Create with Me: Mixed-media Holiday Projects Part 1

Mixed-media ideas |

With just a few weeks until Christmas, I’m pulling out all my mixed-media tricks to help me spread the holiday joy. This week my newsletter comes to you in two parts and I invite you to play along with me.

Both projects will involve tag making, so consider yourself multi-tasking while you follow along. If you have gifts to give—you have a reason to take the time to create with me!

Our first project, mini silk screening, was inspired by Kerr Grabowski’s new Adventures in Surface Design DVD. If you’re intrigued by fabric surface design, but too intimidated to try it, Kerr is the perfect instructor for you. She works intuitively and makes the process fun and relaxing—maybe even exhilarating.

I was immediately inspired to create a quick silkscreen from supplies I had sitting around the house. What kind of editor would I be if I didn’t share my discovery with you? I took a ton of photos so that you can see just how easy this project is.

Let’s start playing! (Bonus: Get this free download on easy handmade gifts to go along with these darling tags!)


  • Cardboard
  • Packing tape
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • Plastic card (Old hotel room keys work great!)
  • Freezer paper or palette paper
  • Permanent marker
  • Sheer fabric (small piece)
  • Fluid acrylics
  • Extender (I used Golden Artists Colors® GAC 500.)
  • Tags
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1. Cut a piece of cardboard and cover the front and back with packing tape. 2. Lay your plastic card on the cardboard and cut out around it leaving about 1/2 ” border on all sides. 3. Remove the inside piece of cardboard. This is your frame.
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4. Lay the cardboard on a piece of freezer paper and trace around the opening. This is the guide for the shape you will draw. 5. Draw a border inside your rectangle as a safe area for printing. Draw your desired shape. 6. Cut out your shape. The area you remove is the area that will print. Keep it simple!
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7. The final shape, ready for printing. Other great shapes include stars, houses, holly, bows, gift packages, prancing reindeer, and snowflakes. 8. To make the screen you’ll need the sheer, your frame, and more packing tape. 9. Tape the top of the screen to the top of the frame. Notice that the tape overlaps the opening. Use a small piece of tape to pull the sheer taut, then finish taping the bottom and sides, overlapping the opening.
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10. The screen is nice and tight with the tape overlapping the opening. 11. Turn the screen over and cut lengths of tape that fit inside the frame sides, top and bottom. Line up the pieces with the overlapped tape from the other side. The tape should rest flat against the screen, go up the edge of the cardboard and onto the top part of the frame. Repeat for each side. 12. Time to print. Have everything ready to go. If your tags have ties, remove them for printing.
Note: These are not re-useable screens. You need to do all of your printing in one session.
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13. Place your tag on the work surface, lay your freezer paper on top, then your screen. 14. Mix equal parts fluid acrylic with extender. 15. Save a brush and mix the paint with the plastic card!
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16. Place a big dollop of paint at the top of your screen… 17. …and pull the card across the screen at a 45° angle. 18. Pick up the screen—the freezer paper will probably stick to the frame—and pull off the tag.


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Lather, rinse, repeat.
How to make holiday gift tags |

Of course, you don’t have to stop there! I sure didn’t. I got out my black artist pens, glue stick, vintage book pages, Smooch, and glitter, and decked it out!

All done with your Christmas wrapping, or celebrate a different holiday? Consider using this technique to add new and interesting layers to your mixed-media art.

I had lots of fun creating with you. Remember to read the next newsletter coming your way on Wednesday! Or if you’re opening this late, you can stop by the blog here and read part 2 of our Create with Me: Mixed-media Holiday Projects.

Holiday Cheers,



Blog, Easy Gifts to Make


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