Saturday, November 22, 2008

Scenic advent calendar

I've been working on an advent/countdown calendar for the past few weeks, and I'm happy to have pretty much finished it up this morning. I haven't seen anything quite like it in all my online searching, but my design was inspired by some Kinder and Lego advent calendars I'd seen where you build a three-dimensional scene with each day closer to Christmas. I made my own version of this concept using
  • foam core board (two 13"x12" pieces to make the panels)
  • 12x12 cardstock and patterned paper
  • self-adhesive holographic paper
  • clear velcro dots
  • Frost White pigment ink by Colorbox, Platinum Planet Brilliance ink
  • various stamps and printouts from online colouring book websites
  • an easel-style stand, which I've seen at Hobby Lobby and Michaels in the frames dept
This is the calendar without any countdown pieces on it. The pieces are going to be kept in a little snowman tin I got from Michaels that is meant to hold gift cards, etc.
This is the calendar with all the countdown pieces attached. The idea is at the beginning of December, you are 25 days away from Christmas, so for December 1, you would put the little image marked with #25 onto the space on the scene that is marked with #25, and then add a piece a day until on Christmas Eve day, the scene is complete. Below are some closeups of the two sides of the calendar.

After I stamped, coloured, and cut out each countdown piece, I glued the number to the image and then laminated them for durability using some Scotch self-laminating pouches I picked up from Sam's Club. You don't need a heat laminating machine for these; you just place whatever you want laminated in between the two halves of the pouch, peel off the protective paper to expose the sticky backing, and then press the two halves of the pouch together around your item.
This angel tree-topper is for the day 12 days from Christmas. I found this great image on an online colouring book site, and coloured it in using Prismacolor pencil crayons.
I'm using some more foam core board and velcro dots to hold the two calendar panels together. This is a pic of the back side of the calendar; both halves are attached to a third large piece of foam core board that holds them together.
The mountain in the scene I created is based on the mountain that was in my backyard when I was growing up. :) Its name is Stekyawden/Roche de Boule, which you can see a proper picture of at I claim no credit for the above photo -- I just found it on the panoramio website!
This is a detail pic of the clear adhesive Velcro dots I used to hold the pieces on the calendar. The hard half of the dots is actually quite clear -- here the dot is adhered over top of a number I wrote with ultra-fine Sharpie. The fuzzy half of the dot is not clear though; it is opaque white. I got my pack of dots for ~$10.75 US at Hobby Lobby; the pack said it contained approximately 76 dots, but they counted both the front and the back halves separately so in reality there are only about 38 pairs of dots. Both halves are self-adhesive, and I think they are awesome. They aren't very bulky (they're thinner than the regular strips of Velcro), the hold is strong but not so strong it's hard to separate the two halves, and the adhesive backing is very sticky.
Here's a closeup of the snowy bits, which I made using white cardstock stamped repeatedly in Platinum Planet Brilliance ink using a retired Stampin' Up background stamp featuring hearts and swirls.
Here's a bit of a closeup of the sky, which I made using some ProvoCraft designer cardstock stamped with some Scraptrends snowflakes in Frost White pigment ink. This pic gives a good impression of how thin the Velcro dots are -- the calendar pieces are almost flush with the calendar!

Now that this baby is done, I can move on to other (quicker) projects and post a little more regularly to my blog! :)


Lindsay Spencer said...

Very very cute! What a fun project. It turned out really good, great job!

Patter Cross said...

Wow, that does look like an incredible amount of work and even putting this great blog post together! What a fun calendar, and I love how colorful it is!

catdidit said...

OH wow! What a wonderful creation! I can tell soo much went into this. Good idea about the laminating, cause that way they will last with being handled! Beautiful! and such a neat idea!

Kim Muhl said...

WOw, that took a lot of work but its well worth it. I love this so much and think its gorgeous!!

Laura said...

Wow! Lovely and creative project!

Hysteri-CAL said...

Oh wow - this is amazing - it must have took hours and hours !

Michelle (aka mybelle101) said...

This is so fabulous, Melanie!! I love how you did the mountain, and I love it even more now that I know its personal meaning! So cool...and so very clever! Great job!