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Christmas Triptych Decoration

By: Bumblebees and Butterflies
November 28, 2019

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Christmas Triptych Decoration
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Christmas is just around the corner and I am in full festive mood making preparations for the holiday season. I love decorating my house both inside and out and the whole of the downstairs gets decorations added on shelves and tables, windowsills and walls and in every room! Over the years I have made several pieces of artwork as seasonal home décor, this project is going to add to my collection.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Prussian Blue Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Payne's Grey
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Red
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Phthalo Green-Blue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Sap Green
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Hansa Yellow Medium
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Cadmium Red Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Silver
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Gold
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Glaze - Clear
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Modeling Paste - White
  • Snow-Tex 4oz - Snow-Tex
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 2oz - Whisper
  • Die-cuts
  • Resin Santa
  • Deer and doll
  • Bottlebrush trees
  • Paper dolls
  • Natural elements
  • Frames
  • Embellishments


I bought 3 frames from a well know Swedish store and changed the backboards around to make the best use of the depth for a shadowbox effect.

Instruction #1 - Staged 240
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To start me off I gathered the mainstay of embellishments I wanted in the shadowbox, die-cuts, resin Santa and doll, paper dolls and bottle brush trees. The deer, snowflakes and natural elements came at the end when I was assembling the frames … my mantra is “The beauty is in the detail."

Instruction #2 - Staged 361
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Step 1: Take some card for the background, give it a coat of white Gesso, heat dry and then apply a coat of Matte Decou-Page sealer. This acts as a resist and lets the next steps watery paint layers move about more freely on the substrate.

Dip the card in some watery DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Prussian Blue wash, spritz with a little water and heat dry. Repeat this step several times to cover the card and to get overlays of the colour. Also, repeat with a watery wash of Burnt Umber and heat dry.

Instruction #3 - Step 114
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Step 2: Mix a little Prussian Blue and some Titan Buff with a little water to get a more opaque and thicker wash and dip and dry again. This time one dip might just do it.

Instruction #4 - Step 226
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Step 3: Now mix the Prussian Blue with Titanium White and water to get another thicker wash and dip and dry again. This should be lighter in colour than the previous step.

Instruction #5 - Step 333
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Step 4: Apply Chalky Finish in Whisper through a stencil. I tried using a household sponge…..

Instruction #6 - Step 4a30
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…. and a blending tool and blending foam.

Both give different results and I like them both. You might have your own preference with it.

Instruction #7 - Step 4b39
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Step 5: Mix some Soft Touch Varnish with a tiny amount of Paynes Grey and Burnt Umber paints and add some water to make it more a wash of varnish than a thick coat. This will take the starkness of colour off of the Chalky Finish paint and seal the background at the same time.

Instruction #8 - Step 578
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Step 6: Now take the tree die-cuts. Stipple a coat of Sap Green, Phthalo Green-Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium and Titan Buff blending them on the card to get variations of colours. Heat dry and then give them some washes of Raw Umber and burnt umber before stippling a little Titanium White randomly over the top to look like snow. Then give them a dusting of glitter.

Instruction #9 - Step 648
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Instruction #10 - Step 6a42
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Step 7: Take the bottlebrush trees. With a paintbrush drip watery washes of the green paints, we have already used into the branches, heat dry and then gently brush over some white Gesso with a stiff paintbrush.

Instruction #11 - Step 758
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Step 8: Give the sleigh some washes of Cadmium Red and Quinacridone Magenta. Heat dry. Splatter with White and dry again before giving a wash of Magenta mixed with Burnt Umber. Again dust with glitter and add some Snow-Tex to the top of the sleigh and runners.

Instruction #12 - Step 818
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Step 9: Paint Santa and the little girl with the media acrylic paints and let dry. Give a very light wash of Raw Umber so that it settles in some of the cracks and heat dry carefully. Be gentle with the heat gun as these are resin models and will become moldable if made too hot. Give them a dusting of glitter to make them look frosty.

Instruction #13 - Step 999
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Step 10: Finger rub lightly with white gesso - rather like dry brushing and then finger paint light washes of Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Hansa Yellow Medium and Silver before adding Titanium White for the snow and add a dusting of glitter.

Instruction #14 - Step 1048
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Step 11: Take the frames and with a palette knife and white Modeling Paste create a little texture, I paid particular attention to the corners as they had been stapled and I didn’t want them to show. When it’s dry paint over a coat of gesso and again when dry paint a coat of clear Crackle Glaze. Use Antiquing Cream to enhance the crackles when it’s dry and finish with a coat of varnish.

Instruction #15 - Step 11a
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Instruction #16 - Step 11b
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Step 12: Now assemble the box frames and add embellishments to complete the look to your satisfaction.

Instruction #17 - Step 12a
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Instruction #18 - Step 12b
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Instruction #19 - Step 12c
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I hope you have fun with all your preparations for Christmas especially if you enjoy making your own seasonal pieces of home décor.

Instruction #20 - Staged 4
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I know that all of you in the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving today, it’s not a national day for us here in the UK but schools and churches have services and give thanks for the Harvest in the autumn. It’s still an important time of year for us.

Enjoy your celebrations as you gather family and friends together to give thanks for all the blessings of the harvest and the preceding year.

Brenda xxx


These little Christmas/winter vignettes are so charming, Brenda! I love the transformation of the frames, those gorgeous backgrounds and every single detail! Great projects! Thank you for your inspiration and hard work putting this wonderful tutorial together.

sara emily

November 28, 2019

A winter wonderful project and a Fantastic tutorial! Amongst so many things, I Love how you have turned the frames around and the way you 'dressed'the little doll so clever. Toni xx


November 30, 2019

Great to see some more of that glorious swirl of colour in the sky (maybe my favourite bit of these lovely boxed scenes). The tinting on the doll and Father Christmas is fabulous, as is the crackle (of course), and I love the finish on the sleigh too. Brilliant festive creations. Alison x


November 30, 2019

Such a charming Xmas trio, Brenda! Love the story telling of this project and how it spreads a lot of winter-y joy! Claudia xx


December 1, 2019

Brenda, these are adorable! Love your background and all of the elements you added! Great use of DecoArt products!! Wonderful tutorial, too!


December 2, 2019

Its beautiful project. I love the cracks

Alka acharya

January 16, 2020

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