It doesn't take a professional artist to create this gorgeous paper; just drop a few swirls of paint and scrape! Make this bright patterned paper to use as wrapping paper, gift toppers, and more.

September 17, 2018
Read step by step instructions after the video.

Gorgeous patterned paper isn't just for craft stores or fancy paper shops—it's seriously so easy to make your own! Dress up a few large sheets of plain white paper by dropping drips and swirls of acrylic paint directly onto the paper. Then, pull a scraping tool across the surface to create a smooth pattern of bright colors. No fancy brush strokes here—just a few drops of paint and a plain old ruler! This paper makes great gift wrap, and you can easily personalize a sheet for everyone on your gift list in just a few minutes.

  • Working time 20 mins
  • Start to finish 2 hrs
  • Difficulty Easy

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Protect Your Work Space

DIY is super fun, but the mess after? No thanks! Keep your work space clean by protecting your surface with a plastic drop cloth or an inexpensive tablecloth from your local dollar store. When you're done painting, you can just roll it up and save it for the next DIY day (just be sure to wipe it off first). Protect your hands from paint too by putting on gloves. We also suggest wearing an apron to protect your clothing from rogue paint splatters. 

Step 2

Paint and Scrape

Lay down a piece of thick white paper and secure the corners to the tablecloth using small pieces of tape. Now you're ready to create the pattern! Drop dots and swirls of assorted acrylic paint colors onto the paper, in any composition that you like. The key is to work quickly and not use too much paint in each dot. Set the long side of a ruler (which acts as the "scraper" that gives this paper its name) at the top edge of the paper. Pull the ruler toward yourself without lifting it from the paper, so that it pulls the paint with it. That's it! Repeat the process on each sheet, trying different directions and paint combinations. Let each sheet dry for a few hours before handling, to make sure the pattern is completely dry. 

Step 3

Use the Paper

When the scrape paint paper is dry and you've cleaned up your work space, you're ready to use your DIY paper. If you used thin paper for this project, the ends may have curled (which can make wrapping gifts difficult). If you want to flatten the paper, use an iron on the low warm setting. Set the paper paint side up on an ironing board, then place a blank sheet of paper on top to create a barrier between the paint surface and the iron. Run the iron over the paper a few times to flatten it, then put your creation to use! Wrap gifts or make pretty gift wrap accessories—read on to find out how we used ours!

how to scrape paint paper diy
Step 4

Make a Gift Topper

Use a circular paper punch big enough to go on top of a gift; we used a 2-inch punch. Cut two slits parallel to each other in the circle—you pick how far apart! These slits should be the same width as the ribbon you are using. Then, cut a piece of ribbon long enough to wrap around the entire gift package. To assemble the gift topper, weave ribbon in and out of the cut slits; wrap and secure the ribbon on the bottom of the gift.

Step 5

Make a Gift Bag

Find the center on the long side of a piece of scrape paint paper. Fold one edge toward the center, then fold in the opposite edge so the two overlap by 1⁄2 an inch. Secure together using a piece of double-stick tape; crease the edges. On one open end, form the bottom of the bag: Fold the paper over 2 inches, crease, and then unfold. On the same end, fold both corners to meet the creased line you just made. They should look like two little triangles; crease and then unfold. Refold the 2 inches to the crease, then open the triangular folded area by bringing the top left and right corners of the triangles to the center. Cut a rectangular piece of paper large enough to secure and reinforce bag bottom, then attach with glue and let dry. Once the bag is assembled and the glue is dry, fill with goodies and give the bag as a fun gift!



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