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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

Create with Christmas Scraps!

After every Christmas, I like to look through the piles of wrapping paper, tags, ribbons, and cards to get inspired to make something. I do this for a lot of reasons. It's a free way to get craft materials, the "trash" is usually colorful and cute, and it's a good way to remember the holidays.

The goal here is to get inspired and make something fun. It doesn't need to be a great work of art. It's about the process of creating and taking time for yourself to relax.

This year, I found some wrapping paper, gift tags, and a Christmas card. The tags were kind of special to me because my husband went out and bought them on his own rather than using what we had in our stash. He thought I would like the bright colors and the cute little animals. I know that isn't a big deal, but it was sweet and thoughtful.

I made two pages in my art journal with this year's scrap haul. For the first, I saw the deer silhouettes and wanted to make a winter scene. I used iridescent watercolor paint to cover the page and make a winter sky.

Next, I dabbed white acrylic paint over the bottom half for the snowy ground.

I used cheap, store brand cake watercolors to paint some simple evergreen trees on a piece of scrap paper. These watercolors aren't high quality, but they're affordable and come in a lot of colors. They also seem to last forever. They're kind of chalky when they dry, but that worked just fine as a contrast to the sparkly sky.

I fussy cut around the trees and three of the deer. The horns were kind of difficult to cut around, so I accidentally cut them off of the light green deer and pretended I meant to do that. There needed to be a female deer anyway.

Once they were glued to the paper, the sky seemed a little empty. My husband gave me some astrology constellation stickers for Christmas, so I started with one of those. There were three star signs in the set: Capricorn, Pisces, and Aquarius. I'm a Taurus, btw. I added a few more stars from a kids' sticker set and a bit of washi tape to the top and bottom as a border.

For the second page, I wanted to use the cute little animals on the gift tags. I also found a Christmas card from my dad with a polar bear on it. Since the penguin was holding a gift, I thought it would be fun to make a scene with a lot of presents in it.

I drew a Christmas tree using a design I saw in a coloring book and colored it with some water based markers. For the background, I scribbled in a wall and carpet with some colored pencils. Scribbling is a good way to cover large spaces on a page because it adds texture and you don't get streak marks. It was also easy for me to do while I was talking to a friend on the phone.

Most of the animals just popped off of the tags, leaving the background intact. I cut the others out and left a border so they would match the first ones. Then, I used the backgrounds of the tags and some paper from an envelope to make some present shapes. The ribbons and bows on the gifts were made of shiny washi tape I cut to size.

I glued all of the pieces to the paper, then traced them with a black ballpoint pen to make them stand out on the page a bit more.

These pictures are simple and kind of silly, but they were really fun to make. I hope you will try finding some scraps of your own to craft with and just let yourself make something fun!

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