Monday, 25 November 2013

Advent Countdown

This is my second post of the day - please scroll down to see my first post

Hi and welcome to my second post of the day - this time introducing this fortnight's challenge at Lexi's Creations. Yesterday was "Stir Up Sunday" at my church (we made our Parish Christmas Cake!) and next Sunday will be Advent Sunday here in the UK, so we're now on the countdown to the big "ho ho". Therefore Susan has set us a topical challenge and would like to see your projects celebrating Christmas. This one should be nice and simple, so no excuses for not joining us!

Of course everyone likes the opportunity to win a prize, and this fortnight our sponsor is the lovely Lexi from Fairy Dust Crafts who will be letting our lucky winner choose 5 digital images from her store. Fairy Dust Crafts  is "Your one stop shop for Lexi's Digi images and a growing choice of delicious crafting goodies. Here you can find all Lexi's Creations digital images...also available as clear rubber stamps plus other crafting goodies in store now!" 

Now, like most things at 'Casa Mia', there is a story behind this project. 

Youngest daughter and I were in a very well known store (that one that has "Magic & Sparkle") in our local shopping centre and as we walked past their Christmas Shop, we saw a perpetual Advent calendar. "Can we get that Mum?" she asked. Mr Mojo must have been light years ahead of my brain because I suddenly heard a voice say "I can make that" ... there was no-one else around us, so it must have been me! Well of course, she's held to me that statement! 

Here is another tutorial for you, this time showing you how I made the cubes for this project:

1 piece of card measuring 10.5cm x 15cm for each cube (you can get 2 cubes out of an A4 piece of cardstock if you cut the long edge to 15cm, and then cut the 21cm side in half)
Cutting and scoring tools - I have used my Crafter's Companion Ultimate Pro together with The Boxer Board
Bone Folder

How to cut, score and fold:

 Using the Ultimate Pro Boxer Board, butt one piece of cardstock with the short edge at the top of board and score at 1cm, 4.5cm, 8cm & 11.5 cm. Make sure you take the measurements at the right hand side of the board as I've shown here.

 Turn the cardstock round so the 1cm "tab" is on the left hand side, and butt the long side against the top of the board. Score at 3.5cm & 7cm.
On the right hand panel only, also score at 2.5cm & 8cm - these will make tabs for securing your cube. 
Again, make sure you take the measurements at the right hand side of the board as I've shown here.

  Turn your cardstock round again so the original 1cm "tab" is butted up to the top of your board and score (using the measurements panel at the right hand side of the board as I've shown here) in the right and left hand panels only at 3.5cm and 9cm - these will also make tabs for securing your cube.

I have marked the cutting lines in red on the template; the black lines are fold lines. The shaded areas are going to be cut away. Cut each of the RED lines - you may wish to round the corners on the 1cm wide "tabs" to make them easier to fold into your cube. Then fold and burnish the panels along the BLACK score lines so that they bend away from side of your cardstock you want showing, and your cardstock should look like this:

This point would be a good time to decorate the sides of you cube as it's the last time it's going to be flat! So, turn your cardstock over and embellish to your heart's content - just remember that the cubes have to rest on each of the sides so flat decorations might be best! :o)

 Now, to fold the cube!

With the decorated side of the cube facing up, firstly glue the two tabs marked 1 using a glue suitable for your cardstock - before the glue dries, fold the two side panels up and stick the cube side adjacent to these onto the tabs. Ensure that your folds are square before the glue dries, otherwise it will make your cube wonky. The cube is starting to take shape, and looks like this:

Do the same for the two tabs marked 2- this folds the "lid" of the cube down and the tabs will stick to the side we've just folded up.

Repeat this for the three tabs marked 3, which will close the front of the cube up - just make sure that the tab that's at the end of the front "wall" of the cube tucks in!

And here is the final cube. Each side is 3.5cm square, which gives a perfect base for numbers (or anything else) cut using the smallest of the Sizzix Framelits Scallop Squares Dies.

So, with a nod to that store, and featuring one of Lexi's wonderful images, here is my project for you, with not one, but two of these cubes!:

And for those of you who need a jog ... yes, there really are only 30 days until Christmas :o)

My project recipe is follows:

  • Base Card - is the remainder of an A4 sheet of Centura Pearl in Snow White, once I'd taken the off the card I needed for the cubes. Using the Ultimate Pro Boxer Board again, I butted the short edge of my card against the top of the board and scored at 3cm, 7cm and 10cm. I folded and burnished these score lines so that they made 2 "feet" and a plinth to stand the cubes on. For added stability, I used double sided tape to adhere the cardstock together between the 7cm and 10cm fold lines.
  • Images - I've used 2 images on this project. The first image is called Pine Forest and it comes from
    the pen of Beccy Muir at Beccy's Place. I think this was a blog freebie this spring, as I can't find it in her store. I recoloured the forest using one of the preset colours in my word processing package. The second image is Santa from the Santa Snowglobe (also comes with a Merry Christmas sentiment on the snowglobe base) by Lexi at Fairy Dust Crafts. I brought Santa to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the following colours, before fussy cutting him and mounting him on a double set of foam pads (for added depth):
    • Santa Suit - DR1, DR2, DR3
    • Skin - FS7, FS8, FS9
    • Beard - IG1, Colourless Blender
    • Fur on Hat - IG1, Colourless Blender, White Glitter
    • Boots - True Black and Silver Gel Pen
    • Ornament - GG1
  • Cubes - made using Centura Pearl in Snow White. I printed the numbers 0 to 9 (doing two copies of the numbers 1 and 2!) in my word processing package using the font 'Stencil' onto the Red Damask Paper  from the kit Believe by Summer at Summertime Designs. I gave the numerals a touch of glitz courtesy of my Versamark Pen and Holographic Embossing Powder before die cutting them into squares using the smallest of my Sizzix Framelits Scallop Squares Dies. I attached these to the cube shapes (you need to be able to make sequences of numbers from 24 to 1, so you need to make sure you have a number 1 and number 2 on each cube) and then made up my cubes using the tutorial above.
  • Sentiment - is computer generated, again using the font 'Stencil' in my word processing package and printing onto the Red Damask Paper  from Summer's kit Believe.

I hope you'll come over to Lexi's Creations and look at the wonderful creations made by my teamies. Don't forget to then come back and link up your projects celebrating Christmas! This challenge ends on Saturday 7/12/2013.

I would like to enter this project into the following challenges:

Hope you have a good, and crafty, week :o) !

Hugs, Helen x


  1. Fantastic creation Helens, I love it it's a brilliant idea.
    Hugs Julie xxx

  2. this is just brilliant Helen - what a fabulous idea - love it to bits xx

  3. how creative and super-cute! wonderful!

    hugs and kisses from germany,
    silvi xoxo

  4. Another fabulous Christmas Creation! You have scared me now - thirty days to go! Thanks for joining us again at stamping Sensations this month and good luck!

  5. Hi there clever, clever lady. I love this. What a great idea and what a great tutorial! I might just have to make on of these. Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for joining us at The Paper Shelter. Hugs Sheryl xx

  6. So creative and so cute, thanks for playing at WW

  7. Fab tutorial Helen and a lovely project.

  8. Hi Helen wow this is so creative and a brilliant explanation! Susan x

  9. This is such a cute idea! LOVE it! Thank you so much for playing along with us at LCrafty Sentiments Designs this week! We hope to see you play again soon! Good luck in the draw! :)

  10. beautiful love the interpretation of the photo and a super creation, thank you for joining us at the Winter Wonderland
    Hugs Kate xx
    ps I have candy if you are interested :)

  11. This is lovely!!
    Great idea!!

    Thanks for joiing us at The Paper Shelter this week!

    Good Luck!!

    Hug Lena

  12. This is fabulous Helen! You've done your daughter proud... and Mr Mojo too! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial, it's so easy to follow and makes a wonderful advent calendar. My daughter would love one of these too, I might show her tomorrow and perhaps we'll make one together.

  13. Lovely Advent calender project.
    Thank you for joining the Winter Wonderland 'Photo Inspiration' challenge and good luck x Susan x

  14. Wow, this is brilliant, Helen, and so much better than a bought one! Great tutorial too. Thank you for sharing it with us at Stamping Sensations this month.


  15. Awesome project Helen, love those boxes, such a unique advent calendar! Hope all is well with you

  16. Such a gorgeous Chrimbo creation and thank you for joining us at Little Claire's this month and good luck :)
    hugs and xxx


Thank you for leaving me a comment - I read and appreciate every one!
Helen x