How to Make Fancy Customizeable Recycled Wrapping Paper

Introduction: How to Make Fancy Customizeable Recycled Wrapping Paper

Last year I, being a poor college art student; decided to make recycled wrapping paper out of various things I had lying around. To my surprise I found it could be easy, reasonably cheap, and way cooler. This instructable will show you just how awesome recycled wrapping paper can be.

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Step 1: Supplies

You will need

Brown paper or Brown paper bags (I have a roll of brown paper but, I know that you can actually opt at most grocery stores for them to bag your groceries in paper bags.)
Tissue paper (This can usually be found in packages at the dollar store for pretty cheap)
Glue (Any glue or paste will work)
A paint brush or craft sponge
Small container (to keep your water/paste in)
Markers/crayons/pens/twine (for added decorative purposes)

Cool tunes to craft to
I also like to use old sheet music or funny papers from the newspaper. Any small scraps of things should work.
Spray fixative (and possibly an open space)

Step 2: Cut the Paper

So first you need to cut your brown paper/paper bags

The key is to make sure that you can wrap your gift with the amount of paper that you have.

Step 3: Glue and Water

Next you will mix together the glue and water. I find that the best combination for me is something like two parts water one part glue. Other variations however do sometimes work. You just want to make sure that the glue is not to runny. You can use your paintbrush or craft sponge to stir the glue water.

Step 4: Cut Out Holiday Shapes

Using the tissue paper cut out holiday shapes. I like to cut out tree shapes for christmas presents and Stars and dredel shapes for hanukkah. Also you want to leave some tissue paper that you can just tear in big pieces to make funky cool designs.

Step 5: The Sometimes Tough Part

Cover one whole side of your brown paper with the glue/water combo using your paintbrush. If your brown paper has a design on it use the backside. Make sure not to get the paper too wet.

Step 6: Arrange the Tissue

Now you will lay the tissue paper pieces and shapes in patterns over the brown paper. The water/glue substance makes the tissue paper very see through so overlapping is cool and encouraged. Also you'll want to put a layer of glue water down over the tissue paper.

Step 7: Let It Dry

I usually let the glue dry over night so that I know it's perfectly dry. If it takes a little bit longer you can blow it with a hair dryer once it's mostly dry. I also like to add a thin layer of spray fixative over it so that none of the tissue paper comes up. Hair spray also sometimes works but can end up sticky if you're not careful.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

I like to decorate my paper even more by drawing holiday pictures or writing holiday wishes this can be done if desired. (Many Hello Kitty pencils were used)

Step 9: To Wrap It Up!

Now all you have to do is go ahead and wrap your presents with it. I like to use double sided tape and twine and also ribbons and bows. Either way I'm sure your friends and relations will love the wrapping paper and be wowed that you made it yourself. Happy Holidays!

Note: This can also be used to decorate a large number of other things. Maybe you could make a cool tree ornament? I recently used this technique in a class project where I made a five foot star fruit out of cardboard.

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    6 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 8

    That's actually a fun abstract wall art project.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This looks good, but it would be even easier to picture it if you could add a photo or two of gifts wrapped in finished paper like this. Thanks!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I'll get those pics as soon as my wrapping is done drying I did sheets and sheets of it last night and added more this morning so it's still a bit wet. Thanks for your suggestions though!