Make your own gift wrap and tags

Create your own beautiful gift wrap and tags for friends and family with our easy to follow step by step guide for string block-printing.


The joy in making your own wrapping paper is that you can go wild with experimentation. The designs shown here are all interchangeable and therefore provide endless possibilities for patterns. You’ll need quite a bit of space to create a mini production line of paper printing and a washing line to peg them up to dry.


You Will Need

  • A roll of brown kraft paper or coloured kraft paper sheets
  • Gift tags (pre-cut or make your own)
  • Block-printing ink (green and white)
  • A hard ink roller
  • A foam ink roller
  • A tray/piece of glass (for spreading ink)
  • Magic tape
  • A scalpel/scissors
  • String
  • Square wooden block (45 x 45mm)
  • Triangular wooden block

Step 1

Whichever design you choose to print, first you’ll need to prepare your paper. Cut the brown kraft paper roll into sections of the size you need (I made mine 500 x 600mm). Spread your first piece out on a flat surface and tape the corners down to hold it flat and steady. Once you have made your printing blocks – string, lino or both – or prepared your bubblewrap, you’re ready to start printing. Spread your ink thinly and evenly onto your tray/glass using the hard ink roller.

Step 2

Leaving a few inches spare, wind the string tightly around the wooden block and then tie the two ends at the back to secure it. If you’re making the triangular block, be aware that the string has a tendency to slip due to the block’s shape, so keep nudging it down as you print to make sure you get neat stripes.

Step 3

Dip the block in the ink and make sure it’s covered. Some ink absorbs into the string so the first dip needs to be thorough.

Step 4

Position it on your paper and press down. Repeat inking between each print.

Step 5

If you’re printing the triangular block to make the tree shapes, finish these when they are dry by drawing the trunk and branches with either a silver or black pen.