Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Carrie's Christmas Creation!

My oh so very talented sister-in-law is joining us today as a guest blogger! I hope you enjoy her great tutorial for making Advent Calendar Christmas Trees:

I love Christmas, and am lucky enough to have a husband who is fully on board with my Christmas crafting addiction. This year, I really wanted to make an advent calendar. I love the sense of anticipation that comes along with an advent calendar but have been totally bored with the cheap paper or chocolate options available in stores. During an extensive Google and Pinterest search, I came upon some adorable options. (Here's a great roundup of ideas) My hesitation with most of the options I found was that they were aimed at families or took a far greater investment of time and money than I was up for. I knew I wanted to make some paper crafts, so I decided to re-purpose one as an advent calendar.

During my search, I stumbled across these adorable scrapbooking paper Christmas trees. I decided to make two of them and add pins to the bigger one from which to hang ornaments. This would be my grown-up friendly advent calendar.

First, I found some great holiday scrapbooking paper, double-sided is ideal. I bought this great pad of Martha Stewart Crafts paper. I also picked up some additional open stock pieces of green paper. I used this great tutorial, with a few minor modifications.
 Since I don't have a punch of any shape, I used a scrapbooking cutter to cut ovals about 1.5" long. I was also cutting out circles at the same time to make garlands, so I used an always handy cupcake tin to separate the colors and shapes. (I don't know if I would have made it through the cutting with out my husband's help!)

For my large tree, I used only shades of green but for my small tree I went for more variety. Once I had approximately a ton of ovals cut out, I wrapped the bottom and the top of my paper mache tree forms in dark green cardstock. Then, using a Sharpie marker, I curled the ovals about 1/2 way up. On the flat part, I put a dot of glue and then pressed the curls onto the tree form in a random order and in overlapping rows. I just used scrapbooking glue because I don't have a glue gun and it worked fine. When I got to the top of the trees, I cut a few more ovals in a smaller size to fill in the gaps.

At this point, my small tree was complete! Into my large tree, I stuck 24 white round head pins (pulled from my sewing kit). This was remarkably easy to do. I placed them so there would be enough space for the ornaments to hang. The final step was to make tiny ornaments for the advent calendar. Again, I cut little ovals using scrapbooking paper and wrote the numbers in black and silver Sharpie.

 I used tiny silver and brass jingle bells and snowflake buttons for the ornaments.
 Using a tapestry needle and thin ribbon, I strung each ornament with a date tag and placed them in a little bowl by the tree.

Each day, my husband and I enjoy finding today's ornament and slowly decorating our little paper Christmas tree.

Thanks to Becky for letting me write this guest post! I write a cooking blog, and couldn't figure out how paper trees would fit with the theme! I hope you are all having a great time getting in the mindset for the season. Do you have any favorite Christmas crafts that you return to year after year? Ones that it just wouldn't be the holidays without?

Happy Holidays!
If there are any more talented crafters, aesthetic bakers, hand stitchers, crocheters, knitters, masters of the sewing machine, or creative people of any capacity or variety who would like to have a guest post, please feel free to send me a tutorial or post along with pictures of your work! I would be happy to consider you as a possible future guest post!

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