If you need a little push to get in the holiday spirit this year, here are two fun Christmas art projects that feature mixed-media techniques you can use year round!
Altered Berry Basket Gift Box
Mixed-media artists are known for altering anything they can get their hands on, sometimes quite extravagantly. But if assemblage and altering surfaces are new to you, this is the perfect project to get started. Mary Beth Shaw demonstrates how to alter a humble berry basket into a personalized gift basket decked out for Christmas giving.
In this demonstration you’ll learn to make your version of washi tape using purchased decorative paper, but imagine the possibilities if you paint the paper yourself. And don’t limit this gift basket to wintertime; create a different style of tape or use a different color paint marker for a spring or summer gift basket!
- berry basket
- double sided tape
- decorative or hand-painted paper
- small paintbrush
- twine, rope or ribbon
- Gold paint marker
Step by Step Instructions
- Apply double sided tape to a piece of decorate paper that is long enough to wrap around the berry basket.
- Wet a paintbrush with water and run it along the edge of the tape to dampen paper. Gently pull the excess paper away from the tape to create a deckled edge.
- Remove the backing of the tape and wrap the tape around the basket to adhere. Clean up the corners by cutting the tape and overlapping as needed.
- Cut a length of ribbon, rope or twine and wrap it around the tape on the basket. Tie a knot.
- Use a gold paint pen to add simple doodles to your basket.
Christmas/Advent Countdown Matchbox Calendar
Looking for a fun craft project to do with your kids or grandchildren this holiday season? This matchbox Advent countdown calendar is the perfect choice! Similar to the gift basket above, this project requires decorative paper of your choice. Opt for wrapping paper, handmade paper or encourage the children to paint their own!
- 25 small, empty matchboxes
- glue stick, Aileen’s Tacky Glue or matte medium
- number stickers or stamps
- acrylic paint in red and green
- Christmas ornaments
- decorative or painted papers
Step by Step Instructions
- Ensure all matchboxes are empty. Remove trays and paint visible edges. Allow to dry before inserting them in the matchbox sleeves.
- Cut decorative paper into 5 strips and wrap the strips around groups of matchboxes. Group 1 = 9 matchboxes. Group 2 = 7 matchboxes. Group 3 = 5 matchboxes. Group 4 = 3 matchboxes. Group 5 = 1 matchbox. Secure the strips to the boxes using a glue stick, Aileen’s Tacky Glue, matte medium, or consider making tape strips like in the berry basket above!
- Stack the groups on top of each other, creating a tree-like effect, and adhere together using glue.
- Wrap a ribbon around the entire tree. Before tying the bow, add Christmas ornaments or other decorative embellishments to the ribbons.
- Number each “drawer” of the matchboxes using number stickers, number stamps or your own decorative handwriting. Don’t forget to fill each drawer with a special treat!
If you want to try additional assemblage projects, check out: