Another Wrapping Paper How-To: Valentine’s Day Edition

by jen on February 11, 2013

How-To: Valentine's Day Handpainted Wrapping Paper

So, weird. I am totally single and do not feel the list bit annoyed by Valentine’s Day this year! Not even the advertising geniuses at Jarred, Zales, et al have gotten me down this year. I think part of it is that I do not have any single friends who are trying to get me to go to destined-to-be-uncomfortable-and-fruitless V-day singles events with them this year, and the other part is probably this wrapping paper Fred and I have been working on:

Fred the Cat Helps Make Wrapping Paper

Fred, lover of snacks, pesterer of crafters, the mother snuggler of all snugglers 

 This is basically the same project as the chevron handpainted wrapping paper, but with a different stencil AND A WHOLE LOT MORE LOVE!! Hahaha (sorry).

Just like with the chevron paper, you’ll need:


  • A pencil (I used a mechanical one because otherwise you will have to be a sharpening machine)
  • Butcher or craft paper (I used brown paper; white would also be pretty)
  • Craft paint in various colors – I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint available at Michael’s.
  • Paint brush, not too big
  • Card stock to print out the stencil on
  • An exacto knife to cut out the stencil
  • A download of the stencil:   [valentine stencil PDF]

And here’s how:


1. Download/open the stencil pattern (see link above).

2. Print the stencil (at 100% size) onto card stock or other paper thick enough to stand up to you penciling inside of it.

3. Cut out the arrow and the heart, using an exacto knife or other cutting implement, and then cut out the stencil from the paper using the black border around it.

4. Take your butcher/craft paper and lay it out on a table in the size you want. I did a sheet as big as my dining room table. If you want to finish this by V-Day without wanting to stab me by the end, I recommend choosing a modest size just beg enough to wrap whatever you’re giving for V-Day). Then tape the edges of the paper to the table to keep it in place.

5. Pick a corner. You’re going to be stenciling from left to right across your paper from that corner. Place your stencil in the corner and trace the inside. It doesn’t matter which way you start, with the arrow pointing left or right. After you’ve traced one, with your stencil still in the same direction (arrow left/right), move your stencil to the right of  what you just traced, and put your stencil so that the top of the stencil is either touching or nearly touching the base of the last item (heart/arrow) you just stenciled. Repeat until the end of the row!

6. For your next row, you go back to the same corner and up a row, and you reverse the direction of your stencil (arrow on left/right (this will result in the heart being upside down/right side up, the opposite of how you had it on your first row), lining the left edge of stencil up with the first tracing you did, and the bottom of your stencil nearly touching the tracing you made below. If you wanted to be more precise, you could use something like an eraser to guide you (I did on the first row but then eyeballed it after that). Like this:

Valentine's Day Wrapping Paper: Lining Up Your Stencil

Trace this row, and then repeat the process across the paper until you’ve traced across the whole paper.

7. Now, you can choose your paint colors! You can paint any which way you like. I used a silver, light pink, medium pink, red reversing and repeating pattern. If you are going to get all fancy like that, I recommend writing in pencil in very small letters inside your traces to remind you what to paint. At least for the first couple rows until you get the hang of the pattern.

As with the chevrons, except for the silver, I mixed in some of Martha’s glitter acrylic paint as well to make the colors more translucent and sparkly:

Valentine's Day Wrapping Paper: Close-Up

8. Next, start painting in your pattern. The way to get the pattern to look right is to alternate your colors offset by one. So if in row one Color X is your first color, in row two, Color X should be your second color. You can see in the photo below, once I figured out my color pattern, I started painting across the paper using that rule.

Valentine's Day Wrapping Paper: Progress Shot

9. Eventually, once you’re done painting, you’ll have something like this:

Sunday Undies: Handmade Valentine's Day Wrapping Paper

Super fun! Happy Valentine’s Day!


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