Monday, December 11, 2006

Painted Presents

So, my holiday decorating is a weeks-long ordeal and not really perfected until it's about time to pack it all up. I keep finding little spots here and there that need a drizzle of sparkle or a dash of hue. One of my rules (probably the only one) is that I do it a little differently every year. It's a rule I can follow well, considering I can never remember how I did things the year before anyway.

I thought you may like to see & learn about these little "gifts" that I made last year. I had painted them for a gallery show and made tons more as presents for friends. They are quick, fun, and versatile. And while you could make them as elaborate or as simple as you wish, they don't require any major artistic talent, or too much moulla (mulla?).

Here's how they're made: I took small scale deep-stretcher (as in thick sides) canvases, ribbon, paint, gold leaf, printed out text, and in some cases fabric. In the ones where I used fabric, I just Modge-Podged pieces of printed fabric right onto the canvas as my base. Then I painted over with watered down acrylics to let some of the print show through. I then decoupaged a computer-printed out word with more Modge-Podge. On some I would go back in with more paint as necessary. I used a simple gold-leafing kit to trace over and guild the words. Others I freehanded the text, and some I cut up the letters to make it look all ransom-letter like. As in "have J-O-Y or else!" Wrapping ribbon around, tying a bow, and securing with hot glue is the last step. Now it looks like a present! They are deep enough to stand on their own securely, as long as you keep the dimensions no larger than 8-10" or so.

Choosing your words, could be based on groupings, like "comfort" & "joy", or specific to the person you'd like to give it to. You could make a whole lyric from a Christmas carole with one canvas for each word and display all along your mantle. They are just as cute hung on the wall all year long too. Especially if you choose less seasonal words like "dream" or "hope".

Onward march, holiday soldiers!



  1. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Those are really cute!

  2. What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Anonymous1:03 PM

    What a fab idea - I love them. Thanks so much for sharing how they are made too, I love to read all about how things are done. I need some!

  4. Anonymous2:11 PM

    They are just gorgeous - can't wait to have a go at making some. Thanks for the info on how they are made. Very clever!

  5. Anonymous2:29 PM

    Sounds delightful and gorgeous. Can't wait to see!!! You have never dissappointed us! I made up an owl over the weekend, and a garland! Still working on the garland, though. Take care, Laurie~

  6. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Pouting because I can't see the photos!!

    They sound gorgeous though Anna-Maria.

  7. Anonymous7:36 PM

    yeah....i thought maybe you just forgot to post the pics! Still can't see 'em! Maybe the blogger ghost took 'em!

  8. Can everyone see pictures??? Theres been some trouble for a few of you. I republished the blog so, hopefully everyone can see them now.
    Also hope they are worth it for those of you who have been waiting on them!

  9. I can see them!! :) I have some canvasses that are bigger that I may try using, replicating your beautiful "presents". I'll have to keep my eyes open for some smaller ones, thanks for the fresh ideas!


  10. Anonymous12:29 AM

    wonderful!!!!! So glad I can finally see!!!!!!!!! :) I thought, "it isn't like AM to not post at least one photo with her blog entry....hmmmm....well, maybe she just got busy and did not have time to post a photo." A BIG THANKS! It was well worth the wait!

  11. Anonymous1:29 AM

    I can see them also. They're beautiful. x

  12. Anonymous1:52 PM

    Happily, I can see them and they are TOO cute! Love them!

  13. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Lovin' all your decorations Anna...I knew I would! ;-)Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  14. Wow! You are so crafty and so busy. Where do you find the time to get all these crafts done?

  15. Anonymous8:28 PM

    Smiling because I can see them now!!

    They're beautiful and oh so cheerful.

    Thanks Anna-Maria.


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