Laughter and Joy Santa Box

Laughter and Joy Santa Box

Posted by DecoArt on Dec 17th 2014

Holiday keepsakes have a festive home in this decorative painted wooden box.


    • water container
    • palette or plastic plate
    • paper towels
    • tracing paper
    • fine-grit sandpaper
    • #6 round brush
    • 1" painter's tape
    • #12 flat brush
    • black fine point marker
    • stylus
    • #4 flat shader brush
    • 1" sponge brush
    • triangular cosmetic sponges
    • tack cloth
    • 1" flat wash brush
    • grey transfer paper
    • #1 script liner brush
    • #8 flat shader brush
    • 18" large oval band box
    • 1" rake brush


    1. Sand the box lightly; wipe with a tack cloth.
    2. Use a 1” sponge brush to apply one coat of Americana Primer & Sealer to all sides of the band box inside and out. Let dry completely.
    3. Using a black fine point marker, trace the pattern onto the tracing paper. Center on the pattern on the box lid and hold in place with a small piece of painter’s tape.
    4. Gently slide the grey transfer paper under the tracing paper, making sure the pattern stays in line. Retrace the pattern, checking to make sure the graphite paper is dark side down. (I place a small piece of tape on the top side of the graphite paper to make sure I know which way is up.)
    5. Use a 1” sponge brush to paint one transparent coat of Dried Basil Green to the bottom and sides of the band box. Let dry. (If the color is too uneven, you can add second coat and let dry.)
    6. Using the 1” painter’s tape, create vertical 1” stripes by laying the tape side by side and then removing every other one. (Press firmly into place so there is no leakage.)
    7. Using a cosmetic sponge, paint in the stripes by gently pouncing a small amount of Avocado. Fill in the space starting in the center of stripes and work toward the tape so there is no seepage under the tape. Let dry.
    8. Using a 1” wash brush, float Burnt Umber along the bottom edge all the way around. Use a “willy-nilly” approach to the floating technique so it doesn’t look “too perfect”, starting and stopping and overlapping stokes. Keep it soft and light. (You can always go back for second coat.) Let dry.
    9. Using a 1” sponge brush, basecoat the lid top and sides Light Buttermilk. Let dry. Even the color with a second coat if desired and let dry.
    10. Float Burnt Umber around the edges, walking the color in toward the center of the box. Transfer the pattern lightly and only as much as you feel you really need.
    11. Basecoat Santa's face with two coats of Hi-Lite Flesh. Let dry. (You may need to retrace the face back on at this point if you like a heavy basecoat.)
    12. Wash the eyes with Warm White and let dry. Paint the irises Calypso Blue; float Midnite Blue around the edges. Let dry.
    13. Mix equal amounts of Lamp Black and Dark Chocolate and basecoat the pupils. Add details to the irises with a wash of Midnite Blue. Let dry.
    14. Stroke Turquoise Sparkle on the iris. On the eyeball, float under the top eyelid with a very soft wash of Midnite Blue. Let dry. Float a soft wash of Burnt Umber over that and in corners of the eyes (giving them depth and shape).
    15. Highlight the eyes with a soft wash of Warm White on the pupil, iris, and Warm White eyeball as inspired.
    16. Wash the lips with several coats of Antique Mauve, letting each coat dry.
    17. Add the lipline with a thin wash of Burnt Sienna. Wash Deep Burgundy around the edges and through the middle. Add a soft wash of Burnt Sienna in the corners of the mouth. Float Burnt Umber between the lips and around the outside of the lips. Float a highlight of Light Buttermilk on the bottom lip.
    18. Wash Flesh Tone around the face generously, leaving the center of forehead, nose, and balls of the cheeks lighter than rest of the face including the ears.
    19. Float Antique Mauve in all creases, wrinkles, around the edge of the face, and across the tops of the cheeks. Define the nose by floating along the outside of the bridge and the ball of the nose with Antique Mauve. (This will take several soft layers.)
    20. Paint the nostrils with a thin wash of Burnt Umber. Float Burnt Sienna under the cheeks and in the ears where the darker shadows will be. Add Deep Burgundy to the apples of the cheeks and to the nose.
    21. Float a thin wash of Burnt Umber in the ears, around the eyes, and along the outside of the bridge and under the nose as well as around the whole face (to create shadow effect and make areas recede).
    22. Add a touch of Hi-Lite Flesh here and there across the forehead, eyelids, and the bridge and tip of the nose to bring those details forward.
    23. Define the details of the face and ear using script liner brush and a very thin coat of Burnt Umber and Dark Chocolate.
    24. Enhance the eyelashes by adding Dark Chocolate mixed with Lamp Black.
    25. Using a large wash brush, “piddy pat” thin washes of Burnt Umber mixed with Midnite Blue anywhere there is hair, including the eyebrows. (This undercoat will show through when you paint in hair, giving it shadows and depth.)
    26. With a rake brush and thinned paint, begin to layer Burnt Umber, Midnite Blue, Buttermilk, and Light Buttermilk in soft waves for all hair. Let the hair on the top of Santa’s head fade into the background with no defined end and allow Santa’s beard and hair to flow off edge of the lid.
    27. Add Warm White with the rake brush to all hair, including the eyebrows.
    28. Using a #1 script liner brush, add fine details of hair wisps in Warm White.
    29. Softly trace on Santa's glasses. Using a #6 round brush, wash a thin line of Burnt Umber to define the glasses. Let dry. Paint over the line with Splendid Gold. Highlight with Light Buttermilk.
    30. Create a shadow for the glasses on Santa’s face using a wash of Burnt Umber. The shine on Santa’s glasses is Light Buttermilk with a touch of Warm White.
    31. Using a #6 round brush, sketch the relaxed line of Burnt Umber, Dark Chocolate, and Burnt Sienna wash to define the wreath branch.
    32. Add small branches, alternating right and left of the line where the pine needles will be. Using a #1 script liner brush, double-load Avocado tipped in Dried Basil Green to paint the pine needles.
    33. Base the pinecones Dark Chocolate. Float highlights in Dried Basil Green. The shadow is floated Burnt Umber.
    34. Using a rake brush and Warm White, stroke in a few hairs to layer over a few pine needles. Use a #1 script liner brush to add final hair details around the wreath.
    35. Trace the holly pattern onto the sides of the lid.
    36. Double-load a #8 flat shader brush with Avocado tipped with Dried Basil Green. Sketch in the holly leaf shapes quickly. Float Avocado veins.
    37. Outline and paint the stem line in Dried Basil Green. Float Burnt Umber around the bases of some leaves.
    38. The berries are dip dots of Deep Burgundy touched with a bit of Warm White. Float Burnt Umber along the bottoms of the berries and highlight with Warm White.
    39. Dip-dot a touch of Lamp Black on some berries. Add Dried Basil Green stems.
    40. Instruction #39
    41. Trace on the lettering. Use a #1 script liner with thin Deep Burgundy to fill in the letters.
    42. Instruction #40
    43. Varnish the box using a #1 sponge brush with two coats of DuraClear Satin Varnish and let dry.
    44. When dry, polish with a crumpled piece of brown paper bag for a super smooth finish, if desired.


    Project Pattern