Hot Cocoa Christmas Canvas Painting Tutorial

People love to paint canvas during the holidays. I find that when I teach this subject, this time of year is when I have the most work and the highest attendance.

There is something so appealing and satisfying about making your own Christmas decorations and doing it with friends.

Hot Cocoa Painting Tutorial

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This painting is based on a Christmas sweater or wrapping paper pattern, and you can make it in any color scheme you like, or even turn your hot cocoa into a cup of coffee!

Hot Chocolate Christmas Fabric Painting Tutorial

You can follow the instructions to do it yourself and I will also give tips to do it multiple times easily so if you are teaching a group of people yourself or just want to make it easy for your friends to join you then you can do it too.

Hot Chocolate Christmas Fabric Painting Tutorial

What you need:

  • Canvas 16 x 20
  • multi color acrylic paint, white, red, green, blue, brown, etc.
  • color palette and a variety of brushes of different sizes
  • tissue
  • glass of water
  • tablecloth (I prefer disposable plastic because it’s easy to clean)
  • pencil, eraser, ruler
  • for multiple copies, transfer paper and tracing paper

Step by step guide

The first thing you need to do is outline the cup in the bottom center of the fabric.

It needs to have enough room to look like it’s sitting on a wooden table top, so leave room for it and then I find the best way to start is to draw the oval top of it where the cocoa will be poured into.

Step 3

The cup size can be a little longer, but depending on the shape you want, the size can also change.

Just inside the top part of it, draw a line for the top of the cocoa. Then draw the sides of the cup, a small rim at the bottom of the cup, and design a handle.

I like to use online pictures to help me if I feel like I’m getting stuck.

Step 4

Once you have drawn the mug, the next step is to draw lines in the background for the patterned areas. This part is up to you, I drew 5 different patterns, plus you need a line for the table top, this line will be slightly angled towards the back of the mug, so if it helps you to start with that line, go with that.

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Use a ruler to draw nice, straight lines.

At this point, there is no need to draw any more details as you need to paint the background and cup first, so just mask that off.

If you need to make multiple copies for others, instead of drawing each one yourself, use a sheet of wax paper to trace onto the mug with a pencil, then use a sheet of transfer paper to trace onto the other fabric panels by placing the transfer paper underneath the wax paper and drawing over it.

Step 2

This is a great way to make quick copies.

Step 1

One thing you can do to help plan your patterns is to take a piece of scrap paper and doodle on it, to see what you might want to add. I also googled sweater patterns and wrapping paper patterns.

Choose paint colors and pour them into the palette.

You will need to add a bit of color to the mug and table top, and most of these light colors will require at least 2 coats of paint.

When you start drawing, use a thinner brush so you can sketch before filling in with a larger brush.

Dip the brush in water first, then blot the excess water on a paper towel. This loosens the brush and makes the paint flow easier. Repeat this process each time you use a new, dry brush.

You can start with brown for the wood table top and cocoa or mug if you follow my pattern. If you choose a different color for the mug, use that color on the top stripe of the fabric to help pull the color throughout.

Paint the outside of the cup or tabletop outline first, whichever you choose, then paint the rest with a larger brush. For the cup handle, you may need to switch to a smaller brush to better fit the lines.

After you paint the cup, paint the top stripe as well. I find it best to paint the line that separates the stripe from the next stripe first, then paint in, so I can stay within the lines better.

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Don’t forget to extend the paint to the top and sides of the fabric so that the stripes are painted all the way around.

Next, make the table top if you haven’t already, and paint the sides and bottom edge brown.

Then paint cocoa color with dark brown.

Step 5

Step 5-1

From this point on you just paint the other stripe colors in the same way, I left the 2 stripes white and didn’t paint the base on them.

Step 6

You will need to repeat the base coat application again, repainting each color, unless you choose a lighter color that covers well.

If you can see the brush strokes and canvas then a good, solid coat of paint is needed.

Check the sides and edges carefully while pouring wet paint for those colors.

Step 7

Now you can add your template.

I tried going step by step by color – for example, the gift box on my top stripe was burgundy, so I painted those squares and used the same color to add thin stripes to the green stripe.

I used a lighter green for the Christmas tree stripe and used that green to add dots to the stripe below between the ornaments.

You can take white and use it as an accent color by mixing it with other colors.

I created a lighter green this way and used it to add bows and ribbons to the gift boxes on the top stripe, and hearts, and to accent the Christmas trees to give them depth.

Hot Chocolate Christmas Painting Tutorial for Kids

I mixed white with dark turquoise to create a lighter turquoise and used it for the dots between the star patterns on the dark turquoise stripe.

You’ll need to watch how the paint gets wet on multi-colored designs. I did the gift squares first, so they could dry while I did the other things, then came back and painted the green layers.

The turquoise ornaments were one of the first I made so they could dry, and then I added the white accents.

I painted the white star motifs and white accents on the ornament at the same time.

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Of course, you can come up with your own designs, but hopefully this will help you understand how to make the patterns step by step so that everything goes smoothly and quickly. It may seem a bit boring because there are so many colors, but the results are worth it.

If you need to let some things dry to finish the patterns, you can also work with cocoa and wood.

To finish the cocoa – mix a little white with the brown and add a layer of lighter brown to the first layer of dark brown. Then take a little dark brown and paint around the outer edges of the cocoa and blend a little in the middle. Then take a little brown paint, mix it with the white and using a thin brush, paint in a steamy curve across the cup.

For the mug, mix black or dark brown with red (or this will depend on the color you choose, but you need to make the mug darker) and add shadows to the bottom of the mug, the sides of the mug to give it a round shape, and on the handle.

Also, add a shadow line to its back rim.

Hot Cocoa Canvas Christmas Painting Tutorial for Kids

For the wooden table top, similar to the mug, add a drop of black to the brown to create a darker shade and add a shadow under the mug, extending a little to one side, below the handle.

Then make some small, random marks on the wood to help make it look more realistic. Use regular brown if needed to blend in some color if the wood is too hard and sharp.

At this point, go back and check the paint and see if there are any areas that need more coats to finish, and add any final details to the pattern.

Sign the picture and it’s done!

Hot Chocolate Christmas Painting Ideas

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