Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Handmade Christmas Gifts

This year I have created a lot of handmade gifts. In fact, other than toys/clothes we purchased for Simon and Lizzy, all of our gifts are all or semi-handmade. Some close friends received boxes of cookies. I posted here about the digital calendars I made--six people on our list received the calendars. Since one of those calendar recipients was my dad, I didn't want to give my mom the same thing but I also wanted to craft something for her.

I saw a perpetual calendar on a cookie sheet several years ago. I've wanted to create one (for myself!) ever since then but my mom is going to be the first recipient. I started with a cheap cookie sheet I found at Wal-Mart. Many websites have indicated that you should not get the non-stick sheets or the magnets won't stick. I tested the non-stick sheets at the store and the magnets stuck to it just the same as the non-coated cookie sheets. For my project, I selected the non-coated. They came in a set of 3 sizes for $3.79. I used the largest size for her calendar. I have plans for the other 2 in the future.

The reason I chose the cookie sheet that was not coated is so I could utilize my Ranger alcohol inks to give it a distressed look. Of course I could have pulled an old cookie sheet out of the cabinet and achieved the same result but 1. I wouldn't get to use my very under-utilized alcohol inks and 2. I couldn't part with one of my well-loved, seasoned pans.

The ink colors I used are Ginger, Latte and Cappuccino. I believe they came in a set. If you have never used alcohol inks, they're really fun and easy to use. Ranger has an applicator that you place a piece of felt on and then add a couple drops of ink. The ink will stick to anything non-porous. The great thing is if it's too dark or you want to fix a mistake, there is a blending solution that will remove/lighten the ink.

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I tested my colors on the inside of the cookie sheet. I put all my elements on the backside of the cookie sheet. After distressing the cookie sheet, I added my blank calendar page, the section for the months and the section for pictures with decoupage. I found that it was easier to apply the decoupage to the cookie sheet and then place the paper. Otherwise, the paper absorbed a lot of the glue and the edges wouldn't lay down correctly.

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After the base of the calendar was created, I made all the elements. I cut 1x1 squares of chipboard and paper for each number. The numbers are stamped and then some of the squares are embellished with buttons, flower or ribbon. The letters for the months were created in the same manner but with my Sizzix machine. I cut the letters in chipboard and paper then glued them together. Each element has a piece of magnet on the back of it to make it stick to the cookie sheet. The magnets I used already have adhesive on them and come in strips. They are like $1 for a package and they go a really long way. The great thing is they are heavier than the magnets for business cards but still thin and really cheap.

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The calendar can hang on a nail under the cookie sheet or you could drill holes and hang it by a ribbon tied at the top.

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Paper: Webster's Pages (Patterned papers and calendar page) Papertrey Ink (Dark Chocolate card stock)
Embellishments: various buttons, ribbon and flowers
Ink: Stampin' Up! (Dark Chocolate) Ranger alcohol inks (ginger, latte, cappuccino)
Cookie sheet, magnets, chipboard

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