DIY Brown Paper Christmas Wrapping Ideas

A selection of DIY wrapping paper ideas made from brown wrapping paper

Get inspiration for the festive season with our gorgeous range of child-friendly and eco-friendly brown paper Christmas wrapping ideas – perfect under the tree!

There’s nothing more magical than a big pile of presents just waiting under the Christmas tree for their time to shine! And while we love all kinds of wrapping, it’s sometimes fun to go back to basics, which is why this year we’re taking you through our favourite brown paper Christmas wrapping ideas.

Potato Print Wrapping Paper

Do you remember this craft from your childhood? It’s the surprisingly simple way to create a gorgeously rustic print all over your wrapping paper!

What you’ll need:

The first step is definitely for adults only!

Cut your potato in half, then draw your design onto one of the sides – you might find you need to dig in to make an impression as it’ll be too wet for ink!

When you’re happy with your design, cut around the edges to 5-10mm depth and discard the pieces that aren’t part of your shape. You don’t want to get rid of everything that isn’t the pattern or you’ll have less to hold onto!

This is the way we did it, but there is another way: by using stencils, you don’t need to work so hard getting the design right! All you need to do is get your stencil and press down hard onto the potato so that it sinks in. Then cut everything around the stencil to a depth of 5-10mm.

You can even use a paper template to get your shape. Draw it out on your piece of paper, then centre the design over your potato. Use a paperclip tip to poke holes along the edges of the design, so that when you remove the paper the outline of the pattern is already there. Take your knife to finish off the design like we did above.

A hand cutting a tree out of a potato which is sat on a white paper plate

Choose the colour for your potato print

We went with a classic green for our Christmas tree, but you can have fun experimenting with different colours! Just remember that you’ll need to print with one colour at a time so you don’t make a horrid brown mess.

Either allow the potato to sit and dry or pat it gently with a paper towel to take off most of the excess moisture. This will make it easier for paint to stick to your potato, and to get more stable images.

You can add paint either by brushing it on with a paintbrush, using a small paint roller, or by squeezing some paint out onto your paper plate and dipping the potato in there.

A tree potato stamp that has been dipped in green paint which is on a white plate

Once the paint is on, you can get printing! Load your potato stencil up with paint and then press it firmly down on the brown paper, holding for 3-5 seconds. Lift off the potato very slowly to avoid smudging, and you should see a perfect replica of your design appear!

Using a potato stamp with green paint on a sheet of brown wrapping paper

It’s totally up to you if you’d rather print the paper before wrapping or after!

Some people find it easier to do after, one you know how much surface area needs to be covered. Others find it difficult to get a consistent pattern when edges are involved and like to print a large flat piece of paper before wrapping. Do what works for you.

And look how beautifully it came out! Perfect with some red paper raffia.

A potato print stamped wrapped present with red raffia around the middle

DIY Christmas Lights Wrapping Paper

Another one for you that the kids will love getting involved in – mostly because it means they can get messy painted fingers! Here’s how we got a beautiful homemade Christmas tree light design on our Kraft brown paper.

You’ll need:

A hand drawing a long wiggly black line onto a sheet of brown wrapping paper

Start by taking your Sharpie or other black pen and drawing a continuous line that loops on itself a few times. This will be MUCH easier to do with the paper lying flat.

Decide which colours you’d like your Christmas lights. We went with red, yellow, blue and green but feel free to do the recipient’s favourite colours – or even your own!

A white plate has four puddles of colourful paint and a thumb is making colourful marks on brown wrapping paper

Empty the paints out onto a paper plate, keeping them all separate. All you need to do now is get the kids to help out by donating their thumb print to the cause!

They need to put their thumb firmly into one of the puddles of paint. Warn them that it’ll probably feel quite cold!

Once they’ve coloured their thumb, guide them in setting their thumb down around where the swirly line you’ve drawn already is. Repeat over and over with different colours until you’ve got what looks like a gorgeous string of lights on your paper!

Writing the phrase "Merry Christmas" on some DIY brown wrapping paper

Use your newly decorated paper to wrap up your gift, then if you like you can choose a coloured Sharpie to draw a special message along one of the strings.

Washi Tape Bunting

Jazz up your plain brown wrapping paper with an adorable string of washi tape bunting! This idea is so silly and cute, but really easy to do – you’ll be hanging washi tape bunting on everything soon!

Things needed to make washi bunting, including a roll of brown wrapping paper, scissors, washi tape and string

You’ll need:

Start by taking a piece of string that’s a little bit longer than the width of your parcel – or alternatively, a few times the width of your parcel for a wrap-around look.

You can lay the string out flat on the table for working, or you could use some washing pegs to hang the string up between two objects and then work along it. This ensures all your flags are hanging the same way!

Hands wrapping short pieces of washi tape around a piece of string

Cut a piece of washi tape around 2cm long and wrap it around the string so that it doubles on itself and creates a 1cm long rectangle. Now you can cut it into whatever bunting shape you’d like – whether that’s the classic triangular pennant, a swallowtail with cut-out triangle, or a shield-like shape by cutting a triangle into the very end, leaving some square length at the top.

Depending on how long you cut your string, you can now wrap your bunting around your gift or tape it at each end on one side of the gift. This is a great way to jazz up any oddly-shaped presents!

Cut out flags of washi tape on a small piece of bunting

If you’re looking for other ways to add a little DIY flair to your Christmas, have a look at our DIY Advent Calendar ideas – or make your own homemade Christmas crackers! We’ve got a stocking load of Christmas crafting ideas that’ll make your home merry and bright any year!