Looking for a fun and easy Christmas art project for your kids to try? I can’t wait to share our Joy to the World project with you!
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If your kids haven’t explored mixed media art, this Christmas is a wonderful time to start. This Joy to the World project is an especially good place to start because there’s not much precision needed, but it still gives kids practice with several different art elements.
That said, my ten year-old son did this project on his own and my four year-old daughter did it with me nearby instructing her along the way and providing minimal help. I love that both of my kids ended up with completed projects that showcased their personalities so well!
Ready to get your kids in on the mixed media action? Let’s get started:
Joy to the World
Christmas Art Project
1. Gather Supplies
Before you get started, be sure to have all the needed supplies on hand. The supply list for this project is a bit long, but the good news is that most of these items are pretty common art and craft supplies. In fact, we only used items we already had in our craft box.
Here’s a look at what you’ll need:
- Canvas panel or stretched canvas (We used 8 x 10 panels.)
- Old book pages
- Acrylic paints (We used acrylic craft paints because we had them on hand.)
- Sponge paintbrushes
- Modge Podge
- Scrapbook paper
- Black Sharpie
- Paper towel or napkin
- Paint pen (optional)
- Template (optional)
Once you’ve gathered the needed supplies, it’s time to get started.
2. Prepare Background
The first step of this Joy to the World art project can go two ways. We started by tearing out a couple of pages from an old, water-stained Bible we rescued from a storage room in our church. You probably don’t have an old Bible that can be used in that way, but pages from an old book will work just as well.
Once our pages were torn out, my daughter applied a layer of Modge Podge to the canvas. She then cut out blocks of scripture from the pages, positioned them on the canvas, and then pressed them into place. Once the pages seemed dry from the bottom layer, we sealed them with another layer of Modge Podge.
If you prefer to skip this step, your kiddos can start by choosing scrapbook pages for the J, O, and Y and by choosing a paint color for the background. Then they can move on to painting the surface of the canvas.
3. Prepare Second Layer
While the coat of Modge Podge dries, have your kids select background colors and scrapbook pages to use for the J, O, and Y in the project. When the Modge Podge dries completely, have them paint over it with the chosen color of acrylic paint.
Encourage your kids to use the paint sparingly in this step. The paint needs to be prominent, but it’s ideal if the pages are somewhat visible when the paint layer dries.
As the paint dries, kids can trace J, O, and Y onto scrapbook pages and cut them out. I freehanded our letters, but you’re welcome to use this template and print it for your tracing.
Instead of a letter O, I traced a circle using a White Barn three-wick candle lid. We turned this circle into a Christmas ornament instead of using an O in the middle of our word. I think the ornament is easier for most kids than cutting out the inside of an O, but either will work well.
When the paint dries, have your kids add a layer of Modge Podge and place their letters on the canvas. This is also a good time to add “to the world” found on the template.
4. Add Accents
The paper towel, paint pens, pencil, and Sharpie come out in the last step of the project, but these elements need to happen in stages. That’s particularly helpful if you have fidgety kids. They can add an accent or two, head off to play, and then return as needed.
When the Modge Podge layer dries, choose another paint color and have your kids dip a pencil eraser in it. Gently stamp dots of paint onto the canvas in groups of three.
If you like, once the dots are dry, scrunch a paper towel together and use it to dab paint splotches in the blank areas of the canvas. This doesn’t have to happen, but it’s an easy way to fill in any emptiness.
If your kids get a little zealous in this step, you can remove some of the accent paint by continuing to dab with a dry paper towel before it dries or add splotches of the original paint color to cover some of the accent once it dries. Ask me how I know. 😉
Once dry, use the Sharpie to outline the letters and paper strips. Your kids can also add an ornament hanger with a paint pen and outline it with the Sharpie once it dries.
Lastly, seal it all with one more layer of Modge Podge.
Once the final layer of Modge Podge dries, the completed projects are ready for display. If your kids used stretched canvas, no additional steps are needed. If you used a canvas panel, you can add a ribbon loop to the back using a dot of hot glue or craft glue.
5 Days of Mixed Media Christmas Art
Looking for more mixed media fun for your kids? You’re in luck. This Joy to the World project happens to be a part of a 5 Day series of Mixed Media Christmas Art:
Even better, keep the mixed media fun happening all winter long with this Winter Wonderland Mixed Media Workshop. We’ve had a great time working through the workshop and cannot say enough good things about it.
This e-course is great for older kids, teenagers, and even adults and includes lifetime access. That means there’s no pressure to complete the projects by a specific time. We love that lifetime access; in fact, this is our second year working through it!
You can learn more by clicking the image above or checking out my Winter Wonderland review.