Monday, November 14, 2011

Echo Park Christmas Projects

It's no secret that I love the "Country Drive" collection from Echo Park.  I've used it for nature-related projects, I've used it on a wedding layout, and I've even used in on a layout about autumn foliage.  It's such a versatile collection.  And now, believe it or not, I've even used it for Christmas projects.  Check out the Christmas ornament, card, and layout in the photo below.

In yesterday's post I wrote about how the "Birds on a Wire" papers from "Country Drive" call to mind the idea of lovebirds.  That is how I got the idea for the wedding anniversary ornament that you see in the photo above.  Let's take a closer look at the ornament (photo below), and then I'll tell you how you can make one of your own.

To make this ornament, you'll need the following Echo Park supplies:
  • CD16013 "Birds on a Wire" patterned paper
  • CD16015 "Alpha Stickers" sheet
You will also need the following:
  • lid from juice concentrate can
  • hammer 
  • nail
  • piece of scrap lumber
  • circle-cutter, circle template, or die-cutting machine
  • sharp needle
  • dry adhesive
  • thread or other fiber in your choice of colors 
 Here are the easy steps to make this ornament:
  1. Wash and dry the metal lid from a can of juice concentrate.  Be sure that your lid has no sharp edges.  Determine which side of the lid has a deeper rim around it.  Place the lid rim-side-down on the scrap lumber.  Use the hammer and nail to pierce a hole in the lid.  This is the hole through which you will later thread the ornament hanger.  Flip the lid over, and gently pound on the nail hole to flatten any sharp edges.  You will later be covering this surface with patterned paper, so it's all right if you can't get the edges of the nail hole perfectly flat.
  2. Using the method of your choice, cut a circle from the patterned paper to fit inside your lid.  I used the die-cutting machine at my local LSS.  Be sure to cut the circle so that a pair of "lovebirds" will be in the center of the ornament.
  3. Secure the paper circle inside the ornament, using dry adhesive.  Make sure that the nail hole is where you want it.  Use a needle to pierce the hole in the patterned paper.
  4. Use the number stickers from the sticker sheet to put the year of your wedding on the ornament.
  5. Cut out the word "Love" from the sticker sheet and adhere it near the bottom of your ornament.
  6. Thread a loop of fibers through the hole and tie it to form the ornament hanger.  I braided together red, green, and white embroidery floss for my hanger, but you can use any fibers you like.  Your ornament is now ready to hang on the tree
The lovebirds were not the only birds in the Country Drive collection that I found inspirational.  The yellow bird on the "Elements" sticker sheet made me think of "a partridge in a pear tree."  This led to the creation of the card that you see in the photo below. 

To make this card, you will need the following Echo Park materials:
  • CD16019 "Clover/Big Sky" patterned paper
  • CD16014 "Element Stickers" sheet
  • CD16015 "Alpha Stickers" sheet
  • CD16011 "Little Ladies" patterned paper
You will also need the following supplies:
  • card base (optional)
  • dry and dimensional adhesive
  • scrap of white cardstock
  • small heart punch (mine is from All Night Media)
This card is a snap to put together.  Here is how you do it:
  1. If you are using a premade card base (mine is from the brand Yours Truly), cover the front panel with the "Big Sky" (blue) paper.  Otherwise, cut your "Big Sky" paper to the size you want, and fold it in half to make a card.
  2. Cut a tree shape from the "Clover" (green) paper.  I didn't use any special template for this--I just eyeballed it for a homespun look.  When you're happy with your tree, adhere it to your card front, as shown in the photo.
  3. Along the top of the card, use the mini alphabet stickers to spell out "a partridge in a pear tree."  Refer to the above photo for letter placement.  For a playful look, use some green letters and some blue letters.
  4. Cut thirteen small leaf shapes from the remaining "Clover" paper.  Again, no need to use any special template--just eyeball it.  Adhere these leaves in clusters on your tree, using the above photo as a guide.
  5. Adhere the bird sticker from the "Elements" sheet to the scrap of white cardstock.  Cut around the sticker, then use dimensional adhesive to stick it to the tree on your card.
  6. Using your heart punch, cut five small hearts from the pink and red dots on the "Little Ladies" paper.  Turn the hearts upside down, so that they resemble pears.  Adhere the pears to the card, referring to the photo above to determine placement.  Your card is now ready to send!
This brings us to the final project, the layout (pictured below).  Do you have a box full of old Christmas photos that are gathering dust?  Get those photos out of the box and onto a fun heritage layout!  This layout brings together five photos from five different years.  Even if your photos are not of the best quality (like the 1970s and 1980s photos on my layout), this fun design will bring interest and continuity to your layout, drawing attention away from any flaws in your old photos. 

You will need the following Echo Park supplies to complete this layout:
  • CD16019 "Clover/Big Sky" patterned paper
  • CD16013 "Birds on a Wire" patterned paper
  • CD16011 "Little Ladies" patterned paper
  • CD16015 "Alpha Stickers" sheet
You will also need the following items:
  • plain white cardstock
  • dinner plate
  • pencil
  • needle
  • white embroidery floss
  • red embroidery floss
  • black pen
  • die-cutting machine (optional)
Here are the easy steps for completing this layout:
  1. Mat your photos on the white cardstock.
  2. Cut two semicircles from the red gingham-patterned side of the "Little Ladies" paper.  If you wish, you may create these circles by tracing around the edge of a dinner plate.  Adhere one circle on the left edge of the "Clover" (green) patterned paper.  Adhere the other circle on the bottom edge of the paper.  Adhere your five photos in an L-shaped arrangement atop the semicircles.
  3. Using a pencil, lightly draw two arcs across the open section of the "Clover" paper.  Punch evenly-spaced holes along these lines, using a needle.  
  4. Cut thirteen triangles from the red gingham paper.  These triangles are 1.5 inches high and 1.5 inches wide at the base.  Adhere these triangles along your penciled lines, allowing them to overlap slightly.  (Refer to the picture above for placement.)  Turn your layout over and re-pierce the holes that the triangles are now covering.
  5. Backstitch by hand through your punched holes with the white floss.  Don't knot your floss on the back of the layout; instead, adhere any loose ends with dry adhesive.
  6. Use the alphabet stickers to spell "Christmas" on the upper banner and "Past" on the lower banner. Carefully trace around each letter with a black pen.  This will help the letters stand out against the gingham pattern.
  7. Die cut nine snowflakes from the blue gingham side of the "Little Ladies" paper.  If you do not have access to a die cutting machine, you can instead fold and cut paper snowflakes in the old school manner--this would give your layout added vintage charm.  Adhere the snowflakes to the layout, referring to the layout photo for placement.  Adhere only the tips of the snowflakes--do not put adhesive in the centers of the snowflakes.  Trim the snowflakes so that they are even with the edges of the layout. 
  8. Using the needle, punch six holes in the center of each snowflake.  Using red floss, hand-stitch an asterisk-shape (also known as a Smyrna cross stitch) through each set of punched holes.  If you are having any difficulty with this step or the previous step, refer to the two closeup photos below as a guide.  Your layout is now complete!

Thanks for joining me on these three projects.  I hope you've had fun!  I am really in the Christmas spirit these days, so I'll be back tomorrow with another Christmas-related post.  See you then!  For now, I'll leave you with one more photo of the three completed projects.


Linda said...

Oh this is wonderful! I love the colors you used.

Anonymous said...

wow Denise! I love how you have different and beautiful projects with this line!

Eila Sandberg said...

Hey hey hey Denise! these are all really so wonderful! you really are so versatile! WTG! xxxx

Helen Tilbury said...

Oooh I love this line too - great to see such a great mix of projects!!