Saturday, November 28, 2015

Spirited Sleigh Ride & Retro Santa Wall Art

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Of course that means (if you are a crafter) you have begun to panic about: 1. all the holiday projects you wanted to make and should've started in June, and 2. all of the projects people have asked you to make and, well, many days until Christmas? And where has that fifth DPN gone?!

Never fear! Thanks to the new Large Chipboard Sleigh from Alpha Stamps, I found a way to whip up a quick handmade gift that most grown-up people will actually enjoy. (Unlike the knitted sweater with one sleeve slightly longer than the other.) 

The Spirited Sleigh is a festive little present made with a little bit of retro scrapbook paper, some awesome pine twine garland, strips of pretty gold ribbon and trim, a few red glittered star picks, a couple of pinecones, and six mini bottles of liquor to get them into the holiday spirit. 

The beautiful chipboard sleigh couldn't be easier to assemble, even if you've already been hitting the eggnog. The kit has a handy sleigh shaped template, so you just trace, scissor, and glue! I used the template to cut an inside and outside shape to cover the sides, then used the front, bottom, and back chipboard pieces as templates to paper those sections. The sleigh's runners were painted with red acrylic, then stamped and embossed with embossing powder in Gold Tinsel. The sides of the sleigh were adorned with the green pine twine garland, petite pinecones, a few glittery holly berries, and vintage jingle bells.

I'm going to share some pointers to save you some time, one thing we all need more of this time of year. Make sure you have enough paper to cover your sleigh, especially if you need to line up patterns or want specific patterns in a certain spot. That's a no-brainer, of course. Paint first, paper second, assemble third, decorate last. I painted the runners and edges of the front and back pieces, then embossed the gold scroll design. Like I mentioned earlier, the included template was used to make four sleigh-shaped paper pieces; two for the inside and two for the outside. The chipboard front, back, and bottom were traced around onto my paper, I cut those pieces out, inked the edges, then all of the papers were glued to their coordinating chipboard piece. Sounds like a lot but it really took me longer to decide which paper I liked best. That, and googling a recipe for a cocktail using the seventh mini bottle that "absolutely would not fit aesthetically in the sleigh". Anyway! The right side of the sleigh was placed with the inside up (meaning I had the polka dot side facing up) and I glued the back, bottom, and front pieces in place. The other side piece was glued on, and once dry, the embossed runners were adhered. Yay, a sleigh! 

The rest was a snap- the wired pine garland was draped along the sides and decorated with Stickle coated pinecones, holly berries, and a jingle bell. The garland was also used to make the simple wreath on the front, which got a sprinkling of Vintage Christmas Flower Soft and a festive bow. And finally we get to the booze. I purchased seven, no...six! random mini bottles, just for variety. The tops were covered with a circle of Christmas-y plaid fabric and I hot glued a gold looped ribbon and a red glittered star pick (minus the pick) around the neck. Threw in the leaves and some pretty glittery holly berries, and all done. Even before you get through that first cocktail. Cheers!

Go right HERE to see what I've used for the Spirited Sleigh.

Since that project went so fast I figured I should take advantage of the giant mess I had made and make another something. It started with a smiling Santa on the Santa Baby collage sheet. Look at that face!

I used most of the images from that collage sheet along with some book pages I had cut from duplicate copies of Little Golden Books Santa's Toy Shop and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. 

The ATC sized tray has been in the stash for eons, but it would be fun to do a mini version using this cute shadowbox and filling it with teensy toys. Like the mini shadowbox, my tray was unpainted wood but after a few coats of white acrylic paint, all was ready for decorating! I wanted Santa's sleigh to be flying across the middle so that part was done first. The pieces were embossed with Gold Tinsel embossing powder and decorated with snippets of pine twine garland and red glittered star picks (again without the pick part. It's a shame I kept pulling them apart because they are really lovely!) Santa was added to the sleigh and the pieces were placed, without gluing, onto the tray until I decided on what the background images would be. The rest was pretty random.

Most everything I used for the Retro Santa Wall Hanging can be found HERE

From the stash: ATC wooden tray, vintage jingle bells, dollhouse fence, button, old Christmas bulbs, adhesive pop dots,  fabric poinsettias, and a striped paper straw. That's it!

I think I might be a Scrooge and keep this one for myself. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Victorian Advent Shadowbox

Are you ready for some wassailing and figgy pudding? If so, Alpha Stamps is gearing up for the holiday season with a sleighful of new products, like an Advent Calendar Shadowbox and A Victorian Christmas paper set. I used a handful of the recently added items along with the Advent Calendar Add-On Kit to create a delightfully simple project. 

Almost a good picture. It's a Christmas miracle.

The shadowbox itself is easy enough to assemble, but if you like visual instructions Caroline over at Glitter Tart Designs has an excellent video showing the assembly.

The Advent Calendar Add-On Kit includes a set of pre-cut drawers which eliminates the need to cut out 25 little boxes, thus saving lots of time. The quick assembly of the shadowbox and the pre-cut drawers means you can get right down to decorating this thing! (I chose to cut out all of my drawers since the Victorian Christmas paper is quite lovely. Plus, the kit has a drawer template just for that reason.)

I decided to complement the Victorian themed paper with traditional looking period decorations, including a paper medallion glitter Santa (isn't that what they're called?) and a cut-out image of a little girl that was given a crepe paper dress. There is glitter on that ornament, too, I promise. Gotta have some glitter! The other ornament is exactly what it looks like: a wired pine bough bent into a star, then finished off with a large reindeer pendant and a snippet of ribbon from the Advent Calendar Tags Ribbon Set. The ribbons decorated the numbered boxes nicely, and I still have quite a lot left for another project. 

Go visit Kristin at junk&stuff for a spectacular paper medallion tutorial, then pop back over here to see the feather tree I made using Handcraftedtradition's youtube video!

Here is the feather tree, decorated with images from various Christmas collage sheets, and a single spun cotton ornament. Eventually, I'll make more, as I stuff bourbon balls two at a time into my mouth and wash them down with an Irish coffee!