Custom Wrapping Paper Featuring Your Child's Artwork

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My son and I made this wrapping paper using a pattern of his drawings to wrap his holiday gifts for some of our friends & relatives. This is great for Valentine's Day, Christmas, Mother's Day presents, etc...

Stuff you and your child need to do this:
1. Black sharpie marker and paper
2. Some water-based colored markers for coloring in drawings
3. A computer (preferably with design software, but microsoft word will work)
4. Either a scanner or a digital camera with a close-up setting
5. Either an Inkjet printer (a large-format one if you want to print large sheets & Epson matte printer paper in the largest size your printer can print OR take your file to Kinkos or Staples and have them print it.

1.) First, have your child do several drawings in black sharpie. A regular child's black marker won't work, because when they color over it the colors will run and look muddy. Let the outline dry. SIMPLE drawings work best, like the "Robots" shown above. The proportions should be roughly square - not short and wide or tall and skinny.

2.) Your child can then color in each drawing.

3.) Either scan in each drawing with your scanner, or shoot a digital pic of each one, separately.

4.) If you have photo editing software you can brighten the artwork or up the contrast. Some photo editing software usually comes free when you buy a scanner.

5.) Place your scanned files into Word, Illustrator, or photoshop, and shrink them down until they are under an inch high at 150+ dpi. Then copy and paste each one multiple times. Your file should be at least 13 by 19 inches unless you will only be wrapping small gifts.

6.) Print out your sheet of shrunken drawings onto the Epson matte printer paper. This paper is *amazing* - it is a graphic designer secret. It makes colors look brighter and more vibrant. It comes in two weights, the lighter weight is best for wrapping paper but I used the heavier weight since that's what I had sitting around. It is available in 8.5 by 11, 11 by 17 and the large size - buy whichever size is the max printable area for your printer.

Gift Tag
For the gift tag like the ones shown above, you'll need either Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator - take a black and white drawing (no color) with your child's writing underneath, scan it in, autotrace in illustrator or select in photoshop and color in accordingly. I had Alex use a silver marker to write the recipient's name on each tag.

If you're looking for a gift for your child to make for people, see my earlier post that goes along with this one - the same artwork can also be made into fridge magnets like this.

..................................................................... is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you buy through one of my links I will receive a small percentage of commission.