Christmas Diorama – in progress

diorama1
I haven’t forgotten about my Christmas diorama project. I’m learning that (like anything worth doing) it isn’t a quick, easy thing.

I’m using a tea box and realizing I need to cover every side – inside and out.
diorama2a

Unfortunately the craft tape thingy isn’t strong enough and is showing through the vellum. I’m also realizing that all the corners need to be tight or it looks sloppy. Or I need to trim all the corners and edges in garland. And my watercolor background and sides buckled a bit and aren’t flat.
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I started with a “floor” that I tried to mimic real wood. Then I realized the carolers were outside, so I created a cobble stone look.
diorama2b

I think the depth of my box is too large for the pieces I have. I need to add more elements to it or cut the box.

I often think very literally. I created a sky and cobble stone floor for the carolers. Maybe I should try to change my thinking and use Christmas patterns for the inside sides or background.
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It’s a work in progress. I’m hoping to have a finished diorama to show you by Christmas Eve!

 

Dioramas – the planning stage

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I’ve wanted to work on a diorama for awhile now. I haven’t worked on one since the kids made shoebox sized ones for school. Even then it wasn’t my project and they wouldn’t let me take over! I’ve been pinning Christmas diorama projects on my board like crazy lately. When I remembered the illustrations in my dad’s old Christmas music book, I thought they would be perfect! I could plan my dioramas around them. Imagine – vintage illustrations, right at my fingertips. How lucky and out of character. We are not the family that ends up on Antique Roadshow! We didn’t even have an attic!

I looked through each illustration and figured out how I could create a diorama around it. Then I wrote a list of all the things I need. I measured my box to know the sizes. I want the dioramas to have one 2D element (where the illustration is brought forward from the background) and one 3D element – a miniature tree for example. I’ve planned on five dioramas, but we’ll see! I’m an ambitious planner.

 

Beach Lover Wooden Sign

beachlover
I bought a piece of wood and had it cut into pieces at the hardware store. Using acrylic paints – teal and white – I added streaks of both and blended them, to get achieve a beachy, sun bleached look.

Wooden signs
I set up the lettering on the computer and outlined it. Last time around I cut custom stencils which was a lot of work. This time I found advice on hand lettering. I laid the printout on the wood and using a hard stylus pen (from my kid’s old DS), traced the outline of the letter. When I was finished I could see the outline impression on the wood.

Following the outline impression on the wood, I painted the letters black. When they were dry, I painted white steaks over the letters with a very dry brush to capture the distressed look. I’m happy with the results!

Click here to learn more about how I painted the background.

Paper Quilt – No sewing required!

When I saw a paper quilt on the Country Living magazine website (from Linda & Harriett – see links below), I knew I had to make one. I have always wanted to make a quilt, but I can’t sew! I wanted to go to the craft store and get paper, but it was pouring out, so I decided to use what I had, including pieces of a gift bag.

The Country Living quilt calls for 2″ squares of paper in 4 different styles (20 squares of 3 styles, 21 squares of 1 style). I have a 1″ square punch, so I decided to use that and make my quilt with 1″ squares. I drew out a grid of 9 rows and 9 columns, so I could plan my design and play with different paper options. Since I was unsure of which papers to use, I decided to follow the Country Living design. I wanted to use mostly greens, because St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner.

I selected 4 paper styles and punched out my squares. I also punched out shamrocks. I placed the squares on the grid, following the Country Living design. I took a photo and swapped out one of the papers. I tried a couple of options, taking photos of each one, so I could compare. I decided to go with the last option I tried.

paperquilt1paperquilt2 paperquilt3 paperlast

Since the grid I drew wasn’t perfect, I got a new piece of paper to glue the squares on. Using a glue stick, I started in the corner, using the edges of the paper as a guide to keep everything as even as possible. After it was done, I trimmed off the unused paper. I mounted my quilt on a piece of card stock.

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I couldn’t be happier with the results! It is going on my mantle! What a fun project.

final-paper-quilt

Visit my Etsy shop for downloadable clipart:
St. Patrick's Day Watercolor clipart | leprechauns pot of gold rainbow shamrocks

and invitation borders:
St. Patrick's Day shamrocks invitation border printable invitation card

Order some St. Patrick’s Day flair in my Zazzle shop!

St. Patrick’s Day #patricks #day #pins #hat

Create an Irish Blessing sign with this downloadable pdf and transfer tips.

Irish Blessing Free Download. Info on Citrasolv transfers.

Links:
Country Living
Linda & Harriett