Thursday, November 13, 2014

Advent Calendar Tutorial

Hello, Lisa Hoel here and I'm happy to be a guest designer again this month. I have prepared a special advent calendar project that you can make too using the Zipper Die. Here's a look:

Each day you tear off the zipper tab to reveal a vintage image!
Detail of the bottom decoration
Let's get started on the how to! First, I used the Holly & Swirls die set to create a custom patterned paper to cut up to use as the tab fronts. I die cut enough holly parts out of my "utilitarian" cardstock to cover a sheet of 12 x 12 cardstock.

Next I used Ranger Tarnished Brass Distress Spray Stain to mist over the whole page. I held the bottle about 10 inches or so from the page so I wouldn't accidentally disturb any of my die cut mask pieces. I let everything air dry in place and then did a very light misting of Iced Spruce Distress Spray Stain over it all as an accent.

I let it dry before removing the mask pieces so I wouldn't risk smearing.

Custom patterned paper!

Now you need to cut your paper into strips 1.5 inches wide. Then cut the strips into rectangles 2.75 long. These are the fronts of the picture rectangles and we'll cut them with the zipper die. 

We're not going to be using the full length of the die. To make lining up my paper rectangles faster and easier, I drew two little marks after the fourth notches on the die. (See photo above.) The edge of my paper lined up with those marks and I used a bit of washi tape to hold it in place while cutting. Be very gentle when removing the paper after cutting it. It is easy to tear it. I have a thin bladed metal palette knife that I like to use for loosening paper from dies. It works well.

After cutting out all the image rectangles (see downloadable pdf below), you need to glue the tops and bottoms together. Do not put glue on the zipper tab part or you'll have an advent calendar you can't open. ;-) See the photo above. I used a quick grab wet adhesive but you could use red line tape too. I liked having time to slide the top around to get everything lined up before it stuck for good. At this point I also put the number circle on the front so I could keep them all in order.

Once all the pieces were put together I arranged them all on the base which is a sheet of patterned cardstock I had mounted on chipboard for extra sturdiness. There is a nice section on the bottom you can embellish how you like also. I used more holly diecuts, Ranger Stickles, and stamped sentiments from the Holiday Greetings Stamp Set.

We've made it easy for you to make your own advent calendar. All the vintage images used are from The Graphics Fairy website. Karen the owner has graciously given us permission to provide a downloadable pdf that contains all the sized images. (This is for your own personal use.) All you have to do is print out the two pages of the pdf and cut them out. The number circles are easily cut with a 3/4 inch circle punch. Make sure you print 'actual size'. Do not have 'shrink to fit' or similar marked in your print options. The window rectangles must measure 2.75 x 1.5 inches when printed or the images won't line up with the zipper tab correctly.

click on the thumbnail to download a full resolution pdf
AJVD products:
Zipper Die

Holiday Greetings Stamp Set

Holly & Swirls Die Set
Other products:
Ranger Distress Ink, Perfect Pearls Mist, Distress Spray Stain, Archival Ink, Stickles, foam adhesive squares, 3/4 inch circle punch, Epson Matte Cardstock, gold embossing powder

Thank you for stopping by!
Lisa Hoel, Guest Designer

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Unknown said...

I was just thinking to myself I need to make one... this is fabulous! x

Anonymous said...

This is such a great tutorial! Thank you so much.I think I will also adapt it to my great-grand children's birthdays. You are so kind to share so much with us. Thank you!

Lisa Lara said...

So amazing Lisa.