1 medium size gift bag
3 different colored papers (from craft store or scrapbook supply): red for background (largest), gold for middle, and green for front piece (smallest)
1 rubber stamp "Merry Christmas" and red ink (or use red paint to "ink" the stamp), or red felt marker or pen
Acrylic clear varnish
Acrylic paints: red, green
Optional: red flocking (from craft store)
Tacky glue or hot glue
1. Apply a light coat of varnish to seal the casting from moisture (so it will not swell and lose the design when paint is applied). You may apply varnish just to the holly design and leave the background unvarnished if you prefer. Optional: Apply a light 2nd coat of varnish and let dry. Note: You may also apply varnish to the back of the casting for more permanence.
2. Apply paint to holly, one color at a time, and let dry between colors so they won't run into each other. Let dry.
3. Optional: Apply a light coat of spray varnish to seal in paint. Let dry. Apply a 2nd coat of varnish if desired for more sturdiness. Let dry. Note: Varnishing will give the casting a more glossy finish.
4. Cut 3 papers into squares so that they fit together as shown:
1) Green paper should measure approx. 2 1/4" square (to give about a 1/8" to 1/4" border around casting).
2) Cut gold paper approx. 2 1/2" square (to give about a 1/8" border around green paper).
3) Cut red paper approx. 3" square (to give about a 1/4" border around gold paper).
5. When you are satisfied with the way the 3 pieces fit together, glue the gold paper to the red paper and let dry. Then glue the green paper to the gold paper and let dry.
6. Use rubber stamp to imprint "Merry Christmas" on the bag (or use paints, a marker or pen). Let dry.
7. Glue red/gold/green cut-out to bag and let dry.
8. Glue casting to center of green paper and let dry.
Variation: Use red felt or a specialty paper with a similar soft texture for the background piece. After the "Merry Christmas" lettering on the bag is dry, apply glue and then red flocking to mimmick the soft fuzzy texture of the red paper.