I know. I’m writing this in January. BUT…you can paint your own ornament year-round. It doesn’t have to be Christmas-themed, either.
If you’d like to make this wreath ornament before next December, though, bookmark this page and come back to it when you’re ready!
After I made my ornaments, I remembered my friend, Moon, gave me this one for Christmas in 2020. Notice the white, painted background on wood.
Was I inspired by her creativity? Maybe. When you spend regular time with another creative soul, you’re bound to rub off on each other.
I also had birch slices on-hand before receiving her ornament. I used them as jewelry props that year.
Was Moon inspired by my creativity? I have no idea. But ideas spread. If you do a web search for wood ornaments, you’ll find countless designs.
Debunking a myth
One of the most common statements I hear from non-artists is, “I could never paint (or draw, or make) that.”
I assure you – you can!
If these wreaths look complicated to you, it only requires a shift in mindset: you’re not painting a “wreath”. You’re painting simple “shapes”, instead.
1. Small birch slice(s), or any type of wood
2. Acrylic paint – white, green in 3 different shades, and red.
Note: I mixed my greens using yellow and blue paint, but you can buy green in different shades so you don’t have to mix colors. Either way works. Also, I recommend acrylic above other types of paint, like oil, because it’s fast-drying.
I used Golden acrylic paint, but you can experiment with different brands. Just avoid the least expensive paints because they’re more difficult to work with, and likely won’t give you quality results.
3. Tiny paint brush
4. Palette for holding and mixing paint. You can use a traditional palette, palette paper (my favorite), or even a paper plate.
5. Small jar/cup of water and towel for rinsing brush between colors
6. Ribbon that will hold up to heat – I used jute / burlap.
8. Hot glue gun
Step 1 - Paint the background
Paint a solid, white circle on top of the wood slice and let dry.
Important: after each step listed here, allow the paint to dry before moving to the next step.
Step 2 - Paint the greenery
Next, using medium green, paint “v” shapes around the diameter of the circle. Remember: they’re “v” shapes not “leaves”.
Step 3 - Add highlights & shadows
With the darkest shade of green, randomly make single strokes (i.e. half a “v”) over the medium green. Then, repeat this step, using light green.
This will give the art more dimension.
Step 4 - Paint the "ornaments"
Randomly paint tiny, red dots over the green. I like to paint an odd number of dots for interest.
Step 5 - Paint the bow
Paint the “bow” using the same color as the dots. Again, break it down into small shapes: loops at the top, with curvy lines extending from the bottom.
Step 6 (optional) - Add more highlights
Mix a touch of white paint with the color used in steps 4 & 5, to lighten it. Then paint over the dots and bow in various areas, for highlights.
Step 7 - Attach the ribbon
Cut a length of ribbon. How long is up to you. Just make the loop large enough to hang off a Christmas tree branch.
Make a loop by forming a teardrop shape with the ribbon, and glue the ends together. It will dry quickly. Then, glue the loop to the back of the wood slice.
Voila! You have a beautiful ornament (or 5) to enjoy for yourself, or share with someone else.