Whimsical Mixed Media Christmas Tree
I have loved all the holiday crafts I squeezed in early this year! I started way before I usually do, but I have been able to enjoy them in my home that much longer! Not too long ago, I created this mixed media Christmas Tree Live on my Facebook Page with all of you. You got to make all my decisions with me, and I love the outcome so much I knew I’d need to share it here.
Mixed media art involves mixing two or more artistic mediums into one piece. I like to use papers, stamps, and stencils layered together, but there is no limit to what you can do. That is the fun of it!
Learn more about Mixed Media Art for Beginners here.
There are so many ways you could do Christmas trees with mixed media! You can use different cut paper shapes and kelly green tones to something more like I am doing today, and everything between.
I had this old book of scrapbook paper that I used for my color inspiration for this project. It’s a little more muted greens and pinks. Not the first colors you imagine when you think of Christmas, but the end result is now one of my favorites.
- DecoArt Acrylic Paint in white, ocean breeze blue, periwinkle, and black.
- White and Gold Polka Dot Tissue Paper
- Assorted Scrapbook Paper
- Alphabet Stamps
- Assorted Stencils
- 11×14 Canvas Board
- Palette Knife Set
- Deco Art Decoupage
- Holographic Illusions Glitter Paint
- DecoColor Gold Paint Pen
- Black and White Posca Paint Pens
If you don’t like to be messy, you may not like mixed media as much, but maybe that’s just me not caring if my hands get dirty. 🙃 I wanted this to be fun and funky, not necessarily Christmas colors but still a Christmas tree.
I do my mixed media projects on a canvas board (canvas panel) because they hold up to all the paper, glue, paint, and whatever else you want.
Start with the Background
I wanted to use a gold and white polka dot tissue paper that I love for the background. I like the texture of the ripped raw edge, so I tare mine up before applying it with decoupage. There is no real rhyme or reason in my placement. I kind of put it all over, but you can do smaller bits too, as I did in THIS tutorial.
Apply a thin layer of decoupage covering the whole area underneath the tissue and then on top of the edges to secure it in place.
I like to layer paint colors in my background over the tissue paper. It won’t all be covered, but I love how the pattern is more apparent in some areas and less in others. My whimsical mixed media Christmas Tree started with white layered over the tissue edges, and then I got all kinds of crazy!
I wanted more texture, so I used stencils in random areas to add teal spots, black stars, and more!
This is a process. As I was playing with my papers in the next step, I decided I needed the background to be a little different than initially planned. I wanted a blue sky with a snowy foreground. So, I went back, and dry brushed my favorite teal blue over the background, concentrating more along the edges of the canvas board, and then swiped some white across the bottom two or so inches.
Wanting more of a wintery tone, I then layered in some periwinkle paint and stenciled snowflakes too!
Trust the process. We are just playing and seeing what happens as we go.
Mixed media is all about being crazy and playing with layers. There are no rules! You can put things wherever you want.
Build the Composition
I know I just said there are no rules in mixed media projects, but I still suggest a little composition planning. I had an idea of what I wanted to create, and as I started pulling patterns of paper and playing with them in a bunch of different layouts, I finally decided on one whimsically stacked tree with some fun gifts around the base.
First, I cut the paper for the tree into strips. Then I planned the order I wanted them stacked, cut them to length to get the Christmas tree taper, then glued them down with decoupage.
What is a Christmas tree without a star and a few gifts?! After applying the tree, I topped it with a wonky yellow star and placed a few whimsical gifts underneath.
Make sure to go over all those paper edges with decoupage so everything is good and secure.
Accents with Acrylic Paint Pens
After the background and tree are dry, I pull out my favorite gold paint marker to draw cute bows on the gifts, highlight the star, and trim the tree with a few ornaments.
To make everything stand out against the snowy whimsical background, I use my black Posca paint pen to outline the tree, star, and gift boxes.
At the end, I went back over all the elements with a few more black and white scribble and movements lines. I can’t help it!
I chose the splatter method to add a little dusting of snow all over for this project. If you want to achieve this look, it’s pretty simple, but know paint may get everywhere! Make sure you have your painting apron. It was all over my face.
Water down some white paint till it’s pretty thin, load your brush up, and then hold over your painting and tap the handle with another brush.
For some added twinkle in the air, I used glitter paint! I laid it on pretty heavily all over the background and snowy ground. I used Holographic Illusions glitter from Deco Art which dries clear and leaves the best sparkle.
Using Stamps on your Artwork
I like to add a little stamped saying in the background of my mixed media projects. For this one, I chose “Oh Christmas Tree.” If you don’t want to stamp directly on your painting in fear of ruining it, stamp onto a strip of paper first. This way, no error is permanent, and they look like fun highlighted text when applied to your project!
Last but not least, I decided to add some dark edging around the perimeter of the canvas. I just used a bit of black paint on a brush to run along the edge and then smudged it in with my fingers. I use variations of this look on a lot of my work because it brings your eyes in on the main feature.
Watch the Full Whimsical Mixed Media Christmas Tree DIY Video!
I just had to stop myself. This whimsical Christmas tree has a lot of layers, but I could add more! What do you think? What is your favorite Christmas craft project in your house that you have created this year?
Visit my FB painting community and share what you create!