Printing Christmas Shapes with Cardboard Tubes

Fancy making your own Christmas wrapping paper? All you need is a roll of paper & some old cardboard tubes. This great recycling craft is perfect for printing Christmas shapes that toddlers will love. Here's how we made them.

We've had lots of creative fun these past few days making our own gift wrap. The other day Minnie was looking for a bird-shaped cookie-cutter to print with. After a hunt around I realised we hadn't got one, so we decided to make a bird stamper from an old cardboard tube. After a little folding & experimenting I came up with more Christmas designs which were perfect for printing.

The little bird shape was made by pinching & folding opposite sides of the tube, & then bending one side slightly higher than the other to make the tail shape. 

Here are the bird prints the cardboard tube produces. Minnie used thick gold paint with this one which didn't work quite so well as poster paint, but it still produced a cute design.

We added our paint to a small dish with a sheet of kitchen paper over the top which we found worked better than dipping the cardboard tube in just the paint. The kitchen paper seemed to absorb just the right amount of paint, leaving a print rather than a splodge!

Our next design was a heart shaped stencil,  which we made by flattening the tube, opening it up & pushing one of the folds in to make the rounded sections at the top of the heart.

The snowman was super cute & the easiest to make! We took one tp tube & cut it in half so we had two small tubes the same size. Then we took one tube, cut it lengthways & folded it over slightly to make a narrower tube which we secured with sticky tape. We joined the two tubes together with more sticky tape & our snowman was ready! (Tip: when you join the tubes together you just need to make sure they level with each other so they create the complete print.)

Here's one of the finished snowmen. Others have had hats, scarves & arms added to them giving them each a little character of their own.

For our last print, we made a Christmas star. We folded the tube in half one-way & then folded in half the other way to create this simple shape which produced a very pretty design on the gift wrap. 

These homemade upcycled printing shapes have been a big hit with Minnie & she's created matching gift tags & pictures with them too. Simple, frugal fun which encourages creativity & design. And when you've finished with the tubes they can be recycled as can the wrapping paper when it's been used! 

Unique gift wrap that doesn't cost the earth; fun to make, eco-friendly, & a perfect way to decorate any gift!