You can do a lot more with wrapping paper than just wrap gifts. Wrapping paper comes in so many colors, patterns and themes, it seems almost cruel to relegate it to something that will just get torn up in the gift-giving frenzy. I have used wrapping paper in a lot of creative home décor and craft projects in my day – some involve the wrapping paper straight off the roll and others scraps. Open those presents wrapped in gorgeous paper carefully at your next gift-giving event. You can use that leftover paper in ways you never thought of!
One of my favorite collections is my vintage wrapping paper. I have some from as far back as the ’40s. My paternal grandmother and great-aunts are who I inherited my love of scrap crafting from. They saved and reused everything. I have small bits of Christmas wrapping from my 76-year-old father’s childhood. I couldn’t bear to throw the pieces away so instead I thought of a way to showcase this precious memory and the rest of my collection. An advent calendar gave me the perfect opportunity to upcycle 25 of my favorite wrapping paper scraps. Check out the full tutorial on my blog to make your own. Don’t have vintage wrapping paper? No worries. You can make one with the scraps from this year’s paper. This is also a great idea for a child’s birthday advent calendar. Save the wrapping paper from their next party to use on an advent for next year!
Sometimes the images on wrapping paper are so cute you want to wear them and share them with the world. Enter a plain pair of earrings and decoupage. Any kind of paper, including wrapping paper, can easily be converted into jewelry. I have used wrapping paper to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches and more. The same technique also works great for the ever-popular glass marble magnet. Hit the wrapping paper, jewelry and craft aisles on your next trip to Tuesday Morning to gather all your supplies in one place.
Wrapping Paper Wreath
Another way to showcase a collection of wrapping paper is through a wreath. It’s the same concept as the advent (wrapping squares of cardboard), only this time larger. I used a Hula-Hoop as my wreath base, but the paper squares could be added to any ready-made wreath. Check out my full tutorial here.
Wallpaper With Wrapping Paper
Need some temporary and cheap wallpaper? Why not use wrapping paper? This typically involves using wrapping paper by the roll rather than just scraps, but the end result is so fun and fabulous and oodles cheaper than real wallpaper. When I recently had to cover the wall in a space for my holiday pop-up shop, I turned to a fabulous metallic striped wrapping paper. The shiny gold instantly gave my plain white walls a fresh, chic feel. Wrapping paper also makes a great backdrop for photo booths at a party or family gathering.
There are a lot more choices of wrapping paper than there are table runners in the world. Not to mention the cleanup with wrapping paper (toss in the recycling bin) is a lot easier than laundering, pressing and folding a runner. A clever friend recently invited me to a dinner party and she had the most fabulous layered table runner. On closer inspection, I realized the table runner was actually two different sized rolls of wrapping paper.
When I have run out of art paper for my children and they are in the mood to paint big, I have been known to roll out the wrapping paper. Most wrapping paper is white on the backside and perfect for drawing. You can see from the picture my kids don’t mind working on the printed side, either. When the holidays are over, if you have tons of seasonal wrapping paper leftover that you don’t want to store, hand it over to the kids and watch them get crafty.
Scrapbooking or Art Journaling
Wrapping paper makes a great addition to scrapbooks and art journals. Small scraps are often the perfect size for Project Life journaling cards. If you are doing a scrapbooking layout about Christmas or a birthday, adding pieces of wrapping paper are a great way to add details and memories. Wrapping paper designs easily compete with all the gorgeous patterned scrapbooking paper on the market.
At your next gift-giving event, you are going to be begging everyone to open their gifts with the precision of a surgeon. Almost any type of paper craft can also be done with wrapping paper – better yet, with used wrapping paper. Create cards for next Christmas (it is never too early to get a jump start), make an origami bouquet, cover a small tin, make a bookmark … the list is as long as your imagination and your supply of wrapping paper.