One of my favorite ways to utilize and practice my calligraphy is to create wrapping paper with it! This DIY calligraphy wrapping paper is easy to make, affordable, and so much fun to give to your friends and family! I love that you can personalize the text by adding the recipient’s name to the lettering (“Happy Birthday, Jessica!”), use the paper as a card and write your message directly on it (they can read it once it’s unwrapped–you might have to tell them not to rip it off though :)), or match the text with the gift (if you are giving concert tickets, write the lyrics from a song by the artist).
There are so many things you can do with this so get creative with it! It’s also nice because this project is very forgiving–don’t worry about little mess ups or inconsistencies since you’ll be cutting the paper up, folding it, and also topping it with ribbon or other decor.
I think what makes gifts special is the thought that goes into and this adds a lovely to touch to any present and occasion you are celebrating!
In this tutorial, I will be using brush lettering with brush pens to create the wrapping paper. If you do not know how to brush letter, it’s OK! Try faux calligraphy or using your own cursive or print on it–you will get the same effect. I also decided to go with a neater look with the lettering and having it go diagonally across the paper. I am using Marvy Uchida’s Le Plume II Brush Pen which I really like for medium to larger sized lettering.
For the kraft paper, you can find rolls at local craft stores such as Michael's or you can order them on Amazon as well. You can also get plain gift bags to decorate this way as well!
I hope you and the recipient of your gift enjoy this tutorial and I’d love to see pictures of the DIY calligraphy wrapping paper you create– tag me on social media if you’re sharing it there or send me an email (email@example.com)! If you’d like to see more versions of this gift wrap as well as other brush lettering ideas and projects, be sure to follow me on Instagram, @atiliay.
- Kraft paper roll
- Brush pen of your choice (the larger you’d like your writing to be, the larger the brush tip should be)
- Invisible tape
- Items to decorate your gift with: twine, ribbon, washi tape, sprigs of flowers or greenery, etc.
Step 1: Cut your kraft paper to size.
Always add a little extra so you don’t end up with too little and don’t have enough to go around your box/gift! You can also save the larger scraps to wrap smaller gifts with.
Step 2: Decide on your lettering for this gift wrap:
1) What do you want to write?
2) How large/small do you want your lettering (which will help determine which brush pen to use)? Do you want it to be neat or a messy scrawl?
3) What is the layout of your lettering? Straight, diagonal, random, etc.?
For this tutorial I decided to letter “happy birthday!”, medium sized, and wanted to text to be written diagonally across the paper.
Step 3 (optional): Draw a light pencil outline of the lettering.
TIP: Make sure to stagger the lettering to achieve that all over pattern look. To do this, don't start each line with the same word. Mix it up and cut off words (shown in my example below.)
If it’s a more complicated design, you want to have an outline to follow, or if you are a perfectionist like me, draw a light pencil outline of the lettering first for placement, size, and to make sure your letter shapes and forms are how you like it. I made diagonal lines across the paper that are 1 3/4″ apart and lettered within them to help keep things looking neat and consistent.
Step 4: Start lettering!
Go over your pencil lines or freehand it. If you used pencil, let the ink dry COMPLETELY, then erase any lines that weren’t traced over in the ink. (If you are impatient, set a timer and give your ink time to dry–it is the saddest thing to erase too early and smear your beautiful work!) The nice thing about the Marvy Le Plume II pens is that the ink dries quickly! I still will only erase a corner to make sure it’s smudge proof before starting to erase a bigger area.
Step 5: Wrap your gift up!
I love this part and seeing the paper you just created come to life.
Step 6: Add the trimmings
I love this part as well and you can get really creative with this! One of my favorite things to do is add some fresh greenery to the gift (try to do this the day of so it stays fresh). You can use different twine/ribbon/lace, add a gift tag, top it with homemade pom poms, stick a bow on it–just to name a few ideas.
Step 7: Enjoy your new creation and have fun giving it away! :)