Action painting homemade wrapping paper

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We've been having fun making our own wrapping paper this month with a variety of tools and techniques.


The playdough tools, especially the texture rolling pins, are great for making repeat designs. If you don't have something similar, you can wrap string around a regular rolling pin (or cardboard tube or tin can) to create a pattern roller.


Here Marlise and Maia are rolling designs with green tempera paint over a long sheet of paper (from the easel roll) that I had taped down to the studio table.


This, I think, was the favorite, though. The girls dipped a length of yarn in paint, then each holding an end, swatted it up and down on the paper, jiggled it around, and generally had fun creating designs on the paper with the paint-covered yarn.


Other action painting ideas for making your own wrapping paper?

  • Try bubble painting.
  • Paint with toy car wheels or action figure feet.
  • Swat with a pine bough dipped in paint.
  • Drum with paint covered hands.

And, for more traditional DIY wrapping paper?

Any other ideas?

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  1. says

    Holy cow, Jean! The girls’ yarn painting technique is one of the coolest team art processes I’ve seen in a long time. It might be too late to make holiday paper for us, but it looks like good messy any time fun. I think the kids at Woodland Park are going to love this.

  2. says

    How about playing a game of chase where you each have a marker? We also like gluing random shapes (and all the scraps) onto paper, drawing little pictures and shapes, and stickering. :)

  3. Barbara Zaborowski says

    We’ve done yarn painting for years with one child holding both ends of a shorter piece of yarn. I’m ashamed to say we never thought of doing it as a team. I LOVE IT!! We’ll be doing that for sure right after we get back from winter break! Thanks so much, Jean, for the great idea!

  4. Padma says

    cool idea Jean…hand made gift wrap is unique and special to the recipient….I am a regular reader of your blog..creative and inspiring…wish you and your family a warm holiday!

  5. Emma says

    LOVE that there’s paint on your floor – I know, odd comment, but it shows how much fun you guys have! :)

  6. Agnes says

    We just made wrapping paper today as part of our Advent activity calendar! We painted with tempera paint and brushes, but next year, we’ll try yarn and our playdough rollers–great idea, Jean!

  7. Carly says

    We love to paint with sponges, feathers, pipe cleaners and cars. Oh, and hands. We always seem to end with hands.

  8. jwg says

    Try different width rubber bands around a rolling pin, cylindrical block or paper towel tube. Also, printing with seasonal, or not, cookie cutters.

  9. Catherine says

    Our Son used golf balls to paint with to create wrapping paper one Christmas at preschool. It turned out so cute!