Welcome to the 4th edition of Family Fun Fridays! I’m so glad you could stop by!

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If your family is anything like ours, you need some inexpensive solutions to the “what do we wrap that gift in?!” dilemma. Wrapping paper isn’t soooo expensive, I guess, but it takes some work to use. Gift bags can be recycled, unless you’re on a pitch-and-purge fest that involves getting rid of them (or relocating them to an unsuspecting family member’s basement).

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I have two budding artists in my house and a third on the way. (That third one needs A LOT of guidance, though–he’s just as likely to decorate himself and anything within reach as whatever you want him to color.)

We have an easy source of large paper: my husband is an engineer. All those discarded drawings of buildings and electrical systems and whatever-else-there-is have turned into canvases for many projects.

And a while back it occurred to me that I could combine these two elements–budding artists and large paper–and then use the finished product to wrap the piles of gifts that seem to flow through our house at certain times of the year.

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What you’ll need:

  • Large paper (or a plan to attach smaller pieces together)
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons, paints, etc.
  • People to wield said coloring implements on said paper

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What you do:

  1. Put the paper on a large flat surface (we use the floor or the kitchen table).
  2. Arm the artists with implements of coloring.
  3. Step back and cheer.
Here’s a recent version of wrapping paper my girls made:

As you can see, we were in a bit of a hurry and we keep things pretty simple.

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Some notes from my experience:

If you have a perfectionist in the crowd, ease their mind. This will be used as wrapping paper. You don’t have to have it be perfect–it’s going to get torn up and discarded.

If you’re wrapping a big box, sometimes it’s fun to wrap the gift first and then decorate it. That also makes it possible to make a background or a scene (if your perfectionist I-have-an-idea-in-mind-and-won’t-be-budged participant has it in their mind that it must look a certain particular way).

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Insert some faith (and maybe some stickers or stamps).

Often, we are making wrapping paper for a specific purpose: it’s someone’s birthday or there is a special celebration (First Communion, Confirmation, graduation, Christmas).

Giving is part of our Christianity, isn’t it? We make gifts of our selves to others around us all the time. So why not tie that into making the wrapping paper?

Use special stickers and/or stamps to decorate and highlight the feast at hand. What saint’s day is close by? Does this make you think of a certain Bible story? Do you just want to use pretty pictures of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus?

I’m not such a crafty person, but I have a dusty pile of scrapbooking supplies that would add an element of fun for my girls (and strike fear in my heart should a certain mancub toddler ever find them). And now I’m going to be looking for a way to make this into a “living our faith” sort of exercise as well.

And besides, you can’t get much more “let’s be good stewards” than making your own wrapping paper out of good-on-one-side paper!

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Other ideas and resources you may enjoy:

Can’t wait to see what family fun YOU are up to! Include a link back here, if you would, and enjoy the journey through the other submissions.

This post is also linked to 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.