Edited to add: This post was written for the Royal Blog Tour conducted from November 4-8, 2010. I received lots of positive comments about the projects in this post, so I hope you enjoy all the projects made using the Christmas Collage background stamp. References to the Blog Tour and the Blog Candy that was offered during the tour have been removed from the post text.
My projects feature the Christmas Collage background stamp. This stamp is available from the Holiday Mini Catalog and features a truly lovely vintage look that coordinates beautifully with other stamps and accessories in the Holiday Mini Catalog.
When I first saw this stamp, I immediately thought of Christmas gift tags. Growing up, my Mom used to make Christmas gift tags from the card fronts of the previous year's Christmas cards. My sisters and I would spend an afternoon cutting up card fronts, writing the "To:" and "From:" on the back of the tags, and stringing embroidery floss or narrow ribbon through the punched holes for the tie-ons. Our Mother wanted to get as many tags from a card front as possible, so it was always a challenge to see how many we could "find" in a particular card front design. With this wonderful stamp design, I'm thinking that I can find quite a few tags!
The stamp image used for the white area on all the tags was stamped on glossy cardstock with Basic Black ink. Color was added to the stamped image with a Blender Pen and inks. For tags 1, 2, and 4, coordinating cardstocks of Always Artichoke, Basic Black, and/or Real Red Textured were used to mat the stamped images cut out of the glossy cardstock. Taffeta and satin ribbons decorate the tags and are also used for the tag tie-ons. For tags 3 and 5, the collage image was stamped on Brushed Gold cardstock with Basic Black ink. Then selected areas of the Brushed Gold cardstock were cut out with Paper Snips to serve as mats for the images cut out of the glossy cardstock. As with tags 1, 2, and 4, taffeta and satin ribbons were used to decorate the tags and for tie-ons. Tag 3 uses images from the Bells & Boughs stamp set to provide the sentiment and a "shadow" image to further enhance the sentiment.
Another way my Mother recycled the previous year's Christmas cards was to make boxes from them. She would go through the stack of Christmas cards and pull out five or six of the larger cards printed on a smooth cardstock to make her origami box tops and use a white, green, or red cardstock for the origami box bottom. She used these boxes to package the beautiful earrings and brooches that she made for us. Rather than make the origami box, I decided to use the Bitty Box Bigz XL die for the Sizzix.
(click on boxes to see a larger image)
With such a pretty design provided by the stamp, you don't need much to finish wrapping your Bitty Box. The neat thing is that by changing the type of cardstock you can get a completely different look to the same design. I just love that! The box on the left was made with Crumb Cake cardstock, the middle box with glossy white cardstock, and the box on the left with Brushed Gold cardstock. All were stamped with Basic Black ink. For the Crumb Cake box, I added color to the images with a blender pen and inks and wrapped the box with two pieces of Real Red 1/8" Taffeta ribbon. Color was applied to the image stamped on glossy white cardstock with sponges and Whisper White Organza ribbon was used to wrap the box and make the shiny bow. As for the Brushed Gold cardstock box, I felt that with such a beautiful piece of cardstock, no further color was necessary! This box was wrapped with pieces of Real Red 3/8" Taffeta ribbon and Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta ribbon that was pulled up through an Always Artichoke button and tied off.
Of course, you need a Christmas card (or two) to be able to recycle them for tags and gift boxes the following year! You'll see that this card front easily lends itself to eventual recycling for many of the projects shown above.
(click on the card to see a larger image)
This card front can be recycled to make the Christmas gift tags shown above just by removing the ribbon and cutting a rectangle around "Joy," a rectangle around the "Silent Night" lyrics, a rectangle around the boxed sentiment (to include the flourishes), and punching a circle around the "25." The collage image was stamped on glossy white cardstock using Basic Black ink. Color was added to the images using a blender pen and classic inks. Brushed Gold cardstock helps to frame a greeting from the Sincere Sentiments stamp set stamped in Cherry Cobbler ink on glossy white cardstock. The Real Red satin ribbon slides behind the "25" and knots on the front to add a fesitve touch to the card front. The glossy white cardstock was matted with Brushed Gold and Always Artichoke cardstock and then adhered to the Real Red Textured cardstock base.
The interior of this card features a piece of Whisper White cardstock stamped with the bells and holly boughs you see on the card front using Basic Gray ink; however, to stamp a clean image I used the Bells & Boughs stamp set, another stamp set available in the Holiday Mini Catalog. This stamp set has the poinsettias, holly bough, "A Merry Christmas", and the bells images you see in the Christmas Collage stamp. [As an FYI, you'll find the rectangular box with the flourish from the Christmas Collage stamp on the Vintage Frames Decor Elements stencil, also available in the Holiday Mini Catalog.] As with the card front, I used a blender pen and inks to add color to these beautiful images. The Whisper White cardstock is matted with a piece of Always Artichoke cardstock before being adhered to the card interior.
For me, Christmas is all wrapped up in family traditions. Looking back, I'm always amazed at how my Mother could make every Christmas so special for a busy family with six very active children. The most wonderful thing, though, is that my sisters and brothers and I have each taken a few of these special traditions and incorporated them into our own family's Christmas traditions.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop in for a visit. Be sure to come back to visit during the next week for how-to's for all the projects shown above.
Stamps: Bells & Boughs, Christmas Collage, Sincere Sentiments; Inks: Always Artichoke, Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Marina Mist, More Mustard, Old Olive, Real Red, Riding Hood Red; Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Basic Black, Brushed Gold, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Glossy White, Real Red Textured, Whisper White; Embellishments: Deck the Halls Big Designer Button Assortment, Linen Thread, Old Olive 5/8" Satin ribbon, Old Olive 3/8" Taffeta ribbon, Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta ribbon, Real Red 5/8" Satin ribbon, Real Red 3/8" Taffeta ribbon, Real Red 1/8" Taffeta ribbon, Whisper White Organza ribbon, Whisper White 5/8" Satin ribbon, Whisper White 1/8" Taffeta ribbon; Adhesives: SNAIL, Stampin Dimensionals, Sticky Strip; Tools: Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Craft Knife & Cutting Mat, Blender Pen, Sponge, 3/16" corner rounder, Crop-A-Dile (1/8" hole punch), Big Shot w/XL Cutting Pads, Bitty Box and Envelope Bigz XL die