Martha Stewart, I’m NOT! But I want my kids to have wonderful memories of holiday times together. This year, money being tight, I decided we would make our own wrapping paper. I got my 3 year old all fired up for this, telling him we would paint and stamp to our hearts delight. “Can I use my Blue’s Clues stamps?” he smiled at me. “Umm….not for Christmas.” I solved the problem by telling him that he could stamp one piece of paper with his stamps and that I would do Christmas themes on the rest of the paper.
We sallied forth to the office supply superstore to pick up a roll of brown parcel paper. One roll, more than enough to wrap all of our presents, cost less than a roll of Christmas wrap. I felt good. I was saving money and doing something with my kids. Off to the department store to pick up some poster paints. Visions of the boys and I happily decorating paper to the strains of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” danced in my head. Arriving home, we stashed the paper and paints for working on ‘later’.
Flash forward to today. Five days to go. I took out the paper and the paints and started cutting a potato into a Christmas tree shape. Eagerly I dipped the potato into the paint and stamped it onto the sheet of “test paper”. I had images of lovely brown paper stamped with bright green Christmas tree shapes, my family “ooohing” and “aaaahing” over it as they carefully unwrapped their presents Christmas morning so as not to tear the wonderful paper.
Note: water based paints soak right into potatoes and leave little behind on the paper.
As the boys eventually drifted on to other things, I sat at the kitchen table surrounded by markers, paints, cardboard and various household implements trying desperately to get the effect I wanted.
Eventually, I rounded up the boys, loaded up a plate with fingerpaints, and had them put handprints all over the paper. We gave a nod to the season by making them red and green.