Ginger Critter Garland

Ginger Critter Garland

Posted by DecoArt on Nov 6th 2020

These cute and fun to paint Ginger Critters are just the project for your busy holiday decorating needs. They paint up quickly and are so versatile that you can use them in so many ways! You can string them together to make a cute garland for your tree, doorway, or mantle, hang them as individual ornaments on a tree or wreath, or add a magnet on the back to tuck in a card or greeting. You can even use them as tie-ons for baskets or name tags! And wouldn’t they be great for those ‘random acts of kindness’ that so many of us like to do? I think so! I am sure you all can come up with other fun ways to use these little ginger critters, too. I would love you to what you do with them!

Items Needed:


Photocopy the original pattern and keep them for future reference. I like copying the pattern page on translucent vellum (the kind you get in the wedding section of your favorite office supply store) That way you can mirror the pattern easily and replace it to add details lines and easily realign it.

Patterns may be reproduced for the purpose of making the project – not for resale or sharing purposes. Finished items that are made by hand may be sold for profit, but not mechanically manufactured. Credit to the designer is encouraged. Pattern and photographs are copyrighted by Sheila Landry Designs. Redistribution of this pattern, photos or instructions is not permitted.

Refer to the Basic Painting Terms and Techniques sheet (following instructions) for general terminology and techniques for painting.

In general use the following brushes when painting: 

1. Shaders for base coating
2. Angular Shaders for float shading colors
3. Deerfoot brushes and Dome Blenders for stippling and dry brushing
4. Lining brushes for detail work and lining

For the little gingers, the only lines you need to transfer are the eyes, noses, and hearts. You can easily free hand the ‘frosting’ lines on the hands, feet and ears. You can transfer the lines prior to base coating, as I often do, or afterward - your choice. You can still see a ghost of the lines beneath the base coating in most cases and sometimes I prefer that.

Transfer the main lines by placing your transfer paper in between your pattern and wood piece. Use a stylus or pencil to trace over only the lines you feel you need (the main divisions of the bear - not the details. If they are too dark, erase them back a bit using a kneaded eraser.)


Base coat the entire surface of each of the gingers using three coats of Honey Brown paint, allowing each coat to dry completely and sanding very lightly after the first two coats have been applied.

You will notice how smooth your surface is as you paint the third coat, and realize that it is well-worth the time. ;)

Paint the side edges with this color as well. You can use a deerfoot stippler brush to do this so you don’t get a ‘lip’ of paint over the edge. Just gently tap the color to the edges.

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When everything is dry, use about a 1/2” deerfoot stippler or dome blender brush and Moon Yellow paint to dry brush the center areas of each of your critters. (Don’t forget the footies and arms!) This will brighten the centers and make your pieces look like ‘cookies’. Do both sides.

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If you haven’t done so already, transfer the eyes, nose and heart lines from your pattern. For the eyes I just add reference dots and I just transfer the curve of the top of the noses. I also free hand the whiskers on the kitty later on. Otherwise, I find the faces can look ‘smudgy.’ If your lines are dark, erase them back with a grey, kneaded eraser that is readily available at most art stores. I find this is one of my best friends!

Float shade all around each piece using Light Cinnamon paint as shown in Figure 3. 

BEFORE adding the facial features, hearts and frosting; apply 2 or more layers of Glamour Dust™ Ultra Fine Glitter paint in Copper. (PS - if you don’t have Copper, the Crystal Clear will work fine, too! I always keep extra of the clear on hand in case I don’t have a particular color!) 

I find using a deerfoot stippler brush and pouncing the Glamour Dust™ on works best to keep the sparkles evenly distributed.

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When everything is dry, apply the facial features and hearts to your pieces. 

The facial features are applied using Lamp Black paint. I use the end of a stylus to create the eyes AND the noses. The noses are just little rounded triangles and I find it is easier to put them on with the stylus.

Be sure to allow them to dry completely so you don’t smudge them. (Yes - it happens to me too! :D )

I also apply the hearts using the stylus. This time I use the Extreme Sheen® Metallic Paint in Ruby. (I LOVE this color - it is new and so, so pretty!)

You CAN use a brush if you feel more comfortable doing that. But this may be easier. Try it!

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When the eyes, noses and hearts are all dry, add the little vertical line from the nose down. I decided not to make mouths on these. They somehow looked cuter that way. Of course - you can add them if you like.

Add tiny highlights of Warm White to the eyes and noses. 

Finally, use an 1/8” deerfoot or dome blender and dry brush some Ruby Extreme Sheen® on the cheeks and inside of the ear areas.

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All three critters! (Don’t forget to add whiskers on your kitty!)

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For my sample pieces, I used Americana Decor® Texture Acrylic. The color I used was Metallic Pearl, but you could also use white or even silver if you would like. (Alternatively, you can use a lining brush and white or metallic pearl paint, if you choose.) 

I used this fine writing tip from DecoArt which allowed me to quickly paint the fine squiggle accents on my gingers. I needed to thin the Texture Paint slightly so it flowed through the thin tip.

To do this, use a palette knife and scoop some of the paint into a small dish. Use an eye dropper and add a little water at a time and thin the consistency of the paint until it is ‘fluffier.’ Use the palette knife to put the paint into a clean, 2oz bottle and screw on the tip and you are good to go. 

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And don't forget to add a fluffy bunny tail on the back of your bunny!

After everything is dry, spray the pieces with several coats of varnish in the finish of your choice. I use DecoArt® spray varnish in Matte finish, as I find it doesn’t seem to dull the glitter paint at all. You can also brush them with a brush-on varnish, if you prefer. 

For hanging, you can curl pretty, colored wire around a dowel like I did and add some cute and colorful bells. You can also use ribbon or baker’s twine. I think red and white or green and white baker’s twine would be cute! <3

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The rest is up to you! Have fun decorating and giving these sparkly little treats!

If you'd like to buy your own Ginger Critter decorating kit be sure to click here for more information.

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