – the kids would love decorating the box (I know my littlies adore boxes and anythign to do with them! The biggest issue would be stopping them opening the box as they’re curious!) and it is an interesting looking gift at the end, too.

  • TabithaW says:

    I like the idea. I think I would let the kids know before they make the art, how it is going to be used. If they see their art getting shredded Christmas morning there very well may be a melt down.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I agree with letting them know but from watching my kids (and niece and nephew) they’re way to pre-occupied on Christmas morning to care less about what happens to used papers…

  • beyre says:

    Like others have mentioned, I would not use current artwork to wrap gifts with. I love the idea of providing them with clean white paper and let them create their own holiday gift wrapping paper!

  • GigBiz says:

    I remember having so much fun in kindergarten making our own wrapping paper with drawings, stickers and paintings of Santa and Rudolf (I was never any good at the actual wrapping part, though 😛 )

    If I have children some day – and I desperately hope I do – I’ll be sure to teach them the fun and creativity, not to mention the money you can save, by making your own, personal wrapping paper 😀

    • Santa's Elf says:

      What a great kinder to encourage making wrapping paper. You’ve just remidneed me that my eldest made a wrapping envelope at kinder, too – that’s what her Christmas present to us was in (the present was made by the kidner teachers – a calendar of the child’s best artworks – ‘best’ defined by the child). She was just as proud of that paper as of the gift inside and I loved both!

      I hope you get that wish, GigBiz, and enjoy making wrapping paper with your kids.

  • Metarex says:

    That sounds like a great idea though I think one has to be careful what you choose to be the wrapping paper since you never know if you want it back later. 🙂 Still it’s a nice idea and a good way to encourage creativity for the kids while not having to spend money.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Hehehe, I’ve never received my kids’ paper back as gift wrapping! But to be honest, it wouldn’t upset me as I prefer recycling over creating new paper.

  • guesthere says:

    This is a seriously genius idea. I don’t have any kids but I, personally, like to be as minimalistic as possible and this makes so much sense. I’ll most likely share this with the people I love that have kids so they can employ it! It’s an awesome idea and had never thought it; Thank you…

  • guesthere says:

    PS. Someone also mentioned to be careful about the art used, which is a good idea. Best to ask the child if their artwork can be used. From the babies I’ve encountered, they’re all pretty willing to give and do creative things like this. Either that –or they could care less 🙂 Cheers!

  • Waynefire says:

    I have never really considered using the kids paper as wrapping paper before. This Christmas I may have my kids wrap their brother or sisters present in this type of paper. Then I do not have to be worried about the hassle of finding a wrapping paper of them which does not look the same as Santa’s.

  • ACSAPA says:

    I agree with another poster, I would never use artwork that my kid carefully and lovingly made for me, to wrap Christmas presents. But I think it’s a great idea to take a cheap roll of brown Kraft paper or big sheets of white paper and let kids get creative, as long as they know it’s going to be used to wrap gifts.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Getting them to deliberately make it as wrapping paper also keeps them busy, encourages creativity (which is a good thing to my thinking) and teaches them the fun of making to give, so it’s all good, ACSAPA.

  • ACSAPA says:

    I wouldn’t want to use artwork that was carefully and lovingly made for me, to wrap gifts. But I like the idea of handing my kid a roll of brown Kraft paper and saying “Let’s make some gift wrap.”

  • psmith140 says:

    Whilst using your childrens artwork for wrapping paper is probably cheaper then shop bought wrapping paper, it is also true that it is a lot more brighter and creative then shoup bought wrapping paper! I am getting really bored of the commercialisation of christmas, and the plain repetitive stamps on our wrapping paper. Will definetely be doing this with my kids this christmas! Thanks!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Yes, if we let kids be creative they reward us with colour and interest, don’t they? A pile of artwork-wrapped gifts makes a Chrisatmas tree very colourful and exciting!

  • ACSAPA says:

    I apologize for the double post. I guess my original post was being moderated. I read a tip that you can use to save money on wrapping, and you can use it along with your kid’s hand drawn wrapping paper. If you have a couple of old VHS tapes that you don’t watch anymore, you can take out the screws and you’ll find the videotape spools inside. You can then use a scissor to curl the tape ribbon and use it as curling ribbon to wrap gifts. The designer who posted this tip loved it so much that he actually ran out of VHS tapes and had to go to yard sales and thrift stores to get old videotapes for cheap ribbon. It looks pretty, actually, when you curl it and no one would look at it and think “recycled VHS tapes”.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      NO problems, ACSAPA (we do moderate psots here just to ensure everything stays family friendly and friendly, which sometimes means posts are delayed a little especially if you live in a different tiem zone to me!)

      Curled VHS tape is novel – I love the recycling aspect of it, too. You could do the same thing with old casette tapes too (and old computer tapes I guesss but I’ve never used them to be sure).

  • ACSAPA says:

    I had one more thought about gift wrapping paper that I just remembered. When I buy Christmas wrap for the following year at 75% off, I always buy colors that are NOT specifically for Christmas. Like pale blue Hello Kitty, pink Barbie or mint green Tinkerbell. The reason I do this is so that I can use the paper for birthdays, baby showers or any special day. I never have to go out and buy gift wrap at the last minute and no one has complained yet that Hello Kitty and Barbie are wearing snowsuits.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Buying wrapping paper rather than Christmas paper is nice, simple and practical, ACSAPA. I like it 🙂

      I tend to avoid themed paper during the year – ie not ‘happy birthday’ or ‘congratulations’ – so my stock can be used for whatever arises, but I admit I do use Christmas paper specifically.

  • ACSAPA says:

    In answer to your last post, technically I do buy Christmas gift wrap , but I buy the least Christmas-y Christmas paper I can find, like pink Disney princesses so I can use it year round.

  • streakanime says:

    I think I prefer gift boxes or gift bags. Just because I really stink and wrapping presents. 😀 It never turns out pretty. Then, it makes me really angry when my fiance wraps something. He is real OCD about it and it has to be perfect. So, his always look all pretty.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      hehehe – sorry I probably shouldn’t laugh but you have provided a lovely picture there 🙂

      Gift boxes and bags are quick and easy – and no one frowns when you reuse them (try collecting wrapping paper though!) Gifts artwork doesn’t always fold around gifts as easily as commercial wrapping paper so those gifts often look less neat anyway.

      But I think the solution is obvious, streakanime – let your finace wrap all the presents! Well, except the ones you give him of course!

  • JoshTheBoss says:

    What a cute idea!

  • Laura says:

    That is actually a great idea. I work with three children and they LOVE to paint/drawn; The only problem is that with end up with so many sheets and I don’t like to throw it in the bin. I think i am going to keep the idea for next Christmas

  • Laura says:

    Streakanime : I am really bad at wrapping gifts also, but now it’s almost a part of Christmas tradition, food, Christmas tree, and Laura’s badly wrapped gifts 😀

  • Fren says:

    It’s a brilliant idea – not only does it entertain the children but it also creates opportunities to talk about Christmas and gift-giving in general. Parcels wrapped by children – with all the un-eveness and crinkled corners – are delightful. How much more so if the paper design is also made by the same child?

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I like your thinking, Fren 🙂 Getting many benefits out of a simple activity shows it is a good thing to do with kids – they have fun, get creative, work together and learn things. And the final result can give pleasure to others – a win for everyone really 🙂

  • FlipKup says:

    I really do prefer gift bags to normal wrapping paper! This may be partially due to my inability to actually wrap a present myself… However, my girlfriend is exceptional at making all the proper folds, bow knots, and colour decisions – so every gift we give is much more beautiful wrapped than unwrapped! (most of them at least!)

    As for using childrens artwork, I’d have to ask her, but we could give it a go 🙂

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Thanks for your honest comment FlipKup:)

      It is sometimes very hard to unwrap a gorgeous gift as it feels like you should just appreciate how it looks – no matter how good the inside gift, it foten doesn’t look as impressive!

  • streakanime says:

    Baha. No worries, if someone else handed me a present that looked like mine do after I am done wrapping them, I would probably laugh too. I’m not sure how much my husband (we got married since the last time I’ve been here, haha) would appreciate always having to do the wrapping! Might be more fun to get something he really wants and have him wrap it and tell him it is for my dad or one of my brothers…. I think that would work the first year, haha!

    I agree Fren, nothing wrong with finding a way to entertain children while also getting some work done.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Congratulations on getting married streakanime! I hope you had a lovely day and wish you well for a great future.

      I love the sneakiness of getting him to unknowingly wrap his own gift 🙂

      It doesn’t always happen, but I quite enjoy the nights where my husband and I wrap gifts together. I sort gifts into piles (ie putting thigns together for the right people, even if a pile has only one thing in it!), he cuts paper to suit, I wrap it and he writes a tag and sticks it on. It’s nice doing it doing together and I get help without making him actually wrap presents (not his preferred activity!)

  • stephanie says:

    This is a great idea! I think this would be great to wrap grandparents, uncles, or mom and dads presents.
    I save pretty much every artwork my son does so I will have plenty to use come christmas!

  • thousandtrees says:

    There are also some great online tutorials for DIY bows, which can be so much fun to work on with kids. It’s a great art project and relatives will always exclaim over them which gives kids a great big glow!

  • pocs says:

    The kids artwork wrapping paper is great! I would save pieces of each little artists masterpieces and frame them to make cute little holiday wall hangings, place cards for the dinner table or name adorable name tags for presents.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Your list of ideas and experiences is fantastic pocs! Your family and friends are treated to so much Christmas joy in your home, it sounds just lovely.

  • gerkmeister says:

    I don’t think it’s a cop-out to have kids make their own wrapping paper. Get a roll of white paper and make it a Christmas project for the kids to draw or paint their own wrapping. You could even get some stamps (to stamp with ink or paint) and the kids could stamp holiday related designs on the paper like pine trees, snowmen or stars.

  • Magic Pixel says:

    Just a moment ago I mentioned this under an earlier post about kids’ handmade wrapping paper. I personally love them. We used to make them as children, it was a lot of fun, we felt our creativity appreciated and it’s a better way for children to make someone feel they love them.

  • pocs says:

    I’ve also grown to like the gift bags, you can get the plain old brown sack types on the Internet at really low prices. Color or spruce them up for any occasion let alone Christmas.

  • This is a really great activity that my children will enjoy doing. Thanks a lot for sharing this idea to me and to everyone else.

  • GaryG says:

    I think this is a great idea. We probably won’t be doing this any time soon — Our kids already make handmade cards & labels, and many of the gifts we give are handmade as well (candles, cookies, etc.), so I’m afraid that homemade gift paper may be a bit much to ask for. 🙂

  • Trissandra says:

    I think it’s just sweet when a child gives you a present which he or she wrapped in paper himself/herself. Children love preparing gifts and using an artistic paper is a great fun for them 🙂

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I love watching them put so much care and love into preparing a gift or wrapping paper and then proudly presenting it to someone special, and I think most people do appreciate that.

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