Hands down my favorite christmas project. That is what this post is all about.
But let me start at the beginning.
Our mantle got a simple sprucing. We went for classic decor this year…nothing cluttered…and we wanted any potential buyers who came to see the house to be impressed with the house…and not distracted by the massive amounts of christmas decor. So when it came to our mantle we simply hung our stockings and threw a bit of faux greenery on the mantle top. Then we stuck silver ornaments in and around the branches. Two candlesticks looked classic and simple enough…but then we were stuck. What to put in the middle?
At first, I wanted to create a knock off of the Pottery Barn NOEL sign. But then I saw 1.2 million people online make the same one…and probably better than what I could make….and cheaper than I could make it. So it made me question my decision.
Right between my thoughts of “Is there any other christmas word that I could substitute for Noel that would be cool?” and “Dang them wicked awesome crafty bloggers”, I found a picture a la Pottery Barn Christmas catalog of yore that boasted a lovely canvas of Dear ole St. Nick himself.
It really got my wheels turning. I loved the simple portrait…and I adored the fact that I could use this as a future playroom decor item come Christmas time in future years. I also liked the simple white and silver finish. But the Pottery Barn was glittered…and I wasn’t thrilled about thinking of glittering an entire canvas. And that was another thing…I didn’t have a canvas. I just had a big piece of plywood.
Then I started brainstorming…how the heck am I gonna turn a bitty picture I could find online of Mr. Claus into a big piece of art? I remembered my middle school art teacher’s enlarging method. It is as easy as drawing a grid over the photo like this:
Then you draw the same grid (just bigger) on your canvas (or in this case my plywood painted with a coat of white semi-gloss paint). Sure, it took a little math but I figured out that I could convert each little 1 inch box to 3.75 inches on our 2 foot square of wood. After I did the lines, it was as simple as copying each box exactly the same.
I sketched it in pencil and did each box till my santa was complete.
Then I used some silver paint pens to fill in the Kris Kringle. After it was all dried, I just took the pencil eraser and removed the grid lines.
Now for the finished product…
Doesn’t he look so jolly on our mantle?
And still simple and classic, right?
I love how it finishes off the mantle…plus, it is a handpainted piece of art that adds some charm and I know will be a beloved christmas decor item for many many years. And it cost me NOTHING. Not bad for free, huh?
So that’s my favorite project of Christmas 2010. What do you think? Do you love the Santa or do you think I was wrong to veer away from Noel? Anyone else remember the grid-method? Or are you one of those lucky people that have a projector? Or maybe you are just thrilled at the fact that you could do a handpainted piece without actually owning a paintbrush?
Stay tuned…there are three more days of ABP holiday crafts and home decor! It’ll get you in the ho-ho-holiday mood 🙂