Monday, October 13, 2008

Countdown to Christmas Tutorial!

This tutorial was typed up a couple of weeks ago but since the class I had has passed, now I can put it on my blog! :)

So on to the project. I made this Countdown to Christmas box after seeing all the wonderful creations at SCS. Here and here are the galleries. I read in a few uploads that storing the unused numbers can be challenging. So I came up with this wooden box from Michaels! I happened to have two of them that I bought months ago, intending to use it but didn't know what for! Well, when I saw those calendars and countdowns, the boxes were screaming at me! LOL Here is what you will need:

3 different colored cardstock/patterned paper (I used 8.5 x 11 cs)
1"foam brush
Sanding block
Diamond glaze or Crystal Effects (SU)
Decorative edge punch (I used a scallop corner punch and took off the guide so I could make a border) OR decorative scissors
Cricut cartridge Christmas Cheer (this makes the lightbulbs. If you don't have a cricut or this cartridge, you could use purchased diecuts)
Cuttlebug embossing plate Swiss Dots
Small Alphabet Stamps (I used Image Tree lower case brush letters)
Small numbers set (I used Image Tree brush numbers)
Christmas stamp (mine is from a Hero Arts set)
1" chipboard circle (optional)
Bone Folder
Wooden box from hobby storeThese adhesives plus dimensionals. Perfect Paper Adhesive, Crafters Pick The Ultimate, Zig 2-way glue with a chisel tip, mono adhesive.

I used this inkpad. And these magnets. I bought this roll from Michaels for less than $5.00. It's sticky on one side.Circle punches ranging from 5/8" to 1-1/8". These are from EK Success.Here we go:

When giving cardstock sizes, I will refer to the colors I used on my box, just to make it easier to understand.

Cut dark blue cs to 8-1/4" x 3-3/4" and 4-1/4" x 3-3/4"

The larger piece is for the front and sides of the box. The smaller piece is for the back only (no sides).

Adhere the larger piece, using a small amount of the Perfect Paper Adhesive and the foam brush. It's best to lightly dampen the brush first with water. Do not soak the brush! (I noticed with mine that the initial amount of glue soaked into the wood, so I applied a thin second layer.) Lay the box on it's side, brush the glue on the box on the side facing you. Lay your piece of cardstock on the box lining up all the edges and using a bone folder flatten the cardstock to smooth any bumps or bubbles. Now lay the box on its back, and place glue on the front in the same manner. Smooth the cardstock over the front of the box. Turn the box so the uncovered side is facing you. Place glue on that side and smooth the cardstock over it.

Leave the box alone for a little while and allow it to dry, about 30 minutes. Once it's dry, sand the edges a little, especially where the sides meet the back. You want this edge to be smooth before you adhere the cardstock on the back. Once you complete that, adhere the back piece in the same manner as before and sand the edges where the two pieces of cardstock meet each other being careful not to lift the edges of the previous cardstock you glued down.

Next, cut the light blue piece of cardstock to 4 x 3-1/2". Run this piece through your Cuttlebug then center and adhere it to the front of the box using your mono adhesive. You could also use double sided tape.

Next comes the decorative square on the front of the box.Cut a red piece of cardstock to 2-1/2" x 2-1/4".

Dark blue to 2-3/8" x 2-1/8"

Light blue to 2-1/4" x 2".

Use your ticket corner punch (not pictured) and punch each corner of each piece of cs. If you don't have one, use any corner punch that you like.

Adhere them together in the following way:

Center the dark blue piece of cardstock on the red piece and adhere them together using your mono adhesive. Set aside. Next, cut two pieces of the magnet about 1 inch long. Stick them to the back of the light blue piece of cardstock in the CENTER. Then put dimensionals all the way around the edges of the cs. Center this piece on the dark blue piece of cardstock. Next put dimensionals on the back of this whole piece and center it on the box.
Next cut a white piece of carstock to 8-1/4 x 1-1/2". This is for the trim of the box. Make the decorative edge using your chosen tool. I then trimmed the other long side so that when I adhered the strip to the box, it would only hang down about 5/8". Stick dimensionals along the straight side of the strip, OR place dimesionals along the top edge of the box and stick the strip on.
Next I stamped the letters on the white cardstock leaving plenty of space in between each letter so I could punch them out with the 5/8" circle punch. The red circles are punched with the 3/4" circle. They are adhered together with the Zig pen.

Oh I forgot you have to do the handle. All I did for that, was lay the box down and trace the curves on the dark blue cardstock and then cut it out with scissors. I adhered it to the box with mono adhesive.

The word "countdown" is mounted on pop dots. I adhered the u first so that it would be centered and then the o and n (which I am just noticing that I put on upside-down!!!!!!!!!!) and then the c and t. OMG I can't believe I did that! LOL.........okay I just fixed it. Whew!

Okay moving on.....the word "down" is also attached with pop dots but the letters overlap slightly. I lined them up first and decided where I wanted them and then attached them.

The word "to" is stamped on white cs, then layered on light blue and dark blue. The size punches I used are, 7/8", 1", and 1-1/8". This is stuck on a 1" chipboard circle for added durability and strength. The chipboard piece is attached to the box with the Ultimate Glue and then the layers are all attached together with the Zig glue pen.

The word "Christmas" is stamped on white cs and then mounted to the dark blue and attached to the box with square pop dots.

Okay on to the lightbulb numbers! I used my cricut on the 1-1/4" setting and I cut out the white lightbulb (background) on the shadow setting. The red part of the bulb is cut on the 1-1/4" setting without the shadow setting, and the grey piece is the accent piece on the same button as the bulb. All pieces are attached together with the Zig glue pen. The fun part is using the Diamond Glaze! There are some tricks to making sure you get no bubbles! First, don't shake the bottle EVER and always "burp" the bottle after each use. To burp the bottle, hold the bottle upright and slightly squeeze the bottle. This releases any air in the tube. Slow and steady squeezing is the key. Tip the bottle over to make contact with the bulb. Slowly squeeze the bottle. DO NOT RELEASE PRESSURE AND RESTART THE PRESSURE. THIS WILL MAKE BUBBLES! Don't worry about the color of the glaze. It does come out cloudy. Move the tip of the bottle down the lightbulb until it is covered. Don't worry it won't spread past the edge of the bulb. It's super cool! If you happen to get a bubble, I use a piercer to poke it and sometimes I have "dragged" my needle through the bubble and it moves over to the edge of the paper and I can get it out that way. They must dry on a flat surface!
Once you have all your bulbs covered, leave them alone for several hours. I typically let them dry overnight. After I am positive they are dry (you can tell they are dry when the entire piece is clear; no more cloudiness left.) You can now attach the magnets to the backs. And viola! You have completed your box! Yay! I will post another picture of the diamond glaze process. I tried to add it to this post, and for some reason I can't. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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