Countdown to Christmas Display

Today I am posting a project that I have been working on for quite a while.  Two months ago, Nichole Heady posted this project to highlight the Countdown to Christmas stamp sets.  As soon as I saw it I could see into the future and picture my future grandchildren fighting over who got to take off which tag and hang it on the tree.  I could picture hiding little messages and announcing fun things we were going to do together behind each tag.  I pictured this being displayed year after year and hoping this is something my family will look back on and smile when they think of it.  I hope they will laugh when they talk about crazy mom who spent so much time in her little craft room making little bits of colored paper that when assembled, looked so pretty and created great memories.  I ordered Countdown to Christmas that night, bought a great big frame, burlap and chicken wire, tucked it aside planning to make it well before December 1st.  Thanksgiving comes and goes and it dawned on me that I better get going or there will be no Countdown to Christmas this year.  If I didn't make it this year, chances are it would never get made, so I dug in and have worked on practically nothing else until today when this project was completed.  Here is what I ended up with, pretty much identical to Nicholes framed Advent calendar, but with my own individually decorated tags.
The inside portion of the frame measures 20 x 30.  The burlap was adhered using spray glue and the chicken wire was folded over the edges and snipped to the right length.  That was the hardest part of this project and my fingernails still look horrible!  Once I had the frame made, I started making my tags.



Carly liked the hot cocoa tag the best because it had pink on it.



Letter to Santa is my favorite although it didn't take any time at all to complete!



This is my second favorite...velvet paper is so pretty in person.

After making Tag #4, I realized I should just make the rest of the tags and add the numbers when I was done.  That way, I could arrange...and re-arrange them to get the best color, shape and size combination.  I die cut a coasterboard layer for behind the decorated tag so they would be sturdier to last throughout the years.   The clothespins were dyed with wood stain overnight in a zip lock bag.

Now, what am I going to do this year when I have no little kids and no grandchildren that will be able to see the little activity tags that are left once you remove a tag.  My board will look pretty darn bare by the time the last week of December comes around.  I have decided to try (TRY) to take one picture every day of the month, anything that looks cute or fun and has to do with my family.  I will put each picture into a polaroid diecut frame and clip it up in place of the numbered tag.  We'll see if I end up with more than one or two pictures displayed when Christmas Day finally rolls around!

Whew.  That took almost as long to write as it did to make.  Thanks for sticking with me and looking at my Countdown to Christmas Display.

**You will note that many of my tags used Waltzingmouse Stamps...just to let everyone know they now have limited shipping based in the United States!!!Yah for all of us who want to get their stamps super fast!  Spread the word**

14 comments:

Renee said...

Cathy it turned out so incredibly fabulous!!!
All your hard work...
and the sacrificing of your nails...
is gorgeous...
and someday...
yes...
all of this hard work will be appreciated.
When little ones fight to pull off that day's tag...
and the memories this will create will last a lifetime.
All of the little gorgeous details...there's just too many to mention...
this is fabulously gorgeous!!
And it's done before Dec 1st!!
You should have treats for Warren behind it this year and let him pull off the tags and then he'll really appreciate all your hard work! :)

Rose A said...

Cathy...word are escaping me!! Each tag is a little work of art..I love it!! You will cherish it for years to come I'm sure!!!

This is so stinkin' amazing Cathy! The chicken wire--wow and all of your creative tags that I am so CASEing. Have a fantastic weekend.

Joyce said...

Wow and wow! This is so amazing. I just had to study each tag, and figure out what supplies and sets you used (of course!) Each little tag is a work of art, and collectively, it is a big homemade masterpiece. Your kids better hurry up with some grandchildren, so there will be some grubby little fingers pulling those tags down. I agree with the person who suggested modge podge! You definitely want to save this one forever. This should be in a mazagine.

Kathy Mc said...

WOW, Cathy, this is fabulous! The results are definitely worth all the pain and agony you experienced. This is a real stunner by no stretch of the imagination!

This is an AMAZING project, so many gorgeous little details to look at and admire! Definitely a keepsake! And speaking of keepsakes, we decorated our Christmas tree today and the ADORABLE sock monkey ornament you so generously sent my Ali has a place of honor on it :)

Leigh said...

Oh, this is fabulous, Cathy! My husband came home today with a roll of chicken wire.... "Oh, we're still making this, I guess!" I thought...

OH MY GOSH!!!!! Cathy, this is simply stunning! I just love how each number is different. I think my favorites are #10 and the snowman, and of course #25 :) It was so fun looking at each and every one...and on the chicken wire...LOVE IT!

Kara said...

So many beautiful tags!!

Sharron said...

Oh, Cathy, what an INCREDIBLE project--SO wonderful!! It will be such a precious keepsake and something your little ones will enjoy some day--hopefully in the not too distant future. I loved looking at each individual tag. Every one is so beautifully done!

Marybeth said...

Cathy this is amazing!!!!
I thought I left a comment days ago and only came back to look at more detail of the tags. Each one is just so pretty. Love that Lil inkers accordion tree!
Great idea to stick a family picture in. This will be fought over by your family. LOVE THIS!

I think this is absolutely magnificent! Each tag is a work of art - I'm sure this will come out every year - so beautiful!

Jen Carter said...

This is fantastic Cathy!! I love all of your tags!! I created something similar recently with the polariod frames/picture idea. So. Much. Fun!!

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