Year-on-year, the trend for a homemade Christmas takes the UK by storm as festive ‘elves’ grab their tools to get crafty and create a winter season like no other.
Whether it’s personalised gift wrap, homemade cards or something even more heartfelt, people of all ages prefer the personal touch when the snow begins to fall.
The trend has now moved to baubles; a cheap way to add personality to the tree that adorns your home through December and into early January.
But what tools to use?
I picked up a palette of Derwent’s Paint Pens because of their versatility, vibrancy and ability to work on an array of media – from wood to glass and plastic. Plus, because of their fine Japanese nibs, they’re ideal for fine detail, broad splodges and – if you’re a bit more adventurous – flicks and Jackson Pollock-esque tricks.
With this project, I chose Paint Pens Palette #2 because of its brilliant selection of Christmas themed colours ; a dark festive green (Derwent Paint Pen Mid Green), a deep-Santa red (Derwent Paint Pen Terracotta) and Christmas star yellow (Derwent Paint Pen Middle Chrome) – all really sharp colours for working on glass in an array of shapes.
Using the frosty blue paint pen (Derwent Paint Pen Bright Blue) I added a simple yet effective snowflake detail to a pompom filled bauble. By using a light pressure with the pen, I could add fine details in an array of symmetrical shapes. Nothing says winter more than an enchanted snowy look. Add intricate diamond shapes intertwined into the snowflake for an impressive look that is easy to complete.
No need to worry if any of the snowflakes are not up to your standards, as the pens need time to dry any mistakes can simply be wiped off with a damp cloth.
The next bauble was inspired by The Nutcracker’s Land of Sweets and the iridescent bauble reminded me of the sweet wrappers that adorn the floor of every family gathering at Christmas.
The plan was to simply follow in the ridges of the bauble steadily with the pen, using a heavier touch to fill the deep edges. However, the ridges in this bauble came out rather than into my bauble. This called for a steadier hand than I have. With a bit of determination and a cup of tea in my favourite mug, I slowly and steadily followed each line of the baubles. Take your time with this – any slip or momentary lack of concentration and you’ll flood onto the main area.
Both the light and deep blue paint pens (Derwent Paint Pens in Bright Blue and Dark Blue) matched gorgeously with the tone of the bauble; adding a real icy palace feel. Start by lightly pressing the pen down to give a faint line before working over with a little more pressure to get the effect you desire. Allowing each side to dry before continuing this technique created a simple but beautiful sweetie bauble.
The final design was on a large glass bauble filled with snow and mistletoe – ultimately, what is Christmas without a Christmas tree? Using the Forest Green Paint Pen (Derwent Paint Pen Mid Green), draw a simple line design of a typical tree four times around the edge – no need for too much detail if you don’t want to, minimalism is really trendy! Copy the design four times around the edge and hang on a door handle to dry! Again, start with a light touch, pressing lightly at first to achieve the desired shape, before over doing the lines with pressure and paint. If you’ve got more Paint Pens and time, you could always add different shades of green to add depth and texture.
Don’t forget, make sure the tree is completely dry before adding the base and star detail. Due to Paint Pens unique formulation, they can run together, which is great if you want to blend and create unique tones! However, for this craft, add your star and bases separately to complete your designs. Once dry, they are ready to take pride of place on your Christmas tree and impress guests throughout December (and beyond!)
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could even work in mixed media and mix your designs with textures; string, glitter and other easily found items can add further stylish touches to your baubles.
Whatever your style, Derwent Paint Pens are the perfect creative Christmas companion on all materials. Have you thought about designing your own cards, creating a ‘Santa Stop Here Plaque’ with the kids or coming up with your own project?
Thank you to Lucy Ives for this blog.