For my last scrapbook class I designed a two-page scrapbook layout that look likes an Advent Calendar.  The idea came from an ad I saw in a magazine.  I also remember when I was young and when my kids were young we would buy (or my parents would bring) the flat calendars that had all the windows with the chocolate behind them.  This layout is basically that same idea but instead of chocolate behind the windows there will be photos.

In order to design the page I used my Stampin’ Up! Grid Paper and traced out my square – the Real Red card stock is 11 x 11.  The windows are cut out of the Real Red and that is glued onto the Very Vanilla which is then glued to the 12×12 Chocolate Chip card stock.

I mapped my windows out on the grid paper – since I needed 25 windows I planned for 13 on one page and 12 on the other.  I wanted several larger windows – and then a mixture of medium and small.  I drew it all out on my grid paper until I had a nice fit – there is 1/4″ in between each of the squares.

I then used my paper cutter with both a cutting blade and a scoring blade to cut and score each window.  I cut three sides and scored one to create each window.  Some open on the top, some on the bottom and then some on the left or right.  They are all different.  When you use the Fiskars paper cutter that Stampin’ Up! sells you can position your cutting/scoring blade on the cutter without pressing down so that it cuts the paper.  You position where you want to start – then press the blade down, slide the blade until you need to stop, then lift the blade up.  There is a ruler on the guide that holds the blade and the little arrow points on the blade show you where the center of the blade is positioned on that ruler.  This allows you to cut within the center of your card stock with out cutting it end to end.  I made all the cuts and scores in one direction then turned the card stock and did them all in the other direction.

Once my windows were cut – I glued the Real Red card stock to the Very Vanilla – be sure the adhesive is only on the strips around and in between the windows and not on the windows themselves.   To decorate each window I cut pieces of the Merry Moments Designer Series Paper about 1/4″ smaller than the size of each window.  The numbers were stamped on Very Vanilla card stock and punched with a 1/2″ circle punch, then backed with a 3/4″ circle punched from Chocolate Chip card stock.  I arranged my numbers pretty randomly – I wanted 1 in the upper left corner and 25 in the lower right and then just arranged them based on size of the window – so if I knew I would have a photo or an event on a certain date I put that on a larger window.  I also stamped some images to add to some of the windows for decoration.

I plan to add photos of things that we have done throughout the month of December.  We had Greg’s birthday, Ryan’s band concert, Tyler’s band concert, the Christmas Parade, Christmas eve, Christmas day, getting the tree, baking, parties, etc.  I’ll fill in with pictures of us and things like our stockings which I hand made years ago in counted-cross-stitch.

In case you are wondering how to put it in a sleeve in your album and be able to access the windows – what I plan to do is cut the front of the plastic sleeve on the sides and the bottom at the 11″ mark where my Real Red card stock will be.  I will add a little accent with velcro behind the two bottom corners so that the sleeve stays shut until someone is ready to look at the page and open the windows.  Then they just lift the cut portion of the plastic sleeve to open each window and view the photo.

Another option is to just cut the windows off and have the open space for you photo – then place the number accent directly on a corner of your photo.

I hope all that made sense!  I think it will be fun to have a glimpse of everything that goes on during the month leading up to Christmas.

And for those of you that asked what will be in the Advent Matchboxes – those will have candy in them – the drawers are big enough to fit most of the holiday candy.  And the big box on the top  has a chocolate Santa that I found at the store – they are flat and tall and fit in there at an angle.

Have a wonderful day – tonight we are going to the High School Band Concert – I love to see them all dressed up in their tuxedos!

I hope you’ll join me in January for the Create with Connie & Julie class – see the link on my side-bar for more details.