I’m approaching Christmas in a totally logical, reasonable fashion this year.
At least, I started out that way.
I’ve divvied up each area of the house that I want to decorate, made two lists for each area – one for floral decorations, wreaths and stuff, and one for paintable decorations. Then I combined those two lists into one Master List.
I’ve patiently watched the days of the calendar tick by. Waiting. Waiting.
In my logical, reasonable mode I (mistakenly) brought all of the Christmas totes down from the garage and stacked them in my kitchen. I opened each tote and then opened each shopping bag with new Christmas decorations and grouped everything by color and theme.
I’m ready this year, I thought. This year it’s not gonna sneak up on me and tell me I only have a couple of days left before it’s all over.
And then this morning I stubbed my toe on one of the patiently waiting, organized by color & theme, stacked here-there-and-everywhere totes.
I lost it.
Logical and Reasonable has left the building.
But I still have my Master List and, by God, I’m gonna follow that list and check off as many projects as humanly possible.
Starting with a Holly Leaf Dropcloth Pillow that I saw in Pottery Barn last year.
And have been patiently waiting to paint it for all these months.
Which is a good thing because it’s no longer available.
Holly Leaf Dropcloth Pillow Tutorial
- canvas dropcloth, washed and ironed
- Holly Leaf stencil
- white chalk
- painter’s tape
- FolkArt Licorice
- FolkArt Sap Green
- FolkArt Clover
- Ceramcoat Barn Red
- Martha Stewart Habanero Red
- Martha Stewart Wedding Cake
- stencil brush
- foam brush
- #6 flat brush (I just bought this set and love it)
- cotton swab or small foam pouncer
*Disclosure: These are affiliate links for the products I use which makes finding supplies easier for you and also pays me a small commission that helps me continue blogging.
Step 1 – Measure and cut the dropcloth to desired size for your pillow.
Step 2 – Wrap the dropcloth tightly around a piece of cardboard and secure with tape or clamps.
Step 3 – Chalk the area to be painted as well as the center line for the red striping.
Step 4 – Apply two strips of tape on either side of the center line, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide.
Using a foam brush, paint the line with Barn Red. Allow to dry fully.
Step 5 – Cover the painted center line with a strip of tape then apply another strip on either side, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.
Paint these two lines with Barn Red.
Step 6 – Determine your wreath pattern on the dropcloth with chalk.
I actually started with this pattern because I thought I’d handpaint all the holly leaves using this technique. It’s a great technique but it would’ve taken a while.
Logic and reason made a brief return and reminded me about my List.
I dug out a stencil and saved myself and hour or twenty.
You’re more than welcome to use this pattern though but honestly, just figure out where you want your berry clusters and that’s all you’ll need besides a big circle.
Step 7 – Mix Sap Green with Licorice to create a black/green mixture.
Dab the black/green mixture around the circle.
This will act as underpainting for the stencil. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, although try to surround the berry clusters with the black/green. From there just randomly dab the paint around the wreath.
Step 8 – Pour Clover and Sap Green onto your palette and load each onto your stencil brush, then start stenciling the leaves around the wreath.
You don’t have to entirely cover the black/green underpainting since the stenciled leaves are lighter.
Add as few or as many leaves as you like to the wreath.
Step 9 – with a small paintbrush (#6 should work fine) pick up a little Clover and add additional highlights to parts of the leaves.
The fabric is absorbent so adding this extra layer will give the wreath added dimension.
Step 10 – Load your round pouncer or cotton swab with Barn Red and fill in the berry cluster sections.
Step 11 – Load the pouncer with Habanero Red and add highlights.
Don’t worry about making perfectly round circles. It’ll look better if you don’t. Just allow some of the Barn Red to show through so you have some depth to the berries.
Step 12 – Apply tiny white dots with the end of a paintbrush.
Try to place the white dots in different locations so there is contour to the cluster.
No perfectly red circles, see?
Not every berry has a white highlight either.
Once the paint has dried, iron over the painting to heat-set it then sew your pillow.
Of course, if you just want to use duck tape instead, I’ll never tell.
Item #1 on the Master List is done!
Have fun with this project. You can paint it in an afternoon and check off a line on your own list!