Countdown to Christmas calendarDecember 13, 2008 at 5:40 am | Posted in crafts | Leave a comment
Only 12 days until Christmas! I made this countdown calendar as a gift for my sister, who looks forward to Christmas all year. You could easily make it without the hundreds place, and have a larger image on the side. It could also be used to countdown days until another event and/or holiday if you used different papers.
I purchased a notebook / journal for $1 at a second hand store, just for the cover and binding. If you have a binding machine, it will be that much easier for you to make. I slid the paper and covers off the binding, and covered the covers with scrapbooking paper.
To get the holes to look nice, use one of the pages from the notebook as a guide to punch the holes before gluing the paper to the cover, or trace through the holes of the cover. You will need to wrap the paper over the cover and punch holes on the other side as well. I believe I had about an inch of extra paper all around, but I could have used a little more on the top.
I saved the scraps to make a matching stand. If you plan on having a magnetic closure, you should glue it in place before covering the cover. To get the inside paper the right size, use a page from the notebook as a guide, and glue in place below the holes.
I measured the cover, and decided to make the tags 1 3/4″ x 3″ since that fit nicely, leaving room for a picture on the end. I decided to make the picture on the end on a tag as well, so that it won’t be boring looking at the same picture for a year. If you don’t want a tag on the end, you could really cut the binding and just use enough for the tags, and make an easel stand on the back.
I cut my tags out using the ‘Sure cuts a lot’ program and my Cricut machine. You could easily make a template to cut them by hand. Use a lightweight card stock, so the tags won’t curl. I used white, but any kind of paper, solid or patterned, will work.
I purchased a 1953 Ideals Christmas book from a used bookstore for 50 cents to cover the tags. Lay a blank tag on top of the image you like, and cut around it leaving a little space. Then glue the tag to the back of the image, and trim the excess off. I have 23 tags, 2 sets of 0-9, and 1-3. There are 11 larger tags on the side.
I had the block letter stickers in my stash, and found the number stickers at Big Lots for $1. If you have a Cricut, you can cut your own numbers out (the stickers are just so easy, and they matched.) Trace around each number sticker with a black fine line marker, so that they stand out.
Make a template to punch the tags with, using a piece of paper from the notebook. Now all you have to do is slip everything onto the binding, and make a stand. I folded the scrap paper I had, and glued a magnet inside. I stuck it onto the cover, and folded it where I thought it looked right. I then glued it in place with the magnet attached, to make sure that it was in the right spot.
As you can see, my notebook came with an elastic ribbon to hold it shut, which I left in place when I covered it. The whole thing only took 3 hours to make, and cost me a total of $2.50.