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Santa and the Chimney Vintage Style Postcard Canvas

By: Creativity Is Contagious
December 8, 2015

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Santa and the Chimney Vintage Style Postcard Canvas
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Christmas is my favorite time of year to create vintage home décor pieces. I love old vintage Christmas postcards with Santa on them. But they are so small. So, I have tried to recreate a dimensional old vintage Christmas postcard that can either be placed in a frame or let sitting among other Christmas home décor pieces to create a vintage vignette. Using an old Christmas Ideals cover from 1946 and combining it with DecoArt products, I have brought this vintage Santa and his reindeer to life! This is an easy project to do and even if you’re not the best painter on the planet, you can do this project!

Items needed:

  • Craft Twinkles 2oz - Silver
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Cerulean Blue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Prussian Blue Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Interference - Blue Interference
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Modeling Paste - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Varnishes - Ultra-Matte Varnish
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Gold
  • 5
  • Christmas Ideals 1946 cover
  • White Flock
  • Merry Christmas Stamp
  • Embossing Ink
  • Embossing Powder
  • Heat Tool
  • Assorted Brushes
  • Black and White Transfer Paper
  • Pencil
  • Stylus
  • Scissors
  • Dimensional Adhesive


In preparation for this canvas; begin by sizing the Christmas Ideals 1946 cover, found on Candy's blog, to fit your canvas. In this case, a 5” x 7” canvas. Print out one copy of the cover to refer to when placing your images on the canvas. Photo edit by cropping the entire cover to just Santa and the reindeer and put them on a separate page to be printed out. Include two or three Santas and a couple of the reindeer, in case you accidently cut off something you didn’t mean to. Print out a copy of this page and set aside and begin working on your canvas background.

Cover a 5x7 canvas with DecoArt Media White Gesso. It can either be brushed on or scraped on with a palette knife. In this case, I scraped the gesso on first and then smoothed it out just a little bit with a brush. Let dry.

Instruction #2 - 171
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Create a wintery sky with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic colors Titanium White, Cerulean Blue and Prussian Blue Hue. Add just a touch of water to the brush as you are working (when mixing colors or brushing on the canvas). Begin with the darkest color (Prussian Blue Hue) at the top of the canvas and begin brushing back and forth across the canvas. On a palette or work surface, begin mixing the Prussian Blue Hue and Cerulean Blue together. Then continue brushing across the canvas, blending the two shades of blue as you work. Mix Titanium White with the Cerulean Blue on a work surface, add a touch of water and continue blending and brushing the blues across the canvas, advancing toward the bottom of the canvas. Finally, end with almost just Titanium White at the bottom of the canvas. Continue to brush and blend until you are happy with your background. Let dry.

Instruction #3 - 22939
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Brush DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Interference Blue to the area of the canvas background where the star’s light will shine down onto the town. Interference Blue gives an iridescence that will add a “heavenly light” to the night sky.

Instruction #4 - 39996
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Gently tape the Christmas Ideals cover to the canvas and using white transfer paper on the dark sky areas and black transfer paper on the white areas of your canvas, use a pencil and trace over the lines of the little town in the background, the little houses to the right of Santa’s chimney, the roof line of the house that the chimney is sitting on. These items will be painted onto the canvas and it is easier if you have some sort of guidelines for placement of these images

Instruction #5 - 467
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Here is a photograph of the transferred images from the copy paper to the canvas.

Instruction #6 - 588
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Using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics, recreate the little town, the houses to the right and the snowy rooftop onto the canvas. 

Instruction #7 - 639
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The colors used to create the houses were a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics. The basic houses were a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Titan Buff. Burnt Umber was added for shadowing. Yellow Oxide was used for the lights in the windows. Titanium White was used for the snowy rooftops and also almost dry brushed around the little houses to better define the snow. A slight amount of Carbon black was mixed with Titanium White to create the snowy shadows on the rooftop.

Instruction #8 - 739
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To age the canvas a little bit, I gently and randomly brushed a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acryics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide around the perimeter of the canvas and on some of the snowy areas to dim the white snow just a bit. Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide is a semi transparent paint that is perfect for instantly aging pieces.

Instruction #9 - 832
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Add stars, particularly the one brightly shining star in the sky by using a stylus and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White. Let dry.

Instruction #10 - 936
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Here is the copy of the Santas and reindeer printed earlier and left sitting until now. Carefully cut out one of the Santas sitting on the chimney. This will be your base piece that will be added to the canvas. Taking another Santa, cut out the foot and leg portion up to and including the belt. Then cut out the arm and hand that is holding Santa’s bag. Finally cut out Santa’s hat and the holly piece that is in front of Santa’s bag. These items will be enhanced and layered on top of the original Santa and chimney cut out. Also cut out the reindeer to be applied to the canvas later.

Instruction #11 - 1041
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Brush a generous amount of DecoArt Media Matte Medium onto the fur areas of the CUTOUT Santa’s outfit (working with one furry piece at a time). Crumble the flocking and sprinkle it heavily over the Matte Medium area. Lightly press down on the flocking, turn the piece over and shake off the excess flock. Repeat this for all furry areas of Santa’s outfit and hat. When finished, set aside to thoroughly dry.

Instruction #12 - 1188
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Brush DecoArt Media Matte Medium onto the canvas and lay the base Santa and chimney cut out in place on the snowy rooftop. Press into place and then brush more Matte Medium over Santa and the chimney to seal it in place. Do the same thing for the reindeer to the left of Santa and the chimney. Set aside to dry.

Instruction #13 - 1271
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Once completely dry, brush a coat of DecoArt Media Ultra-Matte Varnish over the top of the canvas to seal it. Let dry. Then glue and add dimension to the extra Santa arm, leg and hat in place on the canvas. Glue the upper portion of the belt and side of the arm next to the bag down onto the canvas. 

Instruction #14 - 1313
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Using a “junk” paint brush, apply DecoArt Media Modeling Paste to the snowy rooftop in the foreground of the canvas. This will add texture and depth to the canvas.

Instruction #15 - 1475
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Using a small brush, apply DecoArt Craft Twinkles Acrylic Paint in Crystal to the rooftops of the small houses, the bright shining star, a small amount coming down from the star to the sleepy town below, the rooftops on the little houses to the right of Santa on the rooftop, the snow on the chimney, the rooftop with the Modeling Paste on it and randomly on some of the toys in Santa’s Bag.

Instruction #16 - 1567
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Carefully emboss “Merry Christmas” onto the canvas using an embossing ink pad, a Merry Christmas Stamp and Queen’s Gold embossing powder. Brush away any excess powder from the letters BEFORE heat setting. 

Instruction #17 - 1667
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I added a light amount of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White around the edges of the entire canvas followed by just a touch of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold just along the edge and sides of the canvas. This “frames” the scene and adds a bit more of a vintage feeling.

Instruction #18 - 1788
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Now your vintage canvas is complete. Doesn’t it resemble those old vintage Christmas postcards only this one is even better because it is dimensional and large enough for everyone to enjoy!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Happy Crafting!

Instruction #19 - Christmas Canvas63
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Be sure to visit Creativity Is Contagious  for more projects and to learn more about Candy.


Absolutely LOVE this piece! Can't wait to try this myself!

Susan Mostek

December 8, 2015

This is just INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL and CHARMING Candy. I sooo love anything on canvas and you did this Christmas beauty PERFECTLY. It gives me tingles.... I can almost hear Santa's jingles! Wow - just awed. GREAT use of DecoArt products in every way and SUPER FINE tutorial. Thanks bunches and Ho Ho Hoooooo.... Happy Christmas Candy. XO j.


December 8, 2015

What an ingenious canvas, Candy! That Santa just pops and you certainly did bring him to life! All the details and snowy texture are amazing. Love this Christmas canvas! Hugs!


December 8, 2015

Yes, it DOES indeed resemble those old vintage postcards. I totally LOVE this and the added dimension with the layering. Always an inspiration, Candy. Another amazing creation!

Annette Green

December 8, 2015

Absolutely fantastic piece, wonderful attention to detail. I love,the use of the interference . I love how the vintage santa is looking over the village . Such a nostalgic piece . Tracy x X X X

Tracy Evans

December 8, 2015

Love it!


December 8, 2015

WOW It's beautiful.

Karenliz Henderson

December 8, 2015

Wow this is a masterpiece. So vintage , love everything about it .


December 8, 2015

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for this wonderful image of Santa! This project is so beautiful...I am not even close to being able to do this but I sure will enjoy the print!

Sandy McClay

December 9, 2015

I love it. It's beautiful thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and yours


December 9, 2015

So clever! Love the tiny houses with the sparkling snowy roofs, and the beautiful gilded edging to the whole thing. Alison x


December 9, 2015

This is reminiscent of my childhood. I just love it. Thanks for the tutorial and I hope you have a very merry Christmas.

Kateri Cochran

December 9, 2015

This is just fabulous Candy. I love the vintage image and amazed at how much you have enhanced it in so many clever ways! I hope I can make time to have a go at this. I love it ! Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you and yours! Toni xx


December 9, 2015

Not only do you have THE most fantastic ideas but you always execute them perfectly! I was not sure how the Interference paints would work but I am really keen to give them a go now. Your canvas is simply beautiful, so clever, I just adore the wonderful vintage Santa. Wonderful! Anne xx

Anne R

December 9, 2015

Oh Candy!!! This canvas is delightful and so reminds me of Christmases past as a child! You absolutely brought back fond memories as well as have inspired me to recreate something similar!! Thank you so much for your tutorial!! xo

Jackie PN

December 12, 2015

I just wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful comments! It warms my heart that this canvas has brought back Christmas memories for so many. Merry Christmas to all!

Candy Colwell

December 12, 2015

Oh Candy I just love this Santa canvas, you are an amazing artist!

Linda Bell

December 14, 2015

Beautiful canvas and beautiful job. It's so interesting to see all the parts come together through your tutorial ... What innovative ideas you have .... love it!


December 16, 2015

Stunning work Candy! Dare I say better than the original! Those touches of gold add a whole new dimension to the canvas too. Happy New Year! Jenny x

Jenny Marples

January 3, 2016

Candy, your instructions are so clear and thorough, they are perfect for anyone from beginner to advanced. Thank you for sharing your techniques, which can be used for many projects.

Allison Leeds

January 5, 2016

DELECTABLY DELIGHTFUL Candy. PERFECT in every way - from winning my heart to FABULOUS art. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Xj.


December 15, 2016

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