Recycled phonebook DIY holiday wrapping paper craft for kids via barley & birch
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All, Make

Make: Phonebook Wrapping Paper

Happy Green Monday! To be honest, I didn’t really even know that was a thing until this morning – and I guess it’s just a…second Cyber Monday? Hm-kay. Well, we’re celebrating “Green Monday” AND our usual Make Something Monday with TWO, count ’em TWO simple and lover-ly holiday projects that will leave you with the cutest darn eco-friendly gifts you ever did see. So if you by chance are not standing in a line somewhere waiting to see Star Wars tonight, grab your kiddos and make these with us!

Tonight I’m finishing up  2 projects – one is a wrap and one is a gift, and they go sooooo well together!

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While cleaning out the kitchen recently, I ran across a stack (not just one) of old phonebooks – the bane of my existence. Low on brown paper, and needing to get some gifts out the door, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and turn those lame old doorstops into something cool and useful. I loved the pattern the print on the phonebook pages made and using bright colors turned something dull into something bright and cheery!

THIS is SO EASY. And SUCH a good project for kids and SUCH a good way to repurpose an old around-the-house item. I love putting together themes for my gift decoration, but the numerous bags of torn through wrapping paper that end up going right to recycling every year really bum me out. When its pages from that old enormous phonebook brick though?? Not so much!

To make your own phonebook wrapping paper you’ll need:


  • An old phonebook (or even just pages you never use)
  • Acrylic or tempera paints
  • A paintbrush or stamping tool or even just little fingers!


  • Raffia, string, ribbon, and/or plant cuttings to decorate
Recycled phonebook DIY holiday wrapping paper craft for kids via barley & birch
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Although you can’t see through the paper once it’s on a package (which is kind of amazing) it takes just the slightest breeze to blow it around while you’re working on it. For kids especially, a little painter’s tape or some paperweights at the edges while working and drying is a great idea. I paint on the back of old cookie sheets because they’re super easy to clean off. This also makes it easier to move them if I need to do that for drying.

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Also, leave PLENTY of time for drying – there’s nothing worse than getting wet paint on a new gift. (*shudder!*) After they’ve dried completely, flatten out any crinkles by letting them sit underneath a few heavy books for about 20 minutes – the paint I used didn’t stick, but you may want to put some wax paper between pages when you do this depending on the paint). Use as-is, or tape a bunch together for larger-sized gifts.

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VOILA – super fun upcycled custom gift wrap! And the phone company generously supplies you with a gazillion pages! šŸ™‚  I like to “garnish” with some green clippings and twigs from the yard and twine – super simple and super cute.

Sit tight for Part 2, coming tonight: ADORBS mini crocus and paperwhite garden gifts!

Recycled phonebook DIY holiday wrapping paper craft for kids via barley & birch
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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