DIY: super simple advent calendar - www.paperiaarre.com

DIY super simple advent calendar tutorial

DIY: super simple advent calendar - www.paperiaarre.com

For all you last-minute people out there: here’s a tutorial for a super simple advent calendar. You can easily make adjustments and make it as fancy or as simple as you want! All you need is paper (A4 size), some blank cards (A6=10,5×14,8cm), tape, printer/pen/other mark making method, mini wooden pegs, and some twine for hanging. And if you’re short on supplies you can skip the pegs and hanging altogether, and place the envelopes in a box or a bowl instead.

I made a grown-up version of an advent calendar by choosing a poem for each day, but you could hide any type of messages or drawings inside yours. The folded envelopes can also hold flattish treats. I used a typewriter with white transfer paper (the type used in transferring sewing patterns) sandwiched between black paper and a lightweight sheet of waste paper to create white text on black paper. This level of sophistication is entirely optional – you can use either lighter colour paper and print/write/draw on it, or use white gel liner pen on black paper, if you, too, are a fan of the white on black look.

DIY: super simple advent calendar - www.paperiaarre.com

I then printed the numbers 1-24 on some blank kraft cards. You can download a printable pdf for the number cards here, including that number 25 that’s unnecessary to us Finns, but feel free to skip the printable and just do the numbering by hand in your chosen technique (i.e. calligraphy, collage, papercutting, or simply write the numbers with a pen like any normal person not looking for extra difficulties would). Some printers can’t even handle cardstock, so don’t despair – just work around it. The number cards are reusable, so once you get them done, next year’s advent calendar is almost done (maybe not quite, but it’s a start anyway)!

DIY: super simple advent calendar - www.paperiaarre.com

The technique I used for folding the poems is the same I shared with you earlier in my folded envelope tutorial, with the flaps wrapping up the other way on this one. I made a quick instagram video to show you how it’s done, but for more detailed description view both the video and the written and illustrated tutorial and adjust the flaps accordingly. Use a sheet of A4 waste paper to create a mock-up and check how the numbers on your cards line up (or better yet, if you’re doing the numbers by hand, do them only after you’ve folded the papers, so you know exactly where to place them).

Once you’re done with folding your calendar messages, it’s time to hang them up in a nice row (or a messy one). As we celebrate Christmas on the 24th already, I got away with typing just 24 poems I like for one reason or another (it took me a while…). Had I chosen only short, small ones, I could’ve gone with half the size for a super cute mini calendar, and less than half the typing time. If you’d prefer to make the smaller version, choose A5 paper (14,8x21cm) and A7 cards (7,4×10,5cm).

DIY: super simple advent calendar - www.paperiaarre.com

At this tender age of 32 neither I or my dear V are impatiently waiting for Christmas, so this advent calendar is more like a 24-day-long Christmas present than a countdown to a magical day. Material gifts have become less and less important to us, and many others, making this type of advent calendar a great alternative way to celebrate the holiday season. Have you come up with ways to spend a grown-up Christmas while still perhaps holding on to some traditions? Who would you make an advent calendar for? Your kids, your spouse, your parents? What would you hide in their calendar?

accumulator seriali - part 31 - collection of vintage photos - www.paperiaarre.com

accumulator seriali – part 31

accumulator seriali - part 31 - collection of vintage photos - www.paperiaarre.com

As an artist vintage photos are a most essential raw material to me. I love the mystery of not knowing who these people in the photos are – it means they can be anyone! I don’t make up elaborate back stories to the people who end up in my collages, but somehow I still feel I know something intimate about them and base my work around that feeling. These photos are so much more than pretty faces and drool-worthy dresses.

By now my vintage photo collection has grown to a considerable size. Parts of it I have weeded out as photos I’m unlikely to ever use in my work (=put them up for sale at first possible chance – somehow that chance hasn’t come in the past couple of years…), parts have been set aside as precious treasures to be used only under some kind of divine inspiration, and the rest is housed in a plastic bin and albums by my desk.

accumulator seriali - part 31 - collection of vintage photos - www.paperiaarre.com

Let’s have a closer look!

(more…)

long stitch sketchbooks with watercolour paper pages, handmade by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

sketchbooks for your favourite creative individual

long stitch sketchbooks with watercolour paper pages, handmade by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

It feels as though it’s never before been this grey. Which, I know, isn’t true at all. It’s like this every November. Maybe it’s because of the brief glimpse of winter we had earlier, but somehow the rain and the grey skies seem bleaker and bleaker. There are days when I gladly work all day hoping that being productive banishes the feeling of, well, dread. And then there are days when I just listen to podcasts all day, in bed, while feeling guilty about not being productive. So, how are things with you? Great? Great! Let’s focus on the positive and enjoy the things that got done on those better days.

long stitch sketchbooks with watercolour paper pages, handmade by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

One of the most frequent questions I get is that do any of my books have watercolour paper pages. Well, this new long stitch sketchbook lot does! I found this nice 180gsm watercolour paper that lends itself quite nicely to folding and tearing down to size while still being heavyweight enough to be pleasant to paint on. Of course the paper is also suitable for writing, drawing, collage, and other mixed media. I know this would be on my gift list for any creative friend…

The sketchbooks measure 15,3x11x2cm / 6″x4.3″x0.8″ and they have 72 pages each – you can find them for sale here.

long stitch sketchbooks with watercolour paper pages, handmade by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

And the bullet journal frenzy continues, too. The dot-grid-paged books are flying off the shelves, which obviously makes me very, very glad.

handmade bullet journals with dotted grid pages, bound by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

This latest trio of large hardcover bullet journals has bright white dotted grid pages – and you won’t have to ever worry about your pen ghosting on the reverse side the paper being a heavyweight 140gsm. These books measure 14,4×18,5×1,9cm / 5.7″x7.3″x0.7″ and have 100 pages each – for sale here.

Next week I promise something entirely different. No dotted grids, no book cloth, just an awesome book or two. But before that there’s an Accumulator Seriali post up here on Saturday, should the gloom lift enough to let in some daylight for taking near-decent photos for the post.

 

 

As I was finishing up writing this post a flurry of heavy snow appeared. Maybe there’s still hope. Though more than anything I’d love to see a blue sky one day soon.

Tallenna

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