I like wrapping Christmas gifts almost as much as I like giving the gifts themselves. It's my time to experiment, to indulge my many different decorating personalities. I can go whimsical, masculine, feminine, elegant, modern...for that moment I get to try on a different hat. It's fun, and I like to think that it adds a little something extra to the gift.
My Christmas decor was all about neutrals and metallics this year, but I do have a few containers of variegated holly in my kitchen which was the inspiration for this gift topper. I've always thought that the leaves of variegated holly were reminiscent of watercolors, so I set out to create a playful paper and watercolor version, using pressed holly leaves to create the templates. I'm using the topper to adorn my son's teachers' gifts, though I think someone other than a second grade teacher could certainly appreciate it, like your crafty friends.
- Holly Leaf Templates (see below)
- Textured cream cardstock or watercolor paper
- Watercolor pencils (olive, emerald, dark green)
- Thin paintbrush
- Baby Q-tips
- Red crepe paper (streamers work) or tissue paper
- Floral wire
- Self-adhesive floral tape
Step 1: Download the holly template and print out onto cardstock (you can either use the painted holly leaves as is or cut them out to use as a template). Trace around the leaves onto textured ivory cardstock or watercolor paper and cut out. (I used the top row of leaves on the template for this topper.)
Step 4: Make a few strokes over the Dark Green with the Emerald watercolor pencil. You won't really see the effect of this when you're making the strokes, but it will lend some variation once activated by water.
Step 6: Fold the holly leaves in half and set aside. Cut a square of red crepe or tissue paper and set aside. Cut off one end of a baby Q-tip, then cut off the narrow tip on the cotton swab to form a ball shape.
If you'd like a third leaf, adhere it below the second leaf. Here I've placed the leaf on top of the stem (rather than behind it) before securing it with the floral tape. This gave it a more dimensional feel.
Download Watercolor Holly Leaves Template