It’s that time of the year again! Christmas carols, jingle bells, and sleigh rides are just around the corner, and it’s time to get your home on board with the holiday cheer! I don’t know about you, but I can spend a pretty penny on Christmas decor! I may or may not have 6 sets of tree decorations (shameful I know). Anyway… in an effort to save some dough and be unique, I’ve been on the lookout for acrylic Christmas painting ideas to make cute DIY decor. Cue the snowman and cute reindeer folks, it’s time to craft some Christmas joy!
Get in the spirit!
Here at Homebody Hall, we love the holidays! That’s why we have a full blog category for seasonal art ideas that we’re continually updating. It includes DIY Christmas decorations, sugar-skull projects for Halloween, and a fantastic November art project that will usher in the Thanksgiving joy. If you need a new holiday acrylic art idea, just choose your favorite tutorial and get pouring!
The Best Christmas Paint Ideas
In this article, we’ve gathered a few holiday paint pour projects that will get your home Christmas-ready in a jiffy. We’ve included something for every level of artist, from beginner to master, and tried to keep it to a reasonable budget as well. HO HO HO! Here we go!
1. Simple Christmas Acrylic
For our first project, we’ve chosen a simple and cute Christmas painting. If you’re just starting your canvas painting journey, this one works great for beginners.
- Acrylic paints in your choice of color scheme. We suggest 4–5 colors, including at least one metallic.
- A canvas of appropriate size. Choose a pre-primed canvas that almost fills the space you intend to hang or display it. Nothing kills the aesthetic more than a painting that is too small for the space.
- Floetrol, PVA glue, or Liquitex pouring medium to create that perfect texture. For help choosing the perfect medium, check out “The Perfect Acrylic Pouring Medium to Suit Your Pour Paint Technique.”
- Something to elevate your painting (saw horses, a cake stand, four plastic cups… whatever you can get your hands on).
- Optional: A few flat Christmas accessories: snowflake confetti, cute gift tags, or even Polaroid photos of the kids with Santa all work well.
For this Christmas painting idea, we’re going to perform a simple dirty pour. It’s quick and easy—once the setup is done—but the result is fantastic every time.
- Prepare your painting area: Set up your drop cloth. Elevate your pre-primed canvas, and make sure you have enough space to move around your canvas freely.
- Prepare your canvas: If your canvas is not primed, prime it with gesso and let it dry overnight. Some artists choose to work on a wet surface for increased paint flow ease. If that’s you. Put a single coat of white paint on your canvas just before you begin pouring.
- Mix your paints: The secret to mastering acrylic pour painting is getting the mixture right from the start. In your mixing cups, blend your flow medium with your acrylic paint until you get a consistency that resembles warm honey. Don’t mix too much or too vigorously, or you’ll get air bubbles. Mix thoroughly though, or you’ll get streaking. Your ratio of medium to paint will depend on what brand and type of paint you’re using and which medium you choose. You’ll just have to experiment.
- Once each of your colors is the correct consistency, gently pour them into your larger pour cup. You can do them one color at a time, or alternate a little bit of each color, producing multiple layers.
- Quickly turn the cup over on the center of your canvas and lift it up.
- Allow the paint to start moving towards the edge. Begin to gently tilt your canvas until the paint flows over each edge, covering the surface thoroughly. Use a spoon or stir stick to add paint to any bare areas. Advanced painters will want to add some silicone oil to the mix to produce cells. You can also drizzle your metallic paint to create veins if you want a more professional-looking piece.
- From here, if you want your painting to have a little extra holiday flair, sprinkle on your snowflake confetti, or strategically place gift tags in the wet paint. Make sure not to push too hard and disturb your paint pattern.
- Let the painting set in a cool, dry place for at least 24 hours before moving.
- Hang up your painting or display it on your mantle!
2. Winter Fir Painting
Moving on to project two—the second of our Christmas canvas paintings is a bit more advanced and more chic. We’ll step away from cutesy confetti and into a winterscape that’s sure to impress. In addition to pour painting, we will be sculpting some trees on this one with a palette knife and plastic fork, but don’t freak out. We aren’t going Bob Ross on you. It’s going to be easy.
- White acrylic paint
- Appropriate-sized canvas or piece of wood or metal
- Three shades of green acrylic paint
- Dark blue acrylic paint
- Flow Medium
- Drop cloth
- Mixing cups, stir sticks, and a pour cup
- A structure to elevate your painting
- Palette knife or plastic fork
- First things first, let’s prep the background. This Christmas painting idea revolves around a snowy night in the Fir forest, so we’re going to start with a dark background. Mix up a large amount of midnight blue with Floetrol or your flow medium of choice. I also like to use a lighter ice blue to add some interest and depth to my night sky. It will have the effect of the moon bouncing off the snow.
- Perform a traditional pour by dumping your dark blue on the canvas. You don’t have to get too technical, just cover the canvas. In horizontal motion, across the canvas, spread thin lines of the lighter blue…think Northern lights! Tilt your canvas from side to side to spread the light blue into the night sky.
- Time for the snow. While you mix up your white paint, allow your dark blue background to dry for a while. It doesn’t have to be totally dry, but tacky. Pour your white across the bottom 1/3 of your canvas. Use your pallet knife to spread it around and give it some texture. You can even use the tilt method or puddle pouring to produce little hills. You can also dip a small paintbrush in some of your ice blue, and drag it through your snow to create areas of shadow in your snow. Just play with it until you get the effect you like.
- For your first trees, we’re going to use three colors of green, and you can even add a little metallic gold if you really want them to shine. Begin by dripping a vertical line with your palette knife. Use a small brush or your palette knife and a plastic fork to drag the paint out from your center line into a tree shape, using all your green colors to get a realistic look.
- Once you have your basic Christmas tree shape, use the fork to add some texture and gold highlights. If you really want to get professional, use the lighter green and gold only on one side of the tree, creating a highlight, as if the moon is shining on them. Keep the other side of the trees dark, as if in shadow.
- Repeat your tree process until you have a forest you’re happy with. Make sure to make your trees different heights and shapes for authenticity. Remember, when creating depth, you’ll want the trees in front to be larger and lighter in color, and the trees in the background to be darker and smaller.
- For a final touch to your snowy night, dip your small paintbrush in white paint and gently flick some paint spatter onto your painting, creating floating flakes.
- Allow to dry for at least 24 hours before displaying.
3. Holiday Rock Painting
This special rock painting is one of the easiest and most relaxing holiday decor ideas. It’s a simple process that produces a multi-faceted and adorable piece every time! Painted rock makes a great table decoration. Just scatter about between your food items. They also look great in a vase, in the guest bathroom sink, or if you use big rocks, you can use them as stocking holders.
- Smooth river rocks
- 3-4 acrylic paint colors of your choice
- Black Sharpie
- Cookie cooling rack or flat drying rack
- Mixing cups, stir sticks
- White acrylic paint or primer
- Optional: holiday glitter or confetti
- Line up your rocks on your drying rack. Give them a coat of white primer and let it dry completely.
- Mix your colors in separate mixing cups. I like to use medicine cups for this one. You will probably not need a flow medium if you’re using liquid hobby paints. If using a thicker, art-grade paint, mix with a little medium to help it pour.
- One color at a time, pour your paint over your rocks in a circular motion, creating swirls or stripes across each rock.
- Add glitter or confetti if you wish.
- Allow to dry for 24 hours.
- Use your Sharpie to decorate each rock with a traditional holiday saying like “ho, ho, ho,” “Happy Holidays,” and “Merry Christmas,” or go for fun Christmas movie quotes!
4. Santa Claus or Snowflake Coasters
This cute Christmas DIY Decor will last for years and definitely be a conversation starter! We’ll use the dip-pour method for this one, so prepare to get your fingers dirty!
- Ceramic tiles- I prefer slate ones with a little bit of grip, but you can use smooth ones as well. Just use a little bit of 120-grit sandpaper to rough them up before painting.
- Cookie sheet or plastic tray (that you don’t mind getting paint on)
- White Primer
- Drop cloth or plastic bag
- Cookie cooling rack
- Several colors of acrylic paint, mixed with medium to optimal consistency
- Plastic white snowflake ornaments or flat snowmen or Santa Claus ornaments
- Medicine cups, stir sticks, larger pour cups
- Prep tiles by sanding and coating with a good primer. You can use any primer you like, just make sure it is water-based.
- Let dry completely, for at least an hour.
- Mix your designed colors in separate medicine cups.
- Perform a traditional pour on your plastic tray. Use your medicine cups to alternate colors, creating a puddle with an interesting pattern. You can use plastic wrap if you don’t want to ruin a dish.
- Pick up your tile and gently place it face down on your paint puddle. With very light pressure, move your tile around slightly, and then pick it straight up.
- Turn it over and set it on the drying rack.
- Delicately place your plastic snowflake decoration in the center of your wet tile.
- You may need to use a small paintbrush or palette knife to coat the edges of your tile.
- Allow to dry for 24 hours before using. I actually prefer to spray these with a coat of water-based polyurethane since they will likely have sweating drink glasses on them at some point.
5. Dutch Pour Cutting Board
If you’re like me and want the holiday spirit in every aspect of your life, including cooking, then you’re going to love these adorable cutting boards. You may even find that you end up pour-painting your cake stand, coffee cups, and everything else in your cupboard! For this piece, we’re going to use the Dutch pour method, which utilizes blown air to direct the paint.
- A wooden cutting board. I like this ornament-shaped one!
- White primer of your choice, water-based
- Liquid Latex
- 4-5 acrylic paint colors of your choice, mixed to perfection with Floetrol
- Painters tape
- Trash bag or brown craft paper
- Medium paint brush
- Hair dryer with concentrator attachment
- A drinking straw
- Optional: Varnish, polyurethane, or resin or your choice
- Prep your cutting board by painting the entire back with a thin layer of Liquid Latex. This will keep your pour painting from ruining the backside of your cutting board. You can also use painter’s tape if you want. Apply with a cheap brush, as this stuff tends to ruin brushes. Let it dry thoroughly. You’ll know it’s dry when it turns clear.
- If your wood is unsealed or has heavy grain, give the front side a coat of white primer and let it dry thoroughly.
- Section off your cutting board with painter’s tape. We are only going to pour paint on the handle and the upper 1/3 of the board. Press down the tape and get a good seal.
- Cover the remainder of your cutting board with craft paper or a plastic bag, taping it down with the painter’s tape.
- Prep your colors. We suggest a 3:1 mixture of Floetrol to paint, with a little water added. For the Dutch pour, you your paint to be slightly runnier than your traditional pour mixture.
- Cover the top third with a base coat of your darkest color, or the color that you want to be the primary. I suggest either the lightest or the darkest of your chosen palette, depending on what art style you want.
- Apply thin lines of your remaining colors, one at a time in a wave or swirl pattern, layering them on top of one another.
- Use your hairdryer on the cool, low setting to blow the paint into a pattern you like.
- Use a straw to add more detail to the convergence of your colors. Just hover the end of the straw over where two paint colors meet, at a 45-degree angle, and blow lightly.
- Allow to dry overnight
- If you want a glossy finish and extra durability, apply a coat of resin, epoxy, or clear varnish over the painted area only. Any topcoat will do, just make sure it is non-yellowing. Epoxy or resin will give you the highest shine and more durability. They are also the most expensive and should be applied in a well-ventilated room with a ventilation mask. Extreme Resin is one of the easiest to use and most affordable options I have found for getting that ultimate shine!
Time to Start Creating!
Whether you choose our stunning rock painting decor or go big time with the Dutch Pour Cutting Board, we hope you decide to make at least one of these awesome acrylic Christmas painting ideas to spruce up your abode this season! If none of these projects were quite what you were looking for, remember we have a whole collection of epic seasonal art projects to peruse!
Until next time…Go Forth and Pour