Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christmas Decorations with Lady Brayton

Lady Brayton here.  Christmas is coming so I thought I'd take a moment to show you how to make an inexpensive Christmas decoration for your home.  The decoration for today is a mini Christmas tree.  I actually made two trees. One has ornaments, the other does not. I plan on making a bunch of these in various sizes to create a Christmas scene.
This tutorial is also on Rick's new Tuts and Comments Blog.

Here are the supplies you will need:
Step 1:  Apply DecoArt Texture Primer/Sealer to the paper mache cone/s to prevent the paper mache from warping due to the moisture of the paints.  The Texture Primer/Sealer also assures good adherence of the DecoArt Modeling Paste.

Step 2:  After the Texture Primer/Sealer is dry, apply DecoArt Modeling Paste to cone/s.  I used a plastic palette knife, but you may use and old brush if you'd prefer.

Step 3:  After the Modeling Paste has dried completely, paint with DecoArt Americana in Hauser Dark Green.  When dry, apply a second coat if needed and allow to dry.  

Step 4:  Dry brush the textured areas with DecoArt Americana Hauser Green in Medium. This will bring out the textures of the branches.  Sorry, I don't seem to have a photo of this step.

Step 5:  Dry brush the textured areas with DecoArt Americana Hauser Green in Light to add highlights and even more dimension.  Once again, I neglected to take pics of this step.  I think I get too into dry brushing and do it so quickly that I forget to take photos.

Step 6:  Apply DecoArt Snow-Tex to the tree with either a palette knife or a paint brush. If decorating with ornaments, stick ornaments into the Snow-Tex as it can act as an adhesive as well.  DecoArt also makes a glittery form of Snow-Tex named Glistening Snow-Tex DS46-4.

Step 7:  If creating a winter scene, gather your winter images and color them or gather your miniature people to set around.  There are tons of ways to decorate.  You can use felt as snow or you can created a terrain filled with snow by using Snow-Tex on a hard base.  Cotton batting can also be used to create a snowy base.  Get creative and have fun with the decorating process!  

Step 8:  Seal trees and colored images with Americana Matte Spray Sealer.  I used 2 coats.  Always spray outside if possible or in a well ventilated area.  If you have asthma and cannot use spray sealers, DecoArt has many other suitable sealers to choose from.

I don't own miniatures and won't spend the money on them.  Instead I took this cute image by Rick St. Dennis, the "Star Kids TRIO" and colored them in PSE8.  Feel free to color your images with any medium you like whether it be pencils, markers, or paints.  Before printing, I copied and flipped one of the trio sets and merged them in PSE8 so I had a group of 6 holding hands.  I copied the merged layer and flipped it.  This gave me a mirrored image so my wee winter lads could be seen from the front or the back.  This allowed me to be more creative when moving them around.  I printed and fussy cut the images and then I glued the front and back sides together.  I use Copic X-Press-it paper as it is sturdy and smooth.

Below are some detail pics as well as my almost finished project.  Like I said above, I plan on making more trees of various sizes to create a much larger scene.  The bonus of using stamped images rather than figurines is the pride in making it yourself as well as the ease of storing the project from year to year.  If you ever get tired of the images you can just switch them out and the only cost is the price of paper and some spare time :)  Rick has more Cute Christmas and Winter images in his Zibbet shoppe.

My wee paper lads are standing by themselves upon my felt base.  If you use paper and your images don't stand or need to be extra sturdy due to children or pets, I would suggest using a Styrofoam base with felt or cotton batting over it. Then, when making your paper figurines, you can always glue a toothpick or two between your image layers with a portion of the toothpick hanging out the bottom so you can stick the image into the Styrofoam.  

If you would rather use a hard terrain with Snow-Tex for durability and a cool snow effect, you can do the same toothpick technique, but pierce a holes into a small bases made with white polymer clay and bake the clay only (not the image). Now you have sturdy bases to stick your paper figurines into.  Just make sure if your image has more than one toothpick that the toothpicks match-up with the holes in the clay base.

I hope I've given you some ideas on decorating for the holiday season.

~ Lady Brayton ~


  1. Looks great lb. fab tutorial

    Those trees turned out awsome

  2. This is a fantastic tutorial! Thanks for the inspiration.!

  3. Wow, this came out great! Love the 3D details on the tree and the tree itself. Beautiful coloring on the people.