Ho Ho Ho... Blow!

Ho Ho Ho... Blow!

Posted by DecoArt on Dec 12th 2019

Christmas… It's the MOST wonderful time of the year! Nothing makes Christmas even more special than beautiful decorations that fill our homes with joy and recapture the childhood Christmas memories we treasure.

I absolutely LOVE the retro decorations of Santa Claus, the glittery reindeer, Shiny Brite glass ornaments, snowcovered little cottage houses hanging from our Christmas trees, peppermint candy canes hanging on the tree dripping with silver tinsel streams reflecting off of the multicolored strings of lights.

Today I am sharing with you a retro tissue box holder that I created for my home. Ever try to find one? Hard to find so why not personalize it and make it yourself?

Can't draw or paint Santas? Have no fear! Christmas napkins can provide that magic! All you need are a few other supplies and some DecoArt products and YOU can create your own Christmas magic! This is an easy and fun project! Let's get started.

Items Needed:

  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium (DMM20-71)
  • DecoArt Traditions White Gesso
  • White Flocking
  • Washi Tape (peppermint Stripe)
  • Double-sided Adhesive Tape
  • Red Tinsel Garland
  • Christmas Napkins (Santa Images)
  • Scissors And Craft Knife
  • Paintbrushes
  • Heavy Chipboard (4 At 4.75x5.25 For Sides And 1 At 4.75x4.75 For Top)
  • Card Stock (cut Into 1-inch Strips And Scored Down The Center)
  • Heat Tool


Step 1: THIS IS DIRECTIONS FOR A KLEENEX TISSUE BOX. Cut four pieces of heavy chipboard into 4 3/4” x 5 1/4” pieces for the sides of the box. Cut one 4 3/4” x 4 3/4” for the top of the box. Lay a kleenex box top on the chipboard top and center the oval on it. Draw and cut out the center of the box using a craft knife or scissors. Sand the edges.

Cut four 1” “structure strips” out of cardstock. Score down the center of the strip. Place a piece of double-sided tape on either outside edge of the structure strip and cut into 5 1/4” pieces.

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Step 2:  Paint all of the chipboard pieces with DecoArt Traditions White Gesso. This is a smooth and creamy gesso that is easy to apply with a paintbrush. Either let air dry or heat set. Pick out the Santa images you want to use from a stash of Christmas napkins. Remove all of the paper backings from the napkins. They are usually three-ply so there should be two layers of white tissue to be removed.

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Step 3: Cut around the Santa images using sharp scissors then lay the image on a chipboard side. Lightly pencil around the image. You need a white base under the napkin so that the image will be bright and not compromised by colors or patterns underneath it. Paint the background color on the outside of the penciled area. In this case, I chose a retro teal color using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue and Titanium White mixed together.

* * NOTE: Don't worry if there is something on your Santa image that you don't want there. It can easily be covered with paint after it has been glued to the surface. The black lettering on the bottom of the beard on this Santa will magically disappear using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White paint shortly!

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Step 4: Using DecoArt Media Matte Medium, I have glued the Santa face in place. This was done using a paintbrush and brushing the Matte Medium over the surface of where he was to be attached. Carefully lay the napkin Santa in place and gently work out any creases with your fingers and a bit of Matte Medium still on the brush. Once the Santa face is down, brush over the entire side of the box using Matte Medium. This product is the perfect glue and sealer and dries to a matte finish. This may be gently heat set. Next, paint over the letters on the bottom of Santa's beard with light amounts of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White just to cover the letters and blend the white into the beard.

I LOVE flocking on retro pieces so I added some Cotton Ball White flocking to my Santa beard, hair and fur on the hat. It's so easy to do this! Fluff and sift the flocking through your fingers to break it up. Have it in a little pile ready to use. Next working in sections, brush Matte Medium over a portion of the beard and then sprinkle the flocking onto the Matte Medium. Gently press it in place and then stand the side on end and gently tap it on the table to remove any excess flocking. Repeat this until all of the beard,hair and fur on Santa's hat are complete. You can still see the original markings on the napkin through the flocking but you can easily brighten up those markings by using a small brush. Mix DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White and Carbon Black to make a medium gray. Feather the brush over the original lines to bring them back to the surface of the beard. I added a dot of DecoArt Media Liquid Glass to Santa's eyes and his bottom lip for some dimension and also gloss. Then I painted DecoArt Glamour Dust Fine Glitter Paint on the holly leaves and berries to bring out even more of a sparkle. Compare the original Santa image on the napkin and on the Kleenex box side! I love the new and improved Santa!

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Step 5: Repeat the above steps for each side of the box; cutting out the Santa image, penciling around it, painting the background and then adding the Santa using Matte Medium. These can all be heat set before adding the flocking. Add your special effects like glittery berries and holly leaves, musical notes, stamped backgrounds, dabbed white snowflakes, and the flocking to each side.

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Step 6: This is a picture of each of the sides ready to put them together. It is much easier to work on each side individually before attaching them into a box shape.

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Step 7: To put the box together, decide where you want each side to be. Then lay out the sides in that order. Take a structure strip and remove the backing from the double-sided tape. Lay one side of the tape against the edge of one of the edges of the box. Lay the next side of a box right on top of the remaining structure strip side so that they are joined. Place a bead of Liquid Glue on the outside seam of the corner and hold to let dry a minute or so. (You could also use a small bead of hot glue.) This outside edge will later be covered with the washi tape to hide the construction but DO NOT get too big of a bead of glue. On the inside of the box, you will see the corner held together by the structure strip.

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Step 8: After the bead of glue has dried on the outside corner of the box, cover the seam with two strips of 1/4” double-sided tape for extra strength and also to really glue down the washi tape.

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Step 9: Cover all of the corners with the peppermint stripe washi tape. Leave a little tab on both ends that can be glued underneath the top and bottom corner edges of the box. Apply washi tape around all of the edges of the top of the box in the same manner as the sides. Then apply a bead of DecoArt Media Liquid Glass around the top edges of the box and press the top into place. (You can also use hot glue here but do not add too much glue that could run out or drip from underneath the top of the box.)  Place a heavy book or something on the top to hold it in place for a few minutes until the glue is dry. Next, add the vintage red tinsel garland around the top bottom of the box and around the oval in the top of the box using the doubled sided tape and also a small bead of DecoArt Media Liquid Glass.

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Step 10: Here is a photo of the box really taking shape as you add your other little embellishments to the sides. In this case, I added little peppermint candy canes to each side and the four corners on the top of the box. Just the simplest little dimensional pieces can add so much character!

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The box is now completed! Simply slide in your box of tissues and you're ready to HO HO HO BLOW! And just look how beautifully this retro Santa tissue box will fit in with all of your other wonderful holiday décor!

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It is so hard to photograph a four-sided project so I will now share a few photos of the finished box.

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I wish you all a very safe, beautiful and blessed holiday season.  

As Santa says, 

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!”