Creating your own wrapping paper is lots of fun, saves money and can be better for the environment! Let’s use our imaginations, prepare stencils, then paint them onto wrapping paper as patterns to make your gifts look simply stunning! 



Sugar paper (A4, A3 or A1) 

Cardboard (such as a used cereal box) 

A pencil 

Modelling clay

Sharp point


Paint (such as poster paint, acrylic craft paint or metallic stencil paint) 

A paintbrush 

Newspaper sheets 

STEP 1: Draw your stencil

Take a piece of cardboard from your recycling bin. With your pencil, draw a silhouette of a shape onto the cardboard. The shape can be anything Christmassy you like; Santa’s hat, a holly leaf, a bell, a star – these are just a few ideas! Keep it simple and make sure you are confident you will be able to cut this shape out! 

STEP 2: Cut out your stencil 

When your stencil is drawn, it is time to cut the shape out. You can’t cut from the edge of the cardboard, because that will mean your stencil will be broken! Instead, place your cardboard over a lump of modelling clay and carefully poke a hole inside the shape with a sharp point. You can then carefully cut into the hole, and cut out the whole shape. 

STEP 3: Paint your over stencil 

Place some newspaper sheets under your sugar paper to protect the surface below from any paint splashes! Before you start painting, look at the colour of the sugar paper and think about what colour would look best on it, and what might be most festive. Reds and greens are always a winner! Gold and silver are also super festive. But it’ll still look great if you only have one or two colours to pick from.

When your stencil is ready, place it over the sugar paper. Put some paint onto your paintbrush, then hold the stencil down with one hand and paint over it with the other, until the whole silhouette is filled in. When you remove the stencil, your silhouette shape will be on the wrapping paper! You can now make a pattern with your stencil. Think about where the other shapes would look best on the paper. If they’re trees, do you want a clustered forest or an open landscape? If they’re snowflakes, you might want them to be spaced apart so they can be seen clearly. 

STEP 4: Draw some special features 

Now, you can make your wrapping paper extra personal! Using your pencil or a pen, draw some features to make your pattern extra exciting. If you have made a forest, you could draw falling snow, robins, footprints or a person made of snow. If you have a holly leaf pattern, you could draw little berries. Maybe you could add something that you know the person getting the gift will especially like. There is no right or wrong way to do it!

To take things further, you could even add ink stamps, sparkly tape, extra painted decorations or Christmassy ribbon for tying around the gift at the end! Do you have alphabet stamps? It can be fun to mark each piece with a name!

We would love to see your wonderful wrapping paper. Send your photos to us via the AQUILAnauts’ Page of the AQUILA website, and we’ll share as many as we can. 

Written by the AQUILA team