Paint & Fold: A Last Minute Gift Wrap Idea

This post is from our contributor FP Naomi.

What a beautiful thing that today’s culture dedicates a whole season to gift giving. It is a time to think, not about what we need, but about what we can give to others. I love coming up with fun new ways to package these parcels of generosity. My most recent is one you can do with items laying around the house. It adds interest, and shows that you really put some thought and care into the present you are about to hand over.

With both ideas, you’ll ultimately end up using the same technique, but the paper treatments are very different. In look one, you’ll see a watercolor effect put into action, while in look two, I show a festive brushed technique. In the end, you’ll fold the papers before wrapping them around the gift. The simple folds add a nice pop when all is said and done.

Look 1

homemade gift wrap

Take a large piece of paper (*Please note, when selecting paper you should use a piece that is larger than expected for the gift you plan to wrap. When folding at the end, it will shrink in size). Using a wet brush, wet the middle portion of the paper, leaving both ends dry.

homemade gift wrap

Now, with paint on your brush, paint over the wet area. Taking a really wet brush to where the paint stops, drag the color pigment out even farther towards the edge of your paper. Keep dipping in water as you go, so that the color is very diluted and extra water sits on top of the paper.

homemade gift wrap

Fold paper in half over a line, and let it hang to dry. The wet portions will continue to drip down the paper, and give you a nice effect. Be sure to place something like a towel underneath to catch any drips that end up on the floor.

Look 2

homemade gift wrap

Using an old toothbrush and some gold paint, make lines of X’s across your paper. It is best to use minimal water, so that the look has more of a dry brush look. Let it dry.


homemade gift wrap

Lay your dry paper over the gift to figure out where you want the folds to be. Once you’ve decided, accordion fold the paper in the place where you’d like them to lay. Wrap the folded paper around your gift, adorn with any ribbons or trimmings that you’d like, and you’re good to go!

homemade gift wrap

Happy Holidays!

Check out Naomi’s blog Numie Abbot.

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10 years ago

I always make my own wrapping paper. :) really cute!

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10 years ago

this is a genius idea! xo

10 years ago

Oh my gosh, this is BEAUTIFUL! Handmade is always awesome.

10 years ago

I made a bunch of these the other day!!! I had so much fun crafting and painting. Thanks for the cool idea! You can see my creations on my instagram @sapphirexpit

Rachel Bell
10 years ago

Wow this is an awesome idea. I actually just ordered some custom wrapping paper that I hope I can use this season.