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DIY Christmas Canvas, Take 2

Last year, I whipped up this little DIY Christmas art using chipboard letters and a little wooden nativity ornament.
"O Come Let us Adore Him" Christmas canvas art - DIY!

It was a fun little project, and after the holidays were over, I stored it back in the dark recesses of our guest closet, where my piles of unused decorations go to hide.

I suspect when we turn out the lights, they probably come to life, Toy Story style, with the ceramic animals singing a collaborative musical number and the empty vases leading a fight-club style throwdown. That’s the only way to explain how my Christmas canvas came out this year looking like this:
Destroyed christmas art
Is there any other logical explanation for this?

But I had so much fun making it that I decided to recreate some Christmasy art this year with the same feeling, and this is what I came up with:
"Oh Holy Night:" DIY Christmas Canvas Art

It was super easy and only took me maybe an hour total. I seriously slapped it together. I get a lot of comments and emails from people asking me to just make them one of my other Christmas canvases because they’re afraid to attempt it. You guys: it’s hard to mess this stuff up! If I can do it, you totally can.

I taped off a little manger shape with painter’s tape on a 16×20 canvas.

Then poured a bunch of different blue and black acrylic paints onto a plate and mixed them together, then smeared ’em all over the canvas, making sure to be extra careful on my tape lines. The best way to do it is to start with the brush on the tape and brush away from the tape. I forgot to take pictures of this step because I was doing it after the kids went to bed while watching something intelligent on TV (or maybe it was reality TV, hard to say which).

For last year’s canvas, I painted the star with more acrylic paint, but this year I wanted to try something different. At first I thought I would make a star stencil, and spray paint inside it with acrylic spray paint… but once I drew out the star (freehanded) on a piece of cardstock, I decided I kinda liked how the texture of the pen marks looked.
Christmas star drawing
So I took it outside and zapped it with some metallic gold spray paint.
Metallic Gold Spray Painted Christmas Star
Then I just cut the shape out and glued it onto the canvas with some good ol’ elmer’s glue, to keep it classy.
Next up was the hand-lettering. I used a silver metallic sharpie this time. It worked great. First, I practiced the lettering on a piece of paper, then traced it lightly on the canvas in pencil to see if I liked it. Then I decided I couldn’t really tell, so I just grabbed the sharpie and went for it.

I think if you’re doing swirly, loopy handlettering like this, it’s easiest to draw out all the main parts of the letters first and leave the swoopy parts for last so you can see where to fill them in:
Oh Holy Night lettering
This is what I ended up with:

At this point, I stopped and stared at the canvas for a while, not really sure how I felt about it. Something seemed off…

Then Andy pointed out that it didn’t really make any sense to have a white manger, so I taped back over the manger and painted it with a glossy acrylic black paint.

That felt better. I like how the glossy black, the shiny letters and the metallic star all have a little gleam too ’em that you don’t get with the rest of the sky.

It was a fun little project, and hopefully this painting won’t get so beaten up in my decoration fight club closet.

Easy DIY Christmas art:

Are you attempting any holiday art this year? Do you have a closet full of decorations that get into mischief when you’re not looking? (That’s a normal thing, right?)

P.S.: Check out these other holiday decorating ideas!

Let's connect


  1. That is so beautiful, Kelly! I love it!!! I can’t believe you freehanded that lettering – it’s gorgeous!

  2. So in awe of your fancy hand lettering! I just bought some canvases and they were waiting for inspiration … I think I’ve found it!

  3. This is gorgeous! What a great artist you are!

  4. Looks great! You have beautiful hand writing!

  5. You are brilliant. I could never make swirly letters. You must start an etsy shop so I can just buy one because I could never, ever make this, no matter what you say.

  6. Seriously, you should make and sell these! PS Just give me one for the great idea! Hugs.

  7. Mine would look like my cats slopped some paint on a canvas and a left handed chimpanzee wrote it out. Your swirly handwriting is gorgeous as is your little DIY art! xxx

  8. It’s so pretty!!! O me let you adore him is cute too though 😉

  9. Love it! I think the gold star is seriously my favorite part. You are a master of great art. Time for an etsy shop.

  10. LOVE IT!!!! So cute!

  11. Super cute! Great idea.

  12. You are so crafty…fabulous freehand. I love a beautiful painted canvas, especially this time of year!

  13. You have such pretty handwriting Kelly! Love this craft and love the blue color you used for the sky!

  14. It is simple and visually stunning. Very creative, indeed!

  15. Very cute! I like the swirly letters a lot!

  16. This project is BEAST, Kelly! Right up my alley — I’m a free-hander, too, when it comes to lettering; yours turned out beautifully. Pinning this one so I can copy you… 😀
    xo Heidi

  17. That is so cute! I can’t believe you hand wrote the words! I absolutely despise my handwriting so I’m never that brave. Way to go!

  18. This looks so good. I love the house outline. Great holiday art 🙂

  19. You’re good at stuff. I totally have this pinned.

  20. Beautiful Kelly! The writing is gorgeous!!

  21. This is really neat, Kelly! Added it to my to-do list for NEXT Christmas, cause this years list is full already 🙂

  22. So easy…. all you need is perfect handwriting and incredible artistic talent and voila!

  23. Well done on changing things up to make up for what those tricky ornaments did.

  24. This is wonderful! You did a great job and it sounds like you had fun too– I saw this on Centsational Girl

  25. The holiday fight club closet! LOL! I love your new piece of holiday art just as much as the old one!

    🙂 Linda

  26. Beautiful! And I think it’s crazy that you just whipped this up in an hour. It totally looks like this took hours.

  27. I love these. I was actually thinking of making something that said Oh Holy Night, because it is my favorite holiday song ever!

  28. Wow! That is SO beautiful…the hand-lettering is just perfect. 🙂

  29. This is lovely! I love the sentiment and the manger with the star. And the background of blues and blacks? Love. Thank you so much for linking up to Dare to DIY! What a great project.

  30. You know I love this! White or black. Thank you so much for linking up. 🙂

  31. Kelly, thanks for sharing your amazing artwork! It is beautiful and inspiring! I adapted the “O Come Let Us Adore Him” idea into a bulletin board at my church. I stamped white cardstock letters with a silver metalic snowflake pattern and instead of the white stable, my husband crafted a very simplistic stable out of wood. It turned out beautiful and we received many compliments on it! Thanks again! I will try your “O Holy Night” next year!!

  32. Love this DIY! I created my own version of your “O Come Let Us Adore Him” from last year –

  33. I just might try this myself! Love it. I think I will use vinyl and my cricut cause I could never do that handwriting!

  34. I love this! Planning on making it….but I’ve a question. When you retape to paint the nativity glossy black do you just take the outline as you did when leaving it white and than paint the outline tape and inside or tape the entire area and paint over all the tape.


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