Crafts Kids Can Make with Leftover Wrapping Paper

Before you throw out all that Christmas wrapping paper, let me give you a few ideas for crafts that your kids can make. It’s a win/win. You can feel good about reusing “trash” and your kids will have something creative to do to keep them busy — like making the cool beads for the bracelet at the left.


To make beads, start with whatever paper you would like to use. Besides wrapping paper, you can use magazine pages, or any paper you have on hand. It’s interesting to see what design will come out on the beads, depending on the images or designs on the paper you use. Cut the paper into long triangles as pictured.

Next, you will roll the big end around a toothpick. Hold it in place as you run a glue stick down the paper, all the way to the end of the triangle. The design or picture on the paper should be on the outside. Once you have put glue on the paper, begin rolling until you get to the end. You’ll get better with practice. You can experiment to see how wide you want your beads, and you can adjust the size of your paper strips accordingly. Try to make the rolling as even as possible, so that the tip of the triangle strip ends up in the center of your bead.

The photos below will show you the process. You can then string the beads on stretchy cord for bracelets or necklaces. If you like, you may include some store-bought beads with your paper ones. You may also want to coat the paper beads with clear nail polish or varnish from a craft store to make them shiny and to protect them. To coat, leave them on a toothpick and stick the tootpick in a piece of styrofoam until they dry.

The rolling part is pictured at the far right and the finished bead is on the toothpick a the near right.

This is an easy project. Older elementary school kids, middle school, high school and college students — and adults — can enjoy making these interesting beads.


Another project that’s great for young children is making a pencil holder or a cannister. All you need for this is an empty can to make a pencil holder, or a cannister with a plastic top, such as a coffee can, for a cannister holder. You just cut the paper you want to use to size and glue it on the outside of the can. This can then be embellished with cut-out pictures or designs, or you can use sequins or jewels with flat sides to glue on the outside. Personalize it by cutting out a letter or initials. You can even use different papers to make a collage design. This project is as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.


A final project is a picture frame. You can get unpainted wooden frames at craft stores such as Michaels. The one at the right was only $1. Use your wrapping paper to either make a collage (as I did) or cover the entire frame with a single kind of paper. Like the pencil holder, you can embellish with sequins or other decorative items. This would be a great “thank-you” gift to give to grandparents or other relatives or friends with a photo of your child with the gift he or she received in the frame.

So, before you throw out that beautiful paper, consider teaching your kids some crafts that they can make with it. You could go even go online to find sites that show videos of how to make origami objects or paper airplanes! Have a wonderful holiday — but most of all — have fun!

Categories: Editor’s Blog