How to Make a Hand-painted Book Cover (Also Applicable for Wrapping Paper)

First of all, this post involves no actual wrapping paper. But I think you could use this method to make your own wrapping paper because you essentially are “wrapping” book board in order to make the cover of a book. So I’m thinking you could also wrap a box? Maybe? I haven’t tried it, so see for yourself.

The first thing ¬†you’ll need for this is some medium weight drawing paper. You could use another type of paper at your own risk, but I can recommend some good old fashioned drawing paper and medium weight should be able to take the paint.

Cut your paper to be slightly larger than your two pieces of book board (or whatever it is than you’re covering). An extra inch on each side should give you plenty of room to work with.

Now you’re ready to paint! Cover your paper with your base colors. I use acrylic paint but you could try craft paint as well (though I would suggest acrylic paint because of its flexibility).


Once your base color dries, you can go ahead and add the detailing. If you haven’t cut your paper in half yet (I didn’t cut mine until the last step but you can do it either way), then find the middle point of your paper so you can work on both the “front cover” and “back cover.”


I free-handed blue dots on my “back cover” and drew out a sailboat (though it’s kind of hard to see it) before I painted it.

Once you’ve finished painting, you’ll need to cover it with a sealant, so that you can protect your paint from the elements and general wear & tear. I used matte ModPodge to paint a thin layer over my design. Once this dries enough not to smudge or stick to anything, you’ll need to flatten the paper out under book or other heavy object.


After that, you’re ready to cover your book board or wrap whatever item you wanted to cover in your very own wrapping paper! The texture of the paper after this should be almost like a lightweight vinyl, so it’s pretty easy to manipulate.