This has literally been a year in the making. You might recognize some of the designs–like the Santa, reindeer and trees–from the Happy Christmas stamps that were released last year. I had created some designs before all heck broke loose on my site last year with the intent of using them in a brand new advent calendar as well as stamps.
Long story short, the brand new kit, Christmas Calendar, is finally here!
Originally, I had intended to purchase a frame. Then I thought I could use a gold frame that has a painting that my grandma made for our wedding. But it was only 16×20 and it needed to be just a little big wider. Luckily, I had a window that worked. Also, I’d planned for a vertical 5×5 layout, but this is what ended up working for me. I’m sure you can find fairly inexpensive frames at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
You could also string these along a mantle or across a room. Lots of possibilities. You don’t have to do what I do. That’s why I made it this way–so that it was flexible. You could even just do it on tags, or use kraft bags with no tags. There really are some fun things you could do with it!
I loved the idea of a mix of designs, words and numbers to make this eclectic Christmas ensemble. I was also completely enamored with ‘silver and gold’ (any Burl Ives fans out there? haha). I purchased one textured gold and one textured silver cardstock (last year when I thought this would be up) from Michaels, however, when I went there this year, I didn’t see the same textures. I was bummed! Because that gold texture is my favorite!
With that silver+gold in mind, the kit has separated and sized components accordingly to fit on glassine bags that are 2.75 x 4.25″ (purchased HERE). The white tags I got from Office Depot. They only had THESE with wire in store. I just remove the wire and replace it with string as needed. You could just put the designs directly on the tags rather than use the glassine (or kraft or white) envelopes too.
And speaking of string! Holy cow! Do you know how hard it is to find white string??? We went to Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Target, Hobby Lobby, Office Depot…and finally found some at Michaels. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced. Who knew it would be so hard to find string?!
Oh, and the tags are also placed in groups of 8, 9 and 8 on a row. When planning for a vertical 5×5 setup, I had Joyful and the snowflake switched.
I purchased gold ribbon from Michaels and medium-small clothespins from Hobby Lobby to hang them. When I decided to use this old window, I was going to use the backside so I could pushpin or staple the ribbon. Sadly, I didn’t like the other side. Need to paint it a whiter color, so maybe next year. For now I’m using some Glue Dots to hold the ribbon. Not sure how it’s going to fair for a month, but it’ll do for now…even if I have to keep adding some Glue Dots. ;)
Most of the assembly is self-explanatory by looking at the photos, but here are tips on a few of them.
You can also press Ctrl/Cmd and the plus sign to zoom in if needed.
Layer in this order: silver back, gold stripes, gold caps, silver top. Add a ribbon tied in a knot at the top. I did not tie mine through the hole.
Adhere the star and wrap string around it three times. Then, just adhere the 5 so that the top of it sits on the string. Secure it on the back with tape or washi tape.
Place the star cut piece in the bag. I am going to try and find a piece of cardstock more the tone of the tag so that it’s not quite as obvious that white cardstock is in there. ;)
Stars on a string.
I can’t remember where I got the silver and gold sequins. I’ve had them for a while. You could also use regular sequins as well–it would look more like ornaments on a string.
Use a needle to string your stars in four groups of five. Do not cut your string, but rather leave it on the spool. I liked mixing it up a little by doing two gold or two silver here and there. And because I forgot to throw the 16 circle on there, I added it at the end and it was the first thing I wrapped. It all worked out.
Once you have the stars and 16 strung, tape down the needle end and start wrapping it around your bag+tag all willy nilly. I also wanted string wrapped with no stars, so you can see that below here.
After you have it all wrapped and adjusted, then secure the strings to the back of the bag with tape or washi tape.
I liked mixing a little shiny washi tape in here and there. Most of it I got from the Sugar Paper Christmas line at Target last year. For the hot cocoa mug, I actually cut a piece of the stripes to make it even taller. Can’t even tell. :)
Cut your own letter for your own last name. Wrap ribbon around to make it look like a gift and string your letter on it.
Cut pieces of string, flip it over to the back and staple it with a mini stapler. I have a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher that works perfectly for it. Adhere the stars.
On the back side of the tags you can write service projects, kindness activities, or just fun ideas to do during the holiday season–like watch a Christmas movie, read a Christmas book, sing carols, make cookies for neighbors, etc. And the beauty of the tags is that with you being Santa’s little helper and all, you can adjust activities as needed. ;)
Hmm…maybe should have put that with the hot cocoa mug. ;)
When all is said and done, I really wanted this to be something fairly simple to put together. No printing, just cutting with something like a Silhouette or Circut. The white, gold and silver and a classic touch and will go with any decor. The cost is also pretty inexpensive, only needing a small amount of inexpensive items.
Here is a compilation list of items I used:
White Shipping Tags 4 3/4 x 2 3/8″) | Office Depot
Glassine Bags (2.75 x 4.25″) | PrettyTape, Etsy
Gold ribbon | for hanging
Narrow silver+gold ribbons | for elements
1 Gold textured cardstock | Michaels
1 Silver textured cardstock | Michaels
String | Recollections, Michaels
1 Gem rhinestone sticker | for snowflake
20 Gold and silver star (or round) sequins
Glue Pen | Zig (my favorite!)
Tiny stapler | I have Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher
The window I used sizes from inside edge-to-edge at 29″ x 19″.
If you’d like to cut your own paper bags, you can find a flat paper bag and other bag images HERE.
If you’d like to cut your own tags, you can find an office tag, and others, HERE.