The holidays are right around the corner (how is this possible?),
and you may be scrambling to come up with some original gift ideas this year. Or, perhaps, you want to create some fun, festive pieces to display at home.
Everyone appreciates a special treat during the holidays, and homemade gifts (especially when you love art) can be an excellent, and cost-effective, way to say “thanks!” Be it for your besties, your kids' teachers, or even your mail carrier or UPS driver (a super sweet idea they will surely appreciate.)
So, let’s dive in and talk about five easy – but showstopping – handmade gifts you can make with just a few materials. They may be simple, but they’re guaranteed to make someone else’s day.
1) Christmas Tree Wall Art
Christmas trees are always fun to paint – there are so many varieties. Plus, painting trees is always easy as plants have no definite shape. They’re organic in nature, so it’s hard to mess up! Let loose and have fun painting as many trees as you’d like.
I’ve created this design of six Christmas trees using only white paint. In fact, I set up a whole video on how I created this piece here! Please take a peek so you can see how easy it is to create this Christmas tree art all by yourself!
You can use a variety of colors for your painting, but another great option is to keep your wall art neutral. Start with a black cotton canvas by Blick Studio and either paint your trees all white or glitzy it up and use metallic gold. Or, you can dive straight into the metallics and choose either a silver or gold canvas by Fredrix, like I did. These canvases come in various sizes, so you won’t have any problem finding the perfect size for your wall.
I recommend acrylic paints for this project, as they’re easy to work with and are opaque.
2) Ceramic Coasters
Coasters are always a great gift for someone to use during the holidays. You can paint a simple holiday pattern, someone’s initials or last name, or even pets decked out in festive garb!
These ceramic coasters come as circles or squares and have smooth, unfinished white surfaces. They are porous and can be painted with acrylic paint. I recommend using a varnish to seal your paint from any water rings from your drinking glasses. Finish off the bottoms of your coasters with these felt sticky pads. These pads will help protect any surfaces from getting scratched by the coasters.
Package up your coasters with a cute decorative ribbon, or use a burlap & sheer gift bag with a drawstring. These linen bags are perfect for letting your coasters shine through the sheer fabric and come in various colors to match your coasters.
3) Glass Votive Candles
Decorate your holiday table, fireplace mantle, or nightstands with beautifully painted votive candles. You can purchase reasonably-priced votive candle holders at any discount retailer, or garage sale, or even mix and match different sizes and shapes to create a truly unique look!
Choose glass votives with a smooth surface for the best results. Wipe your votives with a clean cloth to ensure no residue is on the glass, and use glass paints to ensure the paint adheres to your glass.
Feel free to paint around the glass as little or as much as you want. For example, you can create holiday patterns with holly leaves, simple evergreen trees, or snowmen. Or you can create more geometric patterns with stars and snowflakes. If you want to make a subtle statement, stick with one color scheme, such as red or metallic gold. Another idea is to create an Advent calendar with 25 numbers or the 12 days of Christmas.
Watch me paint some votive candles here!
4) Wooden Christmas Tree Set
Add some holiday cheer to that small space on your desk, bathroom sink, or a kitchen windowsill. These little wooden trees will make even small spaces pop with bold excitement!
Pick up a set of 10 wooden cones, acrylic paints, and a small paintbrush, and you’re ready to go. This miniature set of wooden cones comes in various sizes, perfect for holding your jewelry and rings throughout the holidays–and beyond!
Paint some with bold, colorful stripes, or use solid metallic golds and silvers. If you’re feeling extra festive, brush the cones with a glitter top coat to add that over-the-top sparkle. Watch how easy it is to paint these miniature trees in this video!
5) Wood Slice Ornaments
You may remember the wood slice ornaments I painted last year (you can watch me paint them here.) Those small eucalyptus wood slices were such a joy to paint! I purchased three sets of 12 from Blick Art Materials.
I used a mix of pets and plants for my painted ornaments, but paint anything your heart desires. Think of holiday scenes, maybe a wintry landscape with mountains, evergreens, or forest animals decked out in winter garb. Perhaps some skiers or ice skaters on a frozen pond. Or you may want to stick with a natural or neutral theme and create tone-on-tone patterns.
You can’t go wrong with adorable wood slices to spruce up anyone’s Christmas tree!
I used these acrylic paints and finished off the painted side with this gloss varnish. You can use a satin or matte gloss if you want a more subdued finish. Use natural twine, or pick a fun satiny ribbon to create a loop for your ornament!
I’d so love to see what you come up with this holiday season! Tag me on Instagram with your creations!