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Advent Calendar Tuesday

11 November 2008

It's Tuesday - time for the next installment of my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants advent calendar tutorial.

You can see my previous posts in this series here.

This week I designed the numbers. I looked at various fonts and decided on the old classic: Times New Roman. You'll see on the left of the photo I played around with various colour combinations until I was happy. I chose one colour combo to use on the red cones and another for the white ones. Then I printed them out and cut around the edge of each circle.

I created my number tags in Adobe Illustrator, but you don't need fancy software to make something similar. Just create the numbers in any software program, making sure you leave enough space around them for the circle background. Print your page out, place a coin or round object of the right size over each number, trace around it and cut the circles out. Or easier still a craft punch would do a perfect job. Then cut larger circles out of a different coloured paper and glue them behind the small ones to form a coloured edge. An easy alternative is to check out the huge variety of rub-down or stick-on numbers, papers and tags at a scrapbooking supply shop. Of course your tags can be any shape or size so experiment until you find something you like.

Next I punched holes in the top of each cone with a standard office hole punch. Then I cut lengths of twine, tied a knot in the end and threaded the loop through the hole in the cone. You could use plain string or a coloured ribbon to hang your cones. I found the perfect coloured twine for my project in the Christmas decoration section of Ikea.

The number tags were then attached to the cones with double sided tape.

I hung the cones on the branches so I could show you how they look, but before you do that the next step would be to secure your birds to the branches. You'll probably have to take the branches out of your vase to do this. Sew through the underside of the bird and wrap the thread around the branch several times. Do this in two places under each bird, so it looks like it's the bird's feet hanging on to the branch. Use either an embroidery thread that matches the colour of the branch or you might prefer something that contrasts.

Once you've attached the birds arrange the branches in your vase, using scrunched up newspaper to secure them in place. Then hang the cones at various heights from the branches, making sure your numbers are sequential.

I haven't had a chance to cover my vase yet, but that will be next week's installment. You'll need a piece of wrapping paper or fabric, double sided tape and some ribbon or twine.

After that all that's left to do is gather the treats.