Use these DIY Paper Bag Christmas Holly Leaf Decorations to deck your halls, rooms, presents, trees--everything! They’re super fun to make, a totally kid-friendly craft, and they’ll use up any extra brown paper bags you have lying around! It’s a win-win!
I wanted to make a decor item that would be fun to do by yourself, with friends, or with children. Something that could be done in an afternoon and use up what you might already have laying around (brown paper bags). And honestly, I really wanted to use some paint! I like how you can make a bunch of these and use them like accents in places that might otherwise not get a touch of holiday love like around light switches, computer monitors, and TVs--but feel free to use them anywhere and everywhere! They’re also perfect for adding a fun accent to presents and cards!
I really love DIY or crafty holiday decorations! Aside from being therapeutic, they’re a great activity to help it feel like the holidays, you’re more fond of them because you’ve made it yourself, and you also get to add more decorations to your collection for years to come! These would be easy to save for next year if you put them all in a small box, like a shoe box, so they don’t get squished.
My younger sister and I like to make snowflakes out of coffee filters and tape them to windows. We save them to use again the following year and keep using them until they start to really fall apart. I think this holly leaf craft will be like that; a craft you make and save and re-make after a few years when they’re showing some wear and tear. I’ll probably save the templates in our Christmas boxes so they’re right there when we need them.
Another great thing about making your own decorations is, depending on the craft, you’re reusing or upcycling something that could have otherwise simply been discarded and turning it into something beautiful.
You can do this craft on brown paper bags or other thicker-than-printer-paper paper. If you only have printer paper available that’s fine too, but they might not be as sturdy. I used hot glue to glue these together but if you don’t have that you could use tape. Which might also be easier if you plan on doing this in a classroom with young kids.
Alright! Onto the holiday crafting! For this project, I’ve included a holly leaf template with multiple sizes for different applications. The sizes of the individual holly leaves range from 1 ¼ inches to 7 ½ inches. Click the download link below to download my template. I do ask, if you download my printout, please keep it for personal use only.
- Brown paper bags
- Acrylic paint
- Cardstock paper (to print the template onto)
- A pencil or pen
- A glue gun + glue sticks (or tape)
To start, take a brown paper bag and cut off the bottom of it.
Just like that.
Next, if your bag has handles take those off, trying not to rip the bag.
Now you should essentially have a brown paper tube lol. Cut it down the side to open it up, along a side seam is the best spot.
This is what you should be left with, a long sheet of brown paper. So prepare your paint and go for it!
I used a mix of green, white, and yellow paint for the green holly leaves. I didn’t want the leaves to be one solid color so as I was painting I pulled in more green or more yellow to try and vary the hue of green to add some texture.
Again, I was trying to vary up the hue of green to add some depth. If you do this, don’t worry about trying to blend the different hues together when you add them.
For the red berries, I used a mix of red and brown paint to get slightly varying hues. I wasn’t as worried about adding texture to the berries.
Let your paint fully dry. I ended up painting two bags green and one bag red.
Once they’re dry, cut out your painted paper. You want to remove the brown/unpainted edges so when you trace your holly leaves on you know you won’t be cutting out a leaf with a brown tip.
Now trace the holly leaf templates onto the back side of the painted paper. This way your lines won’t show.
Now simply cut them out!
Once they’re all cutout and turned over this is what you should end up with. I really like the hand painted look.
For the berries, simply take a leaf and decide how big the berries should be as well as how many you’d like. I went for the classic three berries per set of leaves.
Now cut ‘em out!
There we go! They look so pretty!
Okay, onto the gluing! Simply glue them together in an arrangement you’d like.
And you’re done!
The holly leaves shown above only used up a small portion of the red bag and less than half of one of the green bags so you don’t need more than two or three brown paper bags to make a bunch of holly leaf decorations!
I’d say we’re about 80% decorated here. There are only a few more touches to add--like more holly leaves! It feels so nice to be mostly decorated before/right at the beginning of December. Have you guys started decorating yet? Are you not there yet or do you totally have it all checked off your list? I’d love to hear! I hope you guys enjoy this fun craft and get a chance to whip up your very own holly leaves! Have a great weekend everyone!