‘Tis the season to be crafty! I definitely take pleasure in creating things and love the aesthetic of homemade goods, but I also have very little skill and therefore like to keep things at a 3rd grade level. So even if you’re a novice you can do this craft. Really.

It all started about 2 weeks ago while on my quest to start my holiday shopping early this year. A large cardboard box arrived on my doorstep, thanks to a major online retailer, but I found it to be quite poorly packed; the item took up less than half the volume of the box and the rest of the space was occupied by an enormous sheet of brown paper, I’m talking nearly 3 feet wide and 9 feet long! I don’t even understand what purpose the paper was serving; it was not a fragile item (a snowboard bag) and a large sheet of paper would not have protected much of anything from shipping harms. The company didn’t even take the opportunity to brand it – it was completely blank!

Simply tossing such a lovely, large piece of blank paper in the recycling bin seemed an abomination – people pay for paper like this! It was an excellent opportunity in craftiness to be seized, so I got to thinking about the variety of applications it could befit. I already had plans to buy cardstock and rubber stamps to make custom holiday cards so I just extended that stamping to the paper. Lo and behold, custom wrapping paper!

Stamping in progress:

I pre-cut the sheets to the size of the presents and used standard rubberstamps and craft ink pads for these first few sheets. I think in the future I will use a craft paint for a deeper color and longer stamping life.

Wrapped present with a little embellishment:


You’ll notice that the wrapping on the books is a bit more wrinkly than the large box and that’s because I briefly ironed the larger piece. (Warning: be extremely careful when ironing paper! Only do it on a low setting and keep it constantly moving!) I like that the book paper is wrinkly because it brings back memories of my schoolbooks that I [my Mom] used to cover in paper grocery bags. I also really like that each sheet is custom. The recipient of the larger box happened upon my craft table and requested “Penguins only!” and so I was able to fulfill his request…and make a matching card!

Now you too know what to do when the universe (or an online retailer) brings blank, craftable materials to your doorstep.
Carpe diem!

UPDATE: Less than three hours after this post was added another box arrived at my door with an even larger piece of brown paper. It’s not even from the same company! Back to the stamping table for me…

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