Wrapping paper and cards for book lovers

posted in: Playing by the book | 9

Some of us might be just a few weeks away from giving a book or two to people we love.

In light of this I’ve been playing around with making some appropriate wrapping paper using images in the public domain available via the British Library Flickr stream.

I had more fun than I should probably admit to in public going through the children’s books which form part of this collection, gathering covers, title pages and frontispieces to use. I then manipulated these images in a vector graphics programme and created a composite file which I uploaded to a couple of different companies offering bespoke wrapping paper.

Here’s my roll of wrapping paper from Spoonflower:



The Spoonflower paper (a roll measuring 26″ x 72″) cost me $13.50 before postage.

Here’s my roll of wrapping paper from Zazzle (using the same images, just organised slightly differently):



The Zazzle paper (a roll measuring 30″ x 72″) cost me £6.66 excluding postage but including a discount as a first time customer.

Neither option was cheap but they are fun wrapping papers, and if I had a special occasion, I’d definitely consider doing this again. I have a slight preference for the Zazzle paper – a matte paper rather than the shiny Spoonflower one, but both are good quality – so much so they could easily be used as posters (or wall paper?!) because they are nice and thick. If I worked in a library or a bookshop I could see how these could be used to make great displays.

Now, if you’ve just a single paperback to wrap, you could print off a couple of sheets of my FREE mini version of the zazzle/spoonflower wrapping paper:


If you right-click and save the (A4) image, you can then print it to use as you wish. Obviously, printing at home means the paper will be thicker than the average wrapping paper, but I’ve found it works fine if you’re wrapping regularly shaped books.

If you’d rather go for some commercially available book-themed wrapping paper you could look out for:


British Library Gift Wrap – wrapping paper featuring manuscripts from Jane Austen, Leonardo da Vinci, William Wordsworth, Christina Rosetti, Samuel Coleridge, Lewis Carroll, John Donne, John Keats, Daniel Defoe, James Joyce, William Blake and the Magna Carta.


The Bodleian does a lovely range of wrapping paper using images of vintage books.


Illustrator Kate Slater has several different designs of wrapping paper available from her online shop.


NoBrow/Flying Eye do a range of wrapping paper using some of their illustrators. My personal favourites are the papers designed by Professor Astro Cat’s illustrator Ben Newman.


Illustrator Hannah George had teamed up with Children on the Edge to create Christmas wrapping paper to raise funds for Syrian refugee children.


Lotta Niemenen’s gift wrap is available from Lagom Design.

And if you’re after cards, maybe you’ll be inspired by these:


I haven’t sent cards at this time of year for a few years now, but what with all the horrible things going on out there in the world at the moment, this year I feel a bit differently and so am sending a few cards to say a special thank you to various folk who have brought brightness to my 2015. I made these cards out of publishers’ catalogues – dead simple (once you get a big hole puncher) and fun to make.


RIGHT. Now I need some books to wrap! Better get off down to the bookshop….

9 Responses

  1. Jayne

    How enterprising Zoe love the paper and the cards. So wish we lived m
    Nearer I can see so many projects!!!

    • Zoe

      Hi Catherine, one of the really nice things about the BL images is that they are in the public domain – so no copyright is infringed by manipulating them or printing them. If you used (modern) picture book covers I think you get into much more complicated territory – those images are all in copyright still. I saw someone recently who made a skirt out of fabric from Spoonflower exactly as you say – using PB frontcovers, but I’m sure she didn’t pay the copyright holders for the rights to use the images so it made me feel really uncomfortable.
      Zoe recently posted..Wrapping paper and cards for book lovers

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