Don’t stress out about cute wrapping paper, matching bows, and festive tags. If you’ve got some chalk and a little creativity, you’ve got almost everything you need to create a nicely-wrapped present with chalk art embellishments.
Okay, you need two more secret ingredients: a brown paper bag (I use these for wrapping gifts all the time!) and hairspray.
1. Wrap your present in a brown paper bag. A brown paper bag is the PERFECT base for chalk art. It’s nice and rough, a little dark, and it’s recycled/recyclable, so yay! In a pinch, you can even turn an entire brown paper bag inside-out for my own personal version of the redneck gift bag.
If you’re not into brown paper, however, you can also use construction paper, large format watercolor paper, or any rough-textured paper that you’ve got in your stash.
2. Work your chalk art magic. The nicest supplies to use are soft chalk pastels. Soft chalk pastels plus watercolor paper, actually, would be a gorgeous, luxurious way to wrap and personalize your most special gifts. For your ordinary loved ones, however, regular colored chalk, even sidewalk chalk, works fine.
If you’re using your kid’s colored chalk and finding that you’re not getting a lot of color and saturation, try soaking the ends of the chalk in water for that chalk on wet pavement effect.
3. Seal your work. This step is optional, but if your wrapped presents are going to get handled a lot, or thrown into the trunk of the car for a pre-Christmas road trip, you probably want to seal the chalk so that it doesn’t get smudgy. If you’ve got spray fixative, bonus points, and you need no further instruction from me, but if you don’t, then give your chalk art a quick spritz with aerosol hair spray (which I know you don’t have–yuck!–but does your next-door-neighbor? The family whose house your kid is going to for a playdate this afternoon? I’m very big on borrowing so that you don’t have to buy random stuff).
4. Rip it open. And when you’re done, recycle it!