Christmas Countdown Calendar
Crafty Secrets November 2015 Linky Challenge and Blog Hop
Hello, Friends! Welcome to the Crafty Secrets November 2015 Linky Challenge and Blog Hop! You should be coming here from the Crafty Secrets BLOG. If so, you are right on track! If you’d like to visit every stop along the way, I have the list posted below. You don’t want to miss any of the wonderful inspiration from our design team. Our theme this month is “Visions of Sugarplums” and the design team was challenged to make anything BUT a card. What fun! With that in mind, I set about to create a Christmas Countdown Calendar, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ll share all the details below, but first, here’s the blog hop list for this month.
Crafty Secrets Blog ♥ Kathy (you are here) ♥ Ginny ♥ Sheila ♥ Michele ♥ Diane ♥ Shantaie
When I was a girl, I loved Advent calendars! There was something magical about counting down the days until Christmas. I rummaged around in the Closet of Shame until I found a cute little chalkboard easel and a tiny wooden box that were patiently waiting to be altered. These became the base for my Christmas Countdown Calendar.
The chalkboard measures about 6.5″ x 8.25″ and has an easel on the back as well as a little tray on the front. My sweet daughter-in-law found it for me at a local thrift store and scooped it up for me. I wanted to jazz up the red base just a little, so I painted it randomly with Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint and set it aside to dry. As it dried, the paint developed little hairline cracks that look like a frosty windowpane. The chalkboard itself was spritzed with Dylusions White Linen Spray.
Once the paint was dry, I added some Vintage Christmas Plaid Ribbon around the edges of the frame, holding it in place with 1/2″ Scor-Tape. I twisted natural burlap string together to form a handy little “clothesline” for hanging my countdown tags and held it in place with two brass tacks on either side of the frame. You can’t see them here because I covered them up with a truckload of Petaloo flowers!
I started decorating the frame in the upper left hand corner, placing a very full double layer bow on the bottom. This was topped with a loopy string bow, tied with more natural burlap, a jeweled Petaloo flower and some holly leaves. I found this sparkly red tassel in my stash and added it into the mix. Then I began to layer on the flowers.
I just kept gluing them on until I was happy with the way they looked.
To decorate the tray portion of the chalkboard, I cut out the December tag from Crafty Secrets Seasonal Calendar Creative Scraps. The edges were inked with Vintage Photo Distress ink. The little sisal Christmas tree was plain green, so I painted it with more of the Picket Fence Distress Crackle and then sprinkled it with clear glitter and apple green glitter while the paint was still wet. The tree, red and green tinsel and jingle bells were glued into place with a hot glue gun.
It’s a little bit hard to see in this photo, but I cut a glittery white plastic snowflake in half and glued each half behind the easel frame. Next, chipboard letters were painted with Picket Fence Crackle Paint and set aside to dry. I added some rhinestones while the paint was still wet. When the letter were dry, they were tapped with Hickory Smoke Distress stain. This completed the decorating of the frame. Now for the countdown tags!
I love this little box! Found at a yard sale, it was a sad little box, with a very bad stain job. So I painted it red, then rubbed it with Picket Fence Distress Paint, HIckory Smoke Distress Stain and filled it to overflowing with Christmas Countdown tags. The front was decorated with fussy cut images from our Merry Christmas Creative Scraps, some white tinsel and red berries.
The top of the box is decorated with another greeting from the Merry Christmas Creative Scraps that I sewed onto beautiful red burlap.
I kept the top simple, just adding a natural burlap string bow, some berries and a painted flower.
Inside the cover, I used a piece of paper from our gorgeous Vintage Christmas Papers. The Santa Collage is gorgeous, and so perfect for this project.
I wanted to make the box so that the tags would be easy to keep together and quick to find. How fun to pull a new tag of the box each day and then hang it on the line!
- I cut 24 tags from red, green and black cardstock using the die from Heartfelt Creations Luggage and Tags die set. They were just the right size to fit in the box. Images are from the following sources:
- Merry Christmas Creative Scraps
- Christmas Vintage Image and Journal Note Booklet
- Heavenly Christmas Heartwarming Vintage Stickers
- Christmas Vintage Cuts (out of stock, but I’m sure Sandy will be releasing these in digital form soon)
- Creating with Vintage Christmas CD
The tags were topped with ribbons from the Christmas Satin with Metallic Edge Assortment.
Each tag also has a die cut number for each day of the month leading up to Christmas.
Christmas Eve Day gets a fancy gold punched medallion.
And Christmas Day gets a super sized tag with red glitter paper and gold foil.
This was not a hard project to make, but it did take a lot of time. Still, how fun to pull this out every year and countdown the days til Christmas! I definitely think it is worth the effort.
From here, you will hop on over to visit the always inspiring Ginny Nemchak to see what she cooked up for our Visions of Sugarplums extravaganza! Once you’ve visited all the blogs, be sure to pick up this month’s free digital paper and image from the Crafty Secrets blog. Then link your project up to the Crafty Secrets blog, where one lucky winner will receive a $25 digital shopping spree and have their blog featured on our Facebook page and Heartwarming Vintage Blog.
If you’d like to purchase this Christmas Countdown Calendar, it’s available in my ETSY shop.
Thanks for stopping by!
Kathy, this project is absolutely gorgeous! Love all the beautiful layers and details.
Oh my Kathy, your have outdone yourself with these beautiful Christmas Countdown Tags and the box and display holder are fantastic! I adore each and every image of ours you used and the colors and embellishments are perfect. You can tell this was a labor of love and I really like the idea someone mentioned of adding a photo. It could even be on the back of each tag and include 1st Christmas together and continue and add each year. How do you pull off these projects when you have your house for sale – super woman? Great job!
Super! Love the use of the tags and color choices! TFS
Beautiful thse colors are soooo vibrant!
How sweet is this Kathy. I just love it and I can see how this project is a real labour of love. It’s a keepsake to enjoy for many years to come. I thought you could add a small family picture on an extra tag each year making a few memories each year x
Great idea! love it 🙂
OMG, i let out a squeal of delight! This is just absolutely the best. Kathy! You make me feel Christmasy all over!
I just don’t know how you do it! Amazing achievement!
Wow! This is stunning!! Love everything about it!!
wow you really put a lot of thought and work into this! I agree a countdown builds up the anticipation, and creates such excitement!
Hi Kathy, You must have been working overtime, maybe even last yr. to accomplish such a gorgeous project. what a wonderful gift, the Advent calendar, box, the children would love
picking a tag each day, an remembering the reason for the season…….love it.
WOW!!! I absolutely love this amazing, gorgeous, clever creation! You are so talented Kathy!
Another simply wonderful project from a wonderful and talented lady!! I love this calendar and those tags are awesome. Thanks for sharing.
So so clever to use the tags!!! LOVE the whole system, and the papers and embellishments are wonderful! LOVE this!