This time of year chocolate filled advent calendars start showing up on store shelves, but wouldn't it be fun to consider a hand crafted one instead? The Fiskars design team is here with several wonderful ideas
Designer: Becky Novacek
With the holidays approaching, my mind is switching gears to holiday projects that i want to create BEFORE the time is upon us. I love celebrating the coming of Christmas and an advent calendar is one of the best ways to heighten the anticipation! I adore vintage frames and have collected them for years. I picked the one up that i used for this project for under $1.
One of my favorite *new to me* techniques, is using a paper towel or rag to apply paint to an old piece. it takes seconds to do, and gives just the look i want. The frame i used is approximately 12" x18", but any size would work, it would just be a matter of adjusting the tag sizes. I have a spot on my kitchen wall that i wanted to use this on, so i picked a frame accordingly.
I think it's a great way to use scraps, as well as using your favorite Fiskars punches to create inexpensive accents. I just assembled a pile of scrap papers(I happened to have finished a project using the gorgeous Heidi Grace Christmas line, right before i started this project, so i just left the pile of scraps on my desk, and proceeded with this project) and number stickers. I find that many times i'll use up most of my alphas and have tons of numbers left on my alpha/number stickers. I think it only took 3 different sets of numbers to complete this project. Another idea would be to use Fiskars Alpha Stamps for this project. So, you'll need your pile of scrap paper and accents, a frame, paint, office supply clips, 3/4 inch wide twill ribbon and super heavy-duty wet adhesive.
I painted the frame, using a paper towel and just wiping it on where i wanted it. I set the frame aside and proceeded to make all of my number tags. I watched a classic old movie as i put them together, and it was quite enjoyable! I think it would have been a fun project to do with my grandchildren, but since it was after midnight, that wasn't possible! I could make more though and incorporate their help. It took a couple of leisurely hours to put the tags together, so by that time, the frame was sufficiently dry. I cut strips of twill a little longer than the width of the frame and glued them in place, using the heavy duty wet adhesive. Allow this framework to dry overnight. I'm going to put the numbered tags in a sweet little vintage box and clip the numbers up as the days pass. you could put all the numbers up and remove them too. It would be so easy to take this idea and customize it with your own colors (Heidi Grace has a Winter line that would work beautifully for this too) I hope you enjoy making this project your own!
Designer: Patti Milazzo
The background felt (tan) measures 18”w x 26”h. Fold over the top 2” and stitch to create an opening for a dowel. Leave approximately 6” open at the top of the background to create a holiday or winter theme. Cut 25 – 3” squares and space evenly in the lower 18” x 18” area for the pockets. The Acrylic Ruler and Rotary Cutter make this a snap. Pin squares in place and machine stitch across and down to secure 3 sides, leaving the top of each square open.
To create assorted shapes, try using Shape Templates, punches and your imagination to create fun characters and symbols. For inspiration look at cards, toy catalogs or even coloring books.
Layer felt, add printed material, ribbons, other embellishments and add decorative embroidery for detail. Once your pieces are complete, arrange them on the calendar and begin gluing to the pocket fronts. Fiskars Easy Squeeze Glue Gun is great when assembling and adhering these shapes to your calendar. I love that it’s quick to dry and works well with virtually any material.
At the top of the calendar create a Winter or holiday scene. Or use the Shape Template letters to make letters for your family name. Add a dowel and ribbon to hand your calendar and you’re set to enjoy! And don’t forget to fill the pockets!
Designer: Lisa Falduto
The first thing I did when I made this advent tower is to cover the sides using strips of patterned paper I cut to size using my Fiskars 12 inch rotary trimmer. Then I used the Diamond border punch and trimmed about 1/4" out from the design and then fastened it on to the side of my tower. This gives the side a lace like effect.
Designer: Kendra McCracken
Instructions: Punch out 9 "ornaments" from each of 8 different patterned papers using the Don't Leave Me Hangin' Squeeze Punch. You'll have 72 ornaments. Mixing the patterns up, adhere 2 ornaments together, back-to-back, until you have a total of 24 two-sided ornaments. You should still have
Cut the remaining ornaments as shown in the above photo. The bottom half of each ornament is created by folding the circle portion of the ornament in half (excluding the small tip) and cutting slightly above the fold line. These will be used to create the pocket on the back of each ornament. Be sure to apply adhesive only along the bottom edge of the pockets. Adhere the little tips to the front side of each ornament. Discard the middle section.
You'll also need to punch 24 tags from cream colored cardstock using the Tag, You're It Squeeze Punch, write an activity on each one, and tuck them into the pockets on the ornaments. Then create a 15" long by 23" high base for the calendar. I used 2 layers of muslin with quilt batting sandwiched between them, added a binding around the perimeter, and fabric loops across the top. If you don't sew, you can use patterned paper or cardstock. You could also buy a couple of pretty placemats, stitch them together, and use them for the base!
Stitch mismatched buttons to the base to create hangers for each ornament. Using my 15" x 23" base, my rows of buttons (measuring from the middle of the buttons to the bottom of the calendar) are 5 1/4" from the bottom, 10 1/4" from the bottom, 15 1/4" from the bottom, and 20 1/4" from the bottom. The buttons are 2 1/2" from each side of the calendar and 2" apart (measuring from the middle of the buttons.) Finally, you can ink the edges of all ornaments and tags if desired.
Designer: Lisa Truesdell
December has a way of passing by in a blur – this advent project will help you slow down and enjoy a little holiday fun each day. I kept the construction of this album super simple – you’ll just need to punch two holes along the right side of 26 library pockets (25 for the days, 1 for the cover), then “bind” them with binder rings.
I used my Ultra Shapexpress to cut out the number for each day, then added a punch snowflake and a strip of scalloped patterned paper. I stamped each tag with a journaling stamp and then slipped them into the library pockets. You can fill out the tags with activities beforehand or do it day by day – whatever works for your family.
As you do each day’s activity, take a moment to snap a picture and to jot down a few thoughts on the back of the tag. Once you print your photos, add them to the back of the library pockets and you’ll finish the holiday season with a mini album that captures all of the memories you made while counting down to Christmas.
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