Christmas Gift Round-Up #7 -- Christmas Countdown Wall Hanging
I knew I wanted an Advent or Countdown Calendar.
I knew I wanted to have numbers on one side and images on the other so there was something to flip or move.
I knew I wanted to have activities and scripture related to each day, but I wanted the flexibility of rotating those activities depending on what was going on in our lives at the time.
I knew I wanted a wall hanging.
I knew I didn't want to spend one penny on this project, but I didn't have any paper wide or long enough to be the size I wanted.
So with that said, I got the crazy notion to do a woven wall hanging using paper instead of fabric or fibers. Remember this teaser photo I posted a few weeks ago? I pulled out all the red/green/cream papers I had, made my selection, and cut them into 2-1/2" strips. The little woven piece in the first photo is just a test piece using 1/4" strips.
I actually put a big strip of double-stick tape down on the top edge of my Stampin' Up! scratch pad and stuck my vertical strips down. Then I wove my horizontal strips in and out the vertical ones, taping and cutting and finishing each piece as I went. Using the SU scratchpad as my base actually helped me keep my horizontal strips straight, using the 1/4" grid as my guide.
Then I pulled out 3 plastic trading card protectors, trimmed them up, and sewed them onto my woven paper mat. I finished the edges of the woven mat with stitching too.
To make the inserts, I cut tags to fit the pockets and adhered numbers from a free Holly McCaig digi package (no longer available). I printed them out, punched with a circle punch, then ran them through my xyron.
Choosing the images for the reverse side was the hardest part, and it took me a long time trying to decide how I wanted to do this. I looked at clipart. I looked at digi-kits. I considered photographs. I considered using my own pen & ink line drawings. I finally decided that Christmas cards seemed to offer a wide range of pictures and patterns to suit my needs. I started by first making a list of topics/images I wanted to include and put them in a sequence that made sense to me. I chose to mix the story of the birth of Christ along with traditional Christmas images (trees, lights, etc) to tell the complete story of Christmas. I also considered what messages I wanted to tell my children (well, really just little Miss Kelly since the others are beyond this now) and the kinds of activities I might want to do with her.
So once that big issue was resolved, I grabbed handfuls of old Christmas cards and punched away. Matted each one, played around with them, deleted images when I found better ones, and once I settled on a final selection I ran them through my xyron and stuck them on the back.
I decided against adding any additional embellishments and chose simple ribbon tabs and ribbon to hang the piece.