Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Traditional Picture Advent Calendar

I know, it's a bit late, but if you are going to be giving Advent calendars this weekend, you still have time to make some. If not, heck, keep the idea for next year. Or a count down for another occasion.

I've done other types of Calendars for Advent but not the traditional picture ones, so thought I'd give it a go for a young Spanish friend of mine.

It wasn't as simple to design as I thought it would be, hindered by the fact that for some reason my printer changed it's settings so that it was printing with a border and therefore would not print all my registration marks. Grrrr! Then when I did a test run, I found I couldn't open the windows easily. Hmmm. Then my printer ran out of ink..

I have split the file into several parts to make it easier to understand and because some parts may need different sizes of card.

You can find the file here.

I chose to make my base 25cm x35cm, to allow for the windows and a margin around them, but the printing of images needed to be done on an A4 paper to fit in my printer. Because of this, I chose to import my clipart and cut the pictures out in rectangles to mount on my base. There is one larger rectangle to be used for Christmas Day.

Here is the base. The lines only need to be sketched in by Studio, not cut, so I have made them black.
MAKE SURE TO CENTRE THE DESIGN TO PAGE, BOTH FOR THE BASE AND WINDOWS. You could be very disappointed if you don't.  Just to make sure, you may want to copy one onto the other, to check!

The next item is the print and cut of clipart or whatever images you choose. I am not supplying the clipart! People have different taste, you may want religious ones, or all teddies or something.
Just make sure it fits in the rectangles.The rectangles only, should be cut.

The windows were trial and error until I ended up with this. Notice that I have actually chosen to cut right through on the right sides of the rectangles. This is to make it possible to open them more easily.

I've added a Merry Christmas logo, to be sketched and cut, along with an offset to be cut in a different colour to add oomph. Finally, there are numbers ready to be cut, nice and chunky to make glueing easier!  You can place the numbers in an order you please. I used small remnants of card for these.

Now, a note on putting it together. The pictures are cut and glued onto the sketched places on the base. So far, easy! But then you have to line up the windows and the base, so that they will open up on the pictures but of course the windows have to stay shut... Now if you use the same size card for the base and the window piece, this is not a problem. My problem came about because the patterned card I wanted for the windows was 1cm smaller in both width and height, so it needed special attention.

A TIP - use a pin in the top right corner of the top right square (on the base) and put it through the corresponding point in it's window. Get another pin and do the same for the bottom right point of the bottom right square. When these are matched, glue down the opposite edge. Then the pins can be removed and the rest glued down.

Put the numbers on and decorate the border with tape if you like. I had some silver glitter tape unused and wanted to try it out.

Cut and arrange your sentiment as you wish and glue on firmly.

I punched a couple of holes in the top for a ribbon, tied it on and then backed the whole lot with another piece of card to increase the strength.

For final prep, I decided to draw lines inside my windows, with a silver pen, to make it clearer where the opening was and add a bit of further decoration.  I don't for some reason, have any Christmas themed card, so went for colourful stripes instead. Here is the end result.

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