Thursday, September 29, 2011

halloween countdown calendar {tutorial}

Ooh, it's almost October! The leaves in our yard are finally changing colors and starting to accumulate on the lawn (thanks to the crazy wind storm today!), and Halloween is on it's way! I'm counting down, are you? Here's the story of how this beautiful Halloween countdown calendar came to be. . .

A couple of weeks ago I got to attend The Creative Connection crafty bloggers conference in St. Paul, MN. My super-amazing friend Kalli lives there, and St. Paul is just a few hours from me, so it was perfect for a weekend getaway! Her husband even watched ALL the kids while we were gone--could it get any better? We took some seriously inspiring crafting classes and learned a lot from the industry's best craft bloggers. I didn't want it to end! 
Here's the project we made with two of our scrapbooking heroes, Stacy Julian and Wendy Smedley. It's a tufted bulletin board with a spot for a family tree album (I didn't quite finish that part of the project yet, but it will sit nicely at the bottom). Not the best pic--this is from my OttLite giveaway post yesterday, but you get the idea. Cute, right? We did it all--tufted the board, painted/stained the frame, put the frame together, made the collage--whew! It was a major project and so much fun! Here we are with our fabulous teachers. 

We also took a class from Leslie Shewring about creating inspiration boards. We learned about taking colors, textures, shapes, and images and putting them together to help us find our creative voice (and organize projects, which isn't easy for us creative types!). Leslie also challenged us to choose colors we wouldn't normally choose, and I was floored at the results. Very, well, inspiring! She was amazing! Be sure to check out her blog, A Creative Mint, if you haven't before--it is pure eye candy, and she gives lots of ideas for inspiration boards.

After the conference Kalli was going to show me how to make this darling Halloween countdown calendar that she put together, but we just didn't get to it. She created a digital file using digital scrapbooking products with numbers 1 through 31, then attached them to a picture frame with book rings. Pure genius. Luckily I took the stuff home and got it done before October started, which is pretty unbelievable for me. And I love it! I stuck it in my Halloween table display and it worked perfectly. My kids are just chomping at the bit to start turning the cards over!

Halloween Countdown Calendar Tutorial

*5x7 picture frame
*3" book rings (look for these at office supply stores--I found mine at Office Depot)
*Cards with numbers 1-31, cut to about 3" x 4"
*Paper, ribbon, fabric, buttons, etc. to decorate your frame
*Crop-A-Dile or hand drill
*Paper adhesive
*Pencil or pen

I started with a silver frame and silver rings, so I spray painted them both black before I started.

1. After cutting your number cards out, punch holes in them for the book rings. I marked where I wanted the rings to be and then punched through about 10 cards at a time with the larger punch on my Crop-A-Dile (make sure all the holes are in the same place by using the adjustable guide under the punch).

Layer one of the punched cards on top of the next stack to make sure they're all in the same place. If your book rings are a little tight through the holes, don't be afraid to punch a little around the perimeter of the original hole to enlarge it. 

2. Remove the glass from your frame and cover the cardboard piece in the frame with patterned paper.
Put the cardboard piece back in the frame. Position rings where you want them and push them together like you're closing them. This will mark on the cardboard where to punch your holes. Punch them with the Crop-A-Dile, hole punch, or hand drill. 

Next use your cardboard piece as a guide to mark where to punch your holes on the frame backing.  Punch those babies out. The Crop-A-Dile went right through mine!
Now it's time to decorate! I added a simple bunting using the same papers as the numbers, a couple of fabric rosettes, some ribbon tied around the top of the frame,, and a glittery button from one of Such Sweet Tierney's new resin button collections.

Here are a few examples of the cute numbers Kalli put together. We will have to beg her to see if she will share (digital licenses permitting)!


Here it is in my table display.
Love this project! Thanks for the great idea, Kalli! Don't you just love when your friends let you copy their work? 

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15 Responses to “halloween countdown calendar {tutorial}”

jenclair said...

What a great idea! I like anything to do with Halloween and this countdown calendar is too cute!

chachamartini said...

This is so so cute! I think I'm going to do one for Christmas! Thank thank you thank you!!!

-Sydney- said...

Would LOVE the digital file of the numbers!

smile123 said...

would like to have the file for the numbers. So very cute!!!

the Varley Family said...

This is just darling! I think I'll make one for Christmas too!! Quick question, I noticed in one of the pictures that you laid out a cut-out that said ''days till Halloween''...but I don't see it on the finished frame. Did you just end up not using it? Or where would it go? Thanks!!!

Cheryl said...

Way cute! Would also love the digital file of the numbers!

Cheryl said...

So cute! I would also like to have the digital file of the numbers!

Tausha said...

Love this just as much as the wreath. Awesome tutorial. Think that I might have to do this for Christmas! Thanks for the inspiration!

Moore To Tell . . . said...

Would LOVE to have the digital file numbers. Is there any chance Callie would share??? Yours are amazing!!!

Unknown said...

Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE your numbers! Would you mind sharing a number file? Pretty please?

ShellyG1969 said...

TOO CUTE ! How do I get the "number" file ?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have the file for the numbers :). Please

Unknown said...

Are the files for this available? I would *love* to make this countdown. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Anyone the file for the numbers?

Unknown said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Do you know where I can find the cards????

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