DIY – Autumn-themed gift wrapping

Yep, you might have guessed it, it’s the season in which the leaves begin to fall, the winds begin to blow and you can finally get your favorite sweater back out to cuddle in while sitting in front of a crackling fire or romantic flick whilst sipping on some yummy hot cocoa.

It is not only a time of a year to get cozy though. With nature presenting itself in an enchanting play of bright colors, one should not miss the opportunity for a walk outside. After all, that’s where little treasures can be found that will make any DIY-enthusiasts heart beat a little faster. And those treasures would work just perfectly with today’s topic which is all about bringing the colors from the outside world into our homes.

Whether it be birthdays or parties you want to bring a little present to as a “Thank you”, there’s always an occasion where gifts need to be wrapped. And surely, any store has plenty of wrapping paper to choose from but why buy the latest wrapping paper when you can get creative and crazy with the colors of autumn yourself?

How, you may ask? Wonder no longer because this tutorial will tell you everything you need to know.


Step 1: Things you need

  • Stuff to wrap, obviously (anything from chocolate boxes to board games)
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape (clear)
  • A4-sized paper, unbleached
  • old wrapping paper (ideally a little yellowed)
  • a brush, a sponge, an old toothbrush (anything that’s usable to apply paint)
  • Acrylic paint in yellow and red (orange if you have)
  • a selection of gift ribbons in varying colors
  • Leaves (faux ones or real ones, either work.)
  • some cardboard


Step 2: Wrapping the gifts

This one’s pretty easy. Depending on the size of the box or gift you want to wrap, either choose an A4-sized sheet of paper or cut off part from the old wrapping paper to fit. If the paper fits around the gift twice, leave it. The acrylic color will seep through the paper a little so it is better to have two layers of paper rather than just one. Make sure the paper is folded neatly and the strips of tape are applied accurately.

Step 3: Letting out your inner Picasso

What you need:

  • Acrylic paint in red and yellow (orange if you have)
  • Paint brushes, a sponge or anything usable to apply paint
  • leaves (faux or real ones)
  • cardboard
  • an old glass jar to mix color in

First of all, if you do not own orange acrylic paint do not fret. Yellow and red are the only colors you will need for this. To start off, obviously lay out some old newspaper so you do not ruin your floors, carpet or whatever surface you decide to paint the wrapped gifts upon. Secondly, taking the old glass jar to mix orange, you should fill it up with about two to three nut-sized portions of the color and then add one nut-sized portion of red. Mix the two colors together until it becomes an even orange. You’d want the orange to be more yellow-ish than red. Otherwise, upon applying it onto the paper, it will not stand out enough against the red.

Using the cardboard, apply a good portion of red and yellow onto to dip your brushes or sponges into. The cardboard is merely a substitute for a painter’s palette here.

Once all that has been set up, the creative process can begin.

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The “how” of bringing the paint onto the “canvas” is entirely you up to you. If you’re not sure how to start of, take a blank sheet of paper first and try different techniques and ways of applying the color. Anything from sponges to paint brushes, tooth brushes can be used. For all the wrapped gifts seen in this tutorial, I settled on one brush but applied the colors with varying strokes and pressure to make it look the way it does.

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For some of the wrapped gifts, I used the (faux) leaves as a pattern to paint over so that after removing it from the surface, that area was free of paint. (See left picture above). For one other wrapped gift, I used the leaf as a stamp by applying paint onto its surface and thoroughly pressing in onto the paper.

The application of the paint itself is rather easy. I’d recommend using either red or orange to begin with and then apply some streaks of yellow here and there. But make sure to not paint your “canvas” entirely. You’d want some of the paper to still shine through.

You can also start off with just one color, then give it a couple of minutes to dry and apply a new layer of another color. This way, the colors won’t mix on top of paper but stand out against one another.

Lastly, do not apply the paint solely to the top of the wrapped gift but the sides too, but leave out the bottom/ the side the package is standing on.

Once you’re done painting, leave the artwork to dry completely for a few minutes.

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Step 4: The final touches


What you need:

  • Assorted gift ribbons and raffia paper ribbons in orange, yellow and red
  • A ribbon shredder

Now, after allowing the paint to settle and dry, I went and put together a selection of gift ribbons and went about decorating each of the wrapped and painted gifts.

Depending on the most prominent color on the wrapped gift, you’d want to a color for the gift ribbon that will stand out against it. For instance, if it had been painted mostly red, I opted for a yellow or orange gift ribbon to begin and added on top of that.

As for adding gift ribbons to a present, there’s different techniques ranging from simple to complicated. My go-to and favorite one is having one or two ribbons tied around the box once, sometimes crossed. I then go and, using a riddon shredder, add a little volume to the arrangement by tangling together the shredded ribbon and tying it onto the gift using the already secured ribbon there. For some presents, I made bows using the paper raffia and fastened them into the other gift ribbons.

Finally, using a scissor, I curl the ribbons to touch up the final bits of the ribbon arrangement. Et voila. All gifts have been wrapped.

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Should you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I’ll be sure to reply as quick and best as I can.

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