Hello friends…I hope this blog post finds you well! The Holiday clock is ticking…can you hear it? I can’t believe we’re only a couple weeks away from Thanksgiving and who knows how many days away from Christmas. Shh! Don’t tell me, I prefer not to know. LOL! Just kidding, I absolutely LOVE Christmas, I just hate all the rushing and fussing parts of it. What about you? Are you ready for them?
Anyways, I am back with a new tutorial today, featuring my letters to Santa Countdown project that I created for the idea-ology Christmas release. Tim Holtz shared it on his youtube LIVE couple months ago and since the clock is ticking, I thought I’d give you some of the details of how I created it.
This project was created using the new Large Santa which is included in a pack that has all the Large Salvaged Figures including Santa, a Toy Soldier and a Snowman. These larger figures are a necessity in my book for creating Christmas makes. If you know me, then you know how much I have loved the Salvaged line which included a small Santa and Snowman. I just can’t help creating with them every single year. But then, the new addition of the larger shapes got my Christmas loving heart all a flutter. The larger sizes are so perfect and make a great focal point for so many Holiday projects. I just couldn’t resist using him within a Reliquary Dome.
So, let’s get started with how I painted Santa…
I started by taping Santa to a large popsicle stick using double sided tape. This makes it SO much easier to handle Santa and makes it easier to paint the tiny details without dropping him or rubbing any of the paint while holding him in your hands. Using a detail water brush (that isn’t filled with water) I painted on a combination of both Lumber Jack Plaid and Cadied Apple Distress Paint. I picked up a little of one, painted it on, then picked up a little of the other and painted it on, kind of overlapping the colors as I went. This gave him a slightly variegated and aged look.
While the red was still a bit tacky, I painted his sack using a combo of Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso Distress Paint.
Then, using the detail water brush, I painted his boots and mittens using Black Soot Distress paint. All the while, letting the paint dry for a bit. You’ll notice in the above photo and the photo below that Santa has gone through a slight time warp…LOL, his clothing has been tattered up and worn a bit revealing some white base color. This was done while the paint was still tacky by using a dry cotton towel, and very lightly rubbing some of the paint off. This is the secret to my aged Santa…a dry cotton towel. That’s it, a super easy way to add age. Now, if by chance, your Santa has dried more thoroughly, use a piece of steel wool, sand paper or nail file to scuff him up and reveal some of the color underneath. Then set him aside to dry thoroughly and move on to the next step below.
Scribble some Walnut Stain Distress Crayon onto a media mat and using a slightly damp brush, add grunge to Santa making sure to get some of the crayon into the tiny crevices and creases of his facial details and more.
Making a grungy paste on your mat and picking up with a dry brush or directly scribbling onto Santa using the crayon and rubbing it all over him using your fingers to blend it in are some other options…just be sure to add it when the paint is dry and only with damp fingers, not completely wet. That way, the crayon will hold on to Santa and not wash off. Set him aside to dry.
My next step was to make the countdown “calendar” …at this point I didn’t know what it would be hanging on, I just knew I wanted it to be behind Santa. So I built it first, and then created a backdrop for it. The calendar was created using a slide frame from the new Christmas Baseboards and Transparencies pack, the December 25 ephemera piece from this years pack and some scraps of patterned paper covering a small piece of chipboard. I adhered them all together using Collage Medium and then using a vintage tack nail and a hammer, added a small nail at the top to make it look like a tear off calendar.
Next, I created the backdrop for behind Santa and to hang the calendar on to. I used a couple of Ephemera Paper pieces that looked like letters and a striped piece that I thought would make a great “Christmas wallpaper”..for the life of me, I don’t know which ephemera pack any of them came from, as you know, I have a BUNCH of Tim Holtz Ephemera from past years…they just all fit my theme and I went with it! I used an additional piece of patterned scrap paper and a piece of chipboard trimmed to fit within the Reliquary Dome.
I trimmed the pieces to fit within the dome being sure to leave a portion of the Chipboard piece longer at the bottom by about 1/4″ of an inch or so, which I sandwiched in the middle of all the layers. I stitched the edges of the “wallpaper” piece, with the chipboard piece inside, then applied the envelope ephemera and the calendar. The chipboard piece was a very important part because that is what I used to hold the backdrop in place. I used a craft knife and cut a slit very carefully towards the rear of the cork base, making sure not to go in too far and cut the cork piece off. You can see my sample in the next two photos as to where my cut was made.
And, you’ll notice that the other papers were just cut to fit just at the cork line. They were not fit into the slit. Before I cut the slit, I placed the large Santa onto the cork base to make sure his placement would be correct, making sure to leave space for the other elements that would be placed inside (ie. the gifts and candy cane). I also placed the dome over top a few times before gluing the backdrop piece into place to make sure that it would work once the dome was placed over top of the vignette.
You’ll see that my top right and left corners of my backdrop piece is a little turned in, that was done on purpose because of the height of the dome. I didn’t mind the look of it because it made a “wall”, but if you’d rather, you could trim the corners to fit the rounded top of the dome.
I then adhered the backdrop in place using collage medium, then adhered a small piece of scrap patterned paper onto the base of the cork piece. This was then set aside to dry. I set mine aside to dry overnight, but a good few hours should do the trick.
The gifts, tree and candy cane…
I “wrapped” small wood craft squares and rectangles using various Christmas Papers and ephemera pieces. I trimmed the papers into strips, then used collage medium to apply the paper strips around the wood squares. After the wrapping was done and the packages were dry, I ran over the edges of each of the gifts with a Walnut Stain Distress Crayon, then rubbed it using my finger to create age. I tied the packages with bows using thin crochet cotton (string).
I painted the base of a small idea-ology Woodland Tree using Candied Apple Distress Paint, then set it aside to dry. Once dry, the bristles of the tree were colored using Distress Spray Stain. Then I dried the bristles using my heat tool. I rubbed the tips of the bristles with Glossy Accents and dipped the tree into some Clear Rock Candy Glitter.
The Candy Cane and small peppermint- the candy cane was trimmed to fit better inside the arrangement, then both pieces were rubbed with Glossy Accents, and dipped into Clear Rock Candy Glitter. I tied a small bit of string around the candy cane and tied a bow.
Santa was rubbed with some Glossy Accents, then sprinkled with Clear Rocky Candy Glitter, then set aside to dry.
I adhered the gifts, Santa and other embellishments into place using collage medium, then randomly added bit of Grit-Paste Snow, Mica Flakes and Clear Rock Candy on and around the base and elements of the vignette. Then I set it aside to dry.
I placed the dome over top of the vignette, then added a small piece of vintage torn fabric around the base of the glass. I rubbed a idea-ology word tag with Lumberjack Plaid Distress Crayon, then tied it to the fabric scrap and adhered it in place using a dab of hot glue.
With that, my project was complete!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, and be sure to check back soon as I’ll be sharing more of my creations for Christmas very soon.
The products used to create this project are listed below with links to Simon Says Stamp and Scrapbook.com. Thank you so much for supporting me through shopping through them. I appreciate it so much! – Stacy