Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
If you’re finding this project late, you can use the same general ideas to countdown the week (or two weeks) before Christmas, or even use the collaged-square ideas for your holiday greeting cards.
The base of this specific project is the
3D Peek-A-Box Countdown Calendar by Karen Foster Design. There are several different styles of boxed paper mache-style kits available for this sort of thing, so if you don’t choose this specific base, you’ll just have to adjust the measurement for your project accordingly.
The kit comes with a template on the back of the packaging, but I found it most helpful to use my Fiskars tools to help the job go a bit quicker than tracing a template and cutting them out.
If you don’t have a square squeeze punch or lever punch in your tool arsenal that is the exact measurement of your squares, the next quickest way to get 24 squares is to use your paper trimmer. These specific boxes measure 2” square.
If your boxes have the fingertip hole to allow them to be pulled out easier, you can cut those one of two ways. Either use your pop-up punch and hold it upside down so you are able to visually center it before punching, or you can adhere your square to the box and use a fingertip or detail knife to cut out the semi-circle. Once you’ve punched them all out, you can add a little character to each square by applying a light layer of brown ink around the edges to give them an aged or distressed appearance.
Next you’ll gather a variety of Christmas-themed embellishments that will coordinate with the look you’re going for. You can keep it soft and elegant, or make it fun and playful. You’ll arrive at a finished project much quicker if you gather anything and everything you think you might incorporate, and then you can narrow down as you create each square. Keeping an overall color scheme also helps the project look cohesive when finished. You’ll notice my focus was on lots of red, green, white, cream, kraft and black with small pops of yellow.
By using your basic shaped punches (i.e. circles, squares, stars, postage stamp) mixed with a few seasonal shapes, you can quickly layer pieces together to embellish a square. Keep in mind, each square doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It’s the sum of the pieces that create the whole that becomes the masterpiece. Simple is best. I find that simple patterns, solid cardstock, themed embellishments and a small pop of sparkle (i.e. glitter paper, shiny brads, sparkly rhinestones) really makes this project stand out. Also, adding dimensional adhesive between layers to allow some pieces to stand out further than others really adds a lot of ‘wow’ factor.
Here’s a few ideas on how to embellish your squares in a simpler manor using the seasonal punches. Remember: layers, simple patterns, solid cardstock, small words, and a hint of sparkle.
As you finish your collaged squares, you can start to lay them out on the boxes, but don’t adhere them yet. As you get more and more complete it becomes more of a visual puzzle and you might find yourself shifting some of them around until you get them organized in a visually pleasing manor.
Once you’re happy with the arrangement, start adhering them down using a strong permanent adhesive. Number each box with number stickers or a permanent marker. Then, if you're using the Peek A Box Countdown Calendar, you can embellish the front cover of your box at this point. Now you can fill the boxes with sweet treats or little slips of paper that have an activity on them….or both. I like to fill ours with a mix of fun activities to do as a family and small acts of service to help others in need during the holiday season. It’s like opening a small gift every day leading up to the big celebration.
I’d like to extend a special thanks to Karen Foster Design, Little Yellow Bicycle, Bazzill Basics and SRM Stickers for providing the supplies to create this project.
Believe Patterned Paper (Bazzill Basics)
Believe Stickers (Bazzill Basics)
Wonder & Wishes Patterned Paper (Little Yellow Bicycle)
Wonder & Wishes Embellishments (Little Yellow Bicycle)
Number Stickers (SRM Stickers)
Peek A Box (Karen Foster Design)
Dark Brown Ink (Clearsnap)
Jewel Stickers (Little Yellow Bicycle)