It is not even Halloween…why am I sharing a Christmas craft? Well, we had a rainy weekend last weekend and I decided to make some gift tags for the holidays. Having some items prepared in advance definitely takes some of the pressure off come December! (Although, traditionally I have done my Christmas wrapping the day after Thanksgiving! I know – cringe worthy for any last minute types out there!)
Anthropologie always has such cute tie-ons as part of their holiday wrapping each year. This year, one of the designs reminded me of a hand painted Christmas card I had made many years ago. It had been an easy design using watercolors – I had done an abstract tree by just making a few horizontal lines on some watercolor paper. Anthro has done the same type of design as a holiday package tie-on, adding an embellishment that I think is so cool – a twig wrapped in green string as a tree trunk!
Their design inspired me to create some gift tags reminiscent of the design I had used on my cards so many Christmases ago. Today, I am sharing a tutorial.
If you don’t have watercolor experience, don’t be intimidated! And, you don’t need any fancy supplies. When I made those tree Christmas cards years ago, I used paint from a dollar store children’s watercolor set! That is all you need to create this card! You can pick up a kit (that includes a brush) at a dollar store or children’s craft section of a bargain store. Watercolor paper (don’t use regular paper) is available in craft or hobby stores. The amount you need will depend on the number of cards you intend to make.
Think about the shape of a tree and picture a triangle shape on the watercolor paper. For purposes of this tutorial, I made pencil marks to better guide you (my triangle is 3” high). If you need to make your own pencil marks, you will want to make them much lighter than this so they will not be visible on your finished card.
Using a brush dipped in water, brush the water onto the paper in the triangle shape. Don’t saturate the paper; just give it a light wash of water in the triangle shape.
Next, mixing water with the green paint, paint random horizontal lines across the paper using the triangle as your guide. Some of the lines may stay within your imagined/pencil triangle shape and some may be a little longer. Make one or two lines at a little bit of an angle rather than perfectly straight across. Once you are happy with the look, leave the tree to dry.
Next, load a little bit of paint on the brush. Hold the brush over the tree and lightly tap the middle of the brush handle…this will give you some speckling on your paper. See the green dots on my card?
You may want to experiment and try a few trees to get a better feel for the paint and the paper before you create a final tree.
Next, find a thin twig to use as the trunk of your tree (mine is 4 ¼” high). Using green thread, string, yarn, or twine; wrap a length around the middle section of your twig – securing with dots of glue. Use a glue gun to attach the completed trunk onto the painted tree.
Cut or rip (for deckled edge) the tag to desired size (mine is 5” x 6”).
If you want a little added bling to your tag, add some optional glitter. I finished up my card by brushing on a little glitter paint using a cotton swab.
That’s it! You have a beautiful, hand painted gift tag for your holiday wrapping!
I am using my creations as flat gift tags, but they can easily be adapted to a folded card or a tie-on (by adding two small holes – one on each side of the twig, and using some green thread to tie onto a package) if that is your preference.
I don’t like writing names on my gifts…I always identify packages by the wrapping theme/color or by writing an identifying letter or initial somewhere on the package where not readily visible. If you would rather have names on your tags, simply add the words ‘to’ and ‘from’ with a thin permanent marker.
If you make your tag into a folded card, include a few holiday words inside – like: Oh, what fun! Jingle all the way! Making it Merry!
Rather not make your own tree gift tags? You can always get some similar ones, gratis. at Anthropologie when you make holiday purchases!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie