January 27

Mixed Media Christmas Canvas

Christmas Gifts 2015


I am a firm believer that the best gifts for any holiday are gifts from the heart.  Whether they are purchased or handmade, I try to always get gifts that mean more than, “Oh, she’ll like that.”  I like to give gifts that will be cherished.

This year, my parents moved from Florida to Puerto Rico.  For the past 10 years, they’ve lived within 5 miles of my house and my son and I visited them nearly once a week.  Now that they’ve both retired, they decided to retire to paradise and bought a house on top of a mountain with a view of the nearby beach.  While we’re all happy about their retirement in their paradise, the day they left was very hard.  The first Christmas without them was hard on all of us.  So instead of buying a gift for them this year, I made a mixed media art canvas with family pictures for them to hang on their walls at Christmas time.

Christmas 2012 with Grandma
Christmas 2012 with Grandma

The first one I made turned out to be my favorite.  One of the things I’ve learned since I started crafting is that my mistakes often turn into masterpieces so long as I don’t give up on them.  This piece stayed true to form.  I painted the background of the canvas with a couple of different colors and then printed out copies of those pictures and glued them down with some decorative paper borders.  I hated the way it turned out.  It looked cheap to me.  So I ripped the paper and photos off which ripped some of the paint off and made me want to throw the whole thing away.  So I sat on it for a day or two.

When I sat back down to try again, I decided to take some texture paste and give the piece texture throughout.  This disguised the rips from the previous attempt.  Next, I grabbed a paper doily and some snowflake stencils that I had in my stash and created the snowflakes with my texture paste.  Then I painted it with Folk Art Metallic Emerald Green Acrylic paint.  I went over the snowflakes and edges of the canvas with Viva’s Precious Metal Colour – Mother of Pearl.  After pasting on some flowers and decorative frames from Michael’s, I made a stick pin with beads from my stash.  I put a little more of the Mother of Pearl paint around the edges of the canvas and picture frames to give the look of snow.

Christmas 2015
Christmas 2015

On the next canvas, I started by painting the background with Folk Art Sahara Gold Acrylic paint.  Next I covered the entire background with Delta Ceramcoat Crackle and let it sit for a few minutes.  I then painted the entire background again with Folk Art Lipstick Red Acrylic paint which gave it the red and gold crackled effect.  Once dry, I used decorative Christmas paper from my stash to border the picture.   I took the lamppost fence from my Christmas village collection and used various holiday items from my stash to decorate this one up a bit.

I decided to keep both canvas’ somewhat simple as I have a tendency to make things a bit too busy.  I didn’t want to distract from the actual photos so I used just enough decoration to frame the photos.  I really liked how they turned out and my parents absolutely loved them.  I enjoyed making these and will probably create another set for my own home.

If you are interested in the painting materials I’ve used, I put links below to the exact products.  I apologize for not having links to the decorations as they were just miscellaneous items I had leftover and did not have the original packaging to provide the brands.  I will be sure to keep track of these items for future posts.

Happy Crafting!



Supplies Used:

In no particular order –

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Posted January 27, 2016 by Ki in category "Christmas", "Holiday Projects

About the Author

Kris (otherwise known as Ki) recently achieved her Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems and is currently working to turn her dreams into reality by writing, crafting, and building a business. She is a single mom seeking to show her only son that hard work and dedication will get you to a point where you can enjoy the best things in life without becoming a slave to the corporate world.


  1. By Eric on

    Its always great to make something out of your bare hands rather than go online to Amazon and purchase something for someone. The gifts you talked about here and show here really give someone something to smile at during the holidays. It is great to put a lot of effort into a christmas gift, or any gift for that matter!

    1. By Ki (Post author) on

      Thanks, Eric! It certainly does feel good at the end of the day when I look at what I’ve accomplished and say, “I did that!” Thanks for the compliment!


  2. By Renee Townsend on

    Great gift idea. I can see it being used for seasons other than Christmas. My mother would love something like this for a holiday such as Mother’s Day. It still amazes me the mementos my mom will pull out from time to time. Your canvases remind me a little bit of scrapbooking. Very nice.

    1. By Ki (Post author) on

      Hi Renee,

      Thanks for the compliment! I’ve also made general canvases in this scrapbook type style that are not holiday related. I have some in my living room that match the theme of the room. The great thing about scrapbooking is that you can find ways to match up pretty much anything. I like your mom! 😉

  3. By Mei Scarlet on

    Isn’t that great and wonderful how our mistakes can turn into something so beautiful!? I always used to have a burst of frustration when I “thought” I had made a mistake – but now I’ve learned that sometimes these mistakes are just what needs to happen, for me to truly turn the craft into something (although not what I expected) but equally or even more amazing!

    Your gifts are truly beautiful – and I also agree that gifts from the heart – gifts that take time to create are worth much more than the 5 minutes taken to choose something out from a store.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂


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