Candy Cane Christmas Greeting

By  Cindy Mann Vitale 

  • Candy Cane Christmas Greeting


  • DecoArt Americana Acrylics: Alizarin Crimson, Black Forest Green, Blue Mist, Bubblegum Pink, Buttermilk, Cranberry Wine, Foliage Green, Lamp (Ebony) Black, Light Avocado, Mink Tan, Snow (Titanium) White, Sea Aqua, Spa Blue, Warm White
  • Brushes: Royal & Langnickel Aqualon: Round, Series 2250, #2, #5, #8; Liner, Series R2595, #1
  • DecoArt: DuraClear Varnish, Matte; Americana Acrylic Sealer/Finisher, Matte
  • Gold ultra-fine glitter
  • Watercolor Paper, 140 lb. Cold Press
  • White cardstock with coated finish


  • Black permanent ink pen, .005
  • Self-adhesive foam mounts
  • Acid-free adhesive for heavy weight papers in roller dispenser
  • Tacky glue

Pattern - Candy Cane Christmas Greeting

  • Preparation
  • 1. For card only, cut an 8"x12" piece from watercolor paper. Soak in cool water for just a few minutes; do not over soak to prevent losing too much sizing. Allow excess water to drip off paper. Smooth paper as flat as possible onto clean dry surface; use painter's tape to tape in place. (Note: This will stretch paper and reduce any warping or buckling while wet. Stretching paper for small shapes is not needed.) Let dry.
  • 2. Print out patterns; transfer basic card outline onto prepared paper then transfer holly and berry shapes, and small heart pattern lines onto another watercolor paper sheet. (Note: Cut out shapes after painting is completed.) Transfer details as needed.
  • Making an Envelope
  • 1. If you can not find an envelope to fit card, make your own from cardstock. Use a store bought envelope and carefully pull edges apart so envelope lays flat. Add to length and width of store bought envelope to accommodate card. For this card, the finished size is 6-1/4" w x9-3/4" l. Use acid-free adhesive to secure back flaps. (Note: If mailing this card, a bubble envelope is recommended; additional postage will be required.) If paper is not coated, apply very light sealer coat before painting.
  • Artist's Tips
  • 1. For this design, use a 50/50 paint to water mix to create a softer, lighter effect; build up to darker effect along edges with shading applications. For shading, use water to dilute paint to inky consistency to create a wash affect. This could be a ratio as high as 95% water to 5% paint mix, depending on the intensity of the shading color. For example, Cranberry Wine and Black Forest Green colors would be highly diluted.
  • Card Border and Background
  • 1. Base border Bubblegum Pink; shade Alizarin Crimson along inside edges. Add Warm White polka-dots; shade over some dots with very light Alizarin Crimson wash. Base background area with light Spa Blue wash. Darken some areas with more Spa Blue washes. Use diluted applications of Sea Aqua to shade behind candy cane and along some areas of border.
  • 2. Paint snowflakes Snow White.
  • Candy Cane
  • 1. Base white areas Warm White; shade Mink Tan. Base red areas Bubblegum Pink; shade Alizarin Crimson. Add a broken Snow White highlight line along outer edges.
  • Holly Berries and Leaves
  • 1. Base outer leaf edges Buttermilk. Use diluted Foliage Green to base within leaves; shade with highly diluted Black Forest Green, Blue Mist, Lt. Avocado, and Alizarin Crimson, alternating colors and using small amounts in different areas for variegated effect. (Note: Blue and red colors should only be added in minute applications for a subtle touch.) Allow for some shading colors to float onto Buttermilk edging; don't be overly concerned about staying within lines as leaves will be cut out.
  • 2. For berries, base Bubblegum Pink; shade Alizarin Crimson. Add small amount of Cranberry Wine to deepen areas closest to center of grouping. Add Lamp Black dots on berry ends.
  • Hearts
  • 1. Base and shade inside of hearts in same manner as Card Background. Add polka dots, and three loops at top of envelope heart, in same manner as Card Border. Paint checked border in same manner as Candy Cane omitting highlight shine. Add Snow White snowflake to envelope heart.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Use ink pen for all detailing and outlining, making sure to add vein lines, and swirls in polka-dots and snowflakes; do not outline outer edges of holly leaves and small heart.
  • 2. Pour out a small amount of glitter and a small puddle of varnish. Tip liner into varnish then touch tip into glitter; pat glitter onto snowflakes and some areas of berries, holly leaves, and edges of small heart. Repeat as needed for desired effect.
  • 3. Cut out card shape, holly berry and leaf groupings, and small heart. Use tacky glue to adhere three berries with leaf to top of small heart. Use ink pen to write "To" and "From" on heart. For dimension, use foam mounts to adhere the three holly leaves with berries to candy cane and small heart to bottom right of card. (Note: Omit foam mounts if desired for ease in mailing.)
  • 4. Lightly spatter Buttermilk over entire card and large heart on envelope. Spray card and heart on envelope with sealer.