uses for kraft paper

Oh kraft paper, how I love thee!  Let me count the ways.  From kids play mats and learning aids, to photography backgrounds, treat bags, and packaging… is there no end to your versatility!?  Let’s have a look…

uses for kraft paper

#1.  Play Mats – Play mats do double duty as giant coloring pages and play surfaces, and two uses are definitely better than one when it comes to saving money.  When my son was small, he was really into Thomas the Tank Engine but the train tables and track sets cost a pretty penny.   So we put together a makeshift setting for him (similar to the photo below) and he was thrilled.  Mission accomplished!

uses for kraft paper #2.  Learning Aids – Kids learn best through games and playtime – when they don’t even realize they are learning.  This learning aid teaches kids how to set the table, training little helpers just in time for the holidays!

uses for kraft paper

Kids participate eagerly with the help of a visual aid to guide them.

uses for kraft paper 

#3.  Photography Backgrounds – Writing a message on kraft paper is a simple way to make an announcement, share a recipe, celebrate a birthday, and more!  Here are two simple examples:

uses for kraft paper   uses for kraft paper

#4.  Treat & Gift Bags –  Deliver gift cards and other treats in custom made kraft paper gift bags.

uses for kraft paperHow To:

Step 1.  Cut a length of paper (examples are 18 inches long by 8 inches wide.)

Step 2.  Fold paper in half, cut along fold 1/2 inch in from both sides.  In only one direction up from the fold, cut off 1/2 inch wide strips to the top and discard strips.  Fold the uncut sides (below the fold) in towards center.  Let them unfold and stand straight up.

Step 3.  Fold the top and bottom half together.  Place double stick tape on 1/2 inch folded side strips and press them down to the backside of the bag to seal shut.

Gather and cinch with a ribbon or fold the open top, using a hole punch to make holes for threading ribbon.  Voila!

uses for kraft paper #5.  Gift Wrap – Of Course!  Brown paper packages are simple and timeless.  Give them extra love when you embellish the plain paper with this tip from Heather.

uses for kraft paper

A 15 ft. roll of kraft paper is only $1 at the dollar store and HUGE rolls can be purchased online for a bargain.  With so much fun to be had, stock up and get “krafty”!




    1. October 25th, 2012 at 6:09 am
      Gina says:
      Awesome ideas!
      • October 26th, 2012 at 10:04 am
        Stephanie says:
        Thank you! I hope you'll enjoy them!
    2. October 25th, 2012 at 10:23 am
      Mindy says:
      love the first 2!
      • October 26th, 2012 at 9:57 am
        Stephanie says:
        Those are my favorites too!
    3. October 25th, 2012 at 12:42 pm
      mary says:
      i love these kraft paper ideas! so cute and affordable!!
    4. October 25th, 2012 at 12:47 pm
      Brittany Gadient says:
      So creative. Fun ideas I can't wait to try.
    5. October 25th, 2012 at 2:10 pm
      Diann Mullani says:
      Hi Stephanie!
      I LOVE the ideas you've done with Kraft paper...especially the "gift bags"...and the train, tracks and coloring matt for the kids. All so simple...almost like giving them the BOXES toys come in which they prefer to play with but CUTER! I am going to forward this site to some of my family members for ideas they can make for their children. :)
      Thanks for sharing all your artistic ideas!
      Love Diann
      • October 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am
        Stephanie says:
        It really is like giving the kids boxes to play with! My thoughts exactly. It's really surprising the things that kids end up enjoying so much. We often think it has to cost more money for kids to enjoy something but they'll surprise you with how they do appreciate simple things - especially when it allows them to use their imagination and they can help in the creation process.
    6. October 25th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
      Barb Kranz says:
      These ideas brought back memories from my childhood. I remember how fun it was (probably in school) when we were given a big sheet of paper to draw on. These ideas are so cute and creative - can't wait to try out on my grandkids. Thank you for sharing!
      • October 26th, 2012 at 10:02 am
        Stephanie says:
        You're welcome! I'm so glad it brought back fond memories. May they continue with your grandkids!
    7. October 25th, 2012 at 4:48 pm
      Shelley says:
      Pretty sure I need to go out and by me some craft paper. Such cute ideas! Who knew craft paper could be so amazing?!
      • October 26th, 2012 at 11:52 am
        Stephanie says:
        Yes, you do need some craft paper - lol! Your kids will surprise you with their creativity.
    8. October 25th, 2012 at 6:18 pm
      Vicki Werner says:
      So creative and fun. I love these ideas and I am definitely going to use them in my own home. Thanks for making life as a mom look a little bit easier. We all can use these fun ideas to spice up the day to day life with our kids.
      • October 26th, 2012 at 9:50 am
        Stephanie says:
        You're welcome! I hope you try some of the ideas and enjoy them!
    9. October 25th, 2012 at 6:53 pm
      Olivia says:
      Love these ideas! The train track idea is genius! Perfect for banners and table cloths! Love it!
      • October 26th, 2012 at 9:49 am
        Stephanie says:
        So glad you like the train track idea! Kids get a ton of mileage out of it... hours and days and weeks of use for so little money, plus you can keep creating new themes depending on the toys you have - a farm or zoo scene for animal toys, underwater scene for sea animals or girls mermaid dolls, etc...
    10. October 26th, 2012 at 12:26 am
      Angela Mandato says:
      You are so creative! Beautiful deals. Thanks a lot!
      • October 26th, 2012 at 12:08 pm
        Stephanie says:
        You are very welcome! Thank You, Angela!
    11. October 26th, 2012 at 2:56 am
      • October 26th, 2012 at 12:02 pm
        Stephanie says:
        Thank you so much, Christy!
    12. October 26th, 2012 at 2:56 am
    13. October 26th, 2012 at 10:27 am
      Yvonne says:
      I love brown paper. So versilite. I actually wallpapered a powder room with and every one thought it was leather.
      • October 26th, 2012 at 12:07 pm
        Stephanie says:
        Yes! I'm so glad to hear you did a handmade wallpaper with brown paper. The results are quite amazing. I was going to add a craft paper wallpaper DIY to this list and quickly realized that it's an entire post in itself!
    14. October 26th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
      Cloie W. says:
      your kids are really cute and these ideas look fun!
      • October 27th, 2012 at 5:19 pm
        Stephanie says:
        Awww... Thank you, Cloie!
    15. October 26th, 2012 at 2:44 pm
      Sharlie M. says:
      I love the train track. And the wrapping paper idea is perfect. I will be using this for the upcoming holiday season..
      • October 27th, 2012 at 5:18 pm
        Stephanie says:
        Awesome Sharlie! I'm so glad you found something useful here :-)
    16. October 27th, 2012 at 7:18 am
      Shelly Moore says:
      These ideas are adorable! As an art teacher I have a monster roll of the stuff and also have some precut 18 x 24 sized sheets for some Batik projects. Right before Thanksgiving we have a formal dinner setting in our gym...lights are dim, candles, soft music, and the Thanksgiving "lunch." The kids have spent a month in Counseling learning manners. So after getting their food from the cafeteria they come down by class and are surprised by our pretend fancy restaurant. They are even seated and waited on by volunteers wearing suits. I love the placemat idea for this...we could do this in art, or a version of this prior to this event to help them understand table settings!!! love it!
      • October 27th, 2012 at 5:16 pm
        Stephanie says:
        You're lucky to have access to so much craft paper - the Batik project sounds so fun and is an opportunity to utilize brown paper to teach crafts and processes from other cultures. Sounds like your school provides a fun and unique experience for the kids during the holiday season - I'm sure they feel extra special and rewarded for the work they put into learning manners. Whether you incorporate a version of the table setting template or not - I'd sure enjoy seeing pictures of that special party!
    17. October 29th, 2012 at 9:46 am
      Karen Swanson says:
      Love go girl.
    18. November 1st, 2012 at 6:36 pm
      Whitney says:
      I had no idea! I might just go out and buy a roll (or a few!) tomorrow!

      Thanks for sharing!

      • November 4th, 2012 at 10:40 pm
        Stephanie says:
        This stuff is as versatile as the day is long! I'm happy to know it may have sparked a few ideas for you!
    19. November 2nd, 2012 at 6:34 am
      Abi says:
      I'd like to do all my Christmas gifts in brown paper "tied up with string". What's the best website for a good deal on the kraft paper?
      • November 2nd, 2012 at 11:49 am
        Bobbi says:
        The best deal I've found for larger widths is $21.14 for 200 ft. long by 48 inches wide roll. When conducting searches look for at least 36 inches wide - standard gift wrap width. Beware if you see a shockingly low price - the rolls tend to be only 9 inches wide - tiny! Here's the link for the one I mentioned above: ... Other things to be aware of when conducting kraft paper searches online is to look for smooth kraft paper (NOT "indented"!) Another idea for finding deals (if you have kids in school) is to ask a school staff member for information on their supplier of large paper rolls. Good luck, I’m sure your packages will be beautiful!
        • November 13th, 2012 at 10:37 am
          Abi says:
          Thank you! I can't wait to get started. :)
    20. November 4th, 2012 at 8:27 pm
      Rosemary says:
      While it is not a "craft" use, I like brown paper bags to put my cookies on when coming from the oven to absorb grease and when I fry things, I drain the food on brown paper bags.
      As a retired teacher, I used brown paper bags to make "faux" leather when making a journal or notebook for Social Studies and of course to cover textbooks brown paper bags are the best, sturdiest and longest lasting.
      • November 4th, 2012 at 9:03 pm
        Stephanie says:
        What a blast from the past! The memory of covering books with brown paper really takes me back a few decades :-) That IS an awesome and super sturdy use of the paper. I also love the tip for absorbing the grease from baked and fried foods - that one has me banging my hand against my forehead wondering "why didn't I think of that!?" Thanks so much for sharing the great tips Rosemary!
    Save Thousands: Cloth Diaper 101
    Turn your Old Nylon into a Headband
    • Popular Round Ups