I have been wanting to make my girls an advent calendar for so long! I imagined one where the numbers are metallic, and Xyron came to my rescue with their laminating/magnetic cartridges. And these pretty winter-themed papers from Pebbles, Inc were the perfect girly Christmas-y color palette.
- Pebbles Inc Winter Wonderland 12×12-inch Double-Sided Cardstock and Paper Embellishments
- Xyron Creative Station
- Xyron 5-inch or 9-inch Permanent Adhesive Cartridge
- Xyron 5-inch or 9-inch Laminate + Magnet Cartridge
- Galvanized metal sheet 12×18-inches (from the hardware store)
- Cricut Explore and Cricut Strong Grip Cutting Mat (or ready made paper numbers and circles)
- Plain blue and light gray cardstock
- Paper trimmer
- Fiskars Tag Punch for thick materials
- Small hole punch
- Baker’s twine
- Small pom pom trim
- Hot glue
Considering the size of both my galvanized metal sheet and my tag punch (1.5×2 inches), I cut out twenty five 2.5×2-inch rectangles from my papers, and arranged them to form a Christmas tree. I alternated the paper patterns so they’d be spread out evenly throughout the tree. Then I took a picture once I liked my arrangement, in case anything went out of order.
Next I cut out my circles and numbers 1-25 with my Cricut Explore. But instead of cutting out the paper first and then inserting each little piece into my Xyron, I thought I’d try something different. I wanted to generate a sheet of stickers with my Xyron paper as a backing to the cardstock, and have the Cricut just cut the cardstock on top (i.e. it would not cut through the Xyron backing paper, just the cardstock, so I can peel off the numbers/circles like a sticker). So first, I ran an 8.5×11-inch piece of plain blue cardstock through my Xyron for the numbers, and a gray piece for the circles.
Then I peeled off the plastic cover, leaving the paper backing on. I then stuck it backing paper side down onto a strong grip cutting mat (because the paper backing is rather slippery). I cut out 1-inch circles and 1-inch tall numbers using my Cricut Explore. I used the Impact font, a free system font, and the circle shape is free as well in Cricut Design Space. I set the dial to cut Vinyl, because I want it to cut through the cardstock only, not the Xyron paper backing. No need for mirror images, though.
Next step is to stick the circles and numbers onto each of the patterned paper rectangles I cut out. But, I need to position them so they’ll be in the proper place when I cut out the tag. This is because I will be feeding all paper rectangles through the Xyron Laminate/Magnetic cartridge, and then cutting the tags out through the magnet/laminate/paper to get our final magnetic tag. So, I punched out a tag on a piece of scrap paper and created a template. I placed the template on top of one of the patterned paper rectangles.
I adhered my circle and number sort of centered and a bit lower in the tag space. Oops, my template is a little bit off center! But it’s okay because I made my rectangles larger than the tag so there’s some wiggle room. I always need wiggle room! Anyways, it was so easy to just peel off the numbers and the circles, like actual stickers that you purchased.
First one is done, now for the second.
And keep going until you do all 25.
Magnet time! Here’s my 5-inch Laminate/Magnetic Cartridge in my Xyron Creative Station, which can hold both 5-inch and 9-inch cartridges.
The cartridge also fits in my trusty old but still awesome blue 5-inch Creative Station!
Feed in your numbered rectangles, side by side and as evenly as possible, and making sure they’re all facing the same direction. This will all make things easier when you punch out the tag shape. You can fit two in the 5-inch cartridge.
And you can fit four in the 9-inch cartridge.
In the end, you’ll have rows of your rectangles, and your rectangles will be in between the magnet and the laminate. Give the laminate an extra rub to squeeze out any air bubbles (there were very few, but just in case…you can also use a brayer or squeegie or the side of a bone folder). Starting at the bottom, cut off the excess magnet.
Center the number and circle in the tag (the punch is upside down so you can see your number). Push down to cut through the magnet, laminate, and paper.
As mentioned in my supply list above, I’m using a punch for thick materials. I tried using a regular punch through all three layers and it didn’t work. You could also program your Cricut Explore to cut for you, but because I have all my different rectangles, it would take a lot of work to position everything and get it to cut exactly right! But if you were cutting from one bit piece of paper, you could definitely use the Cricut Explore to do the cutting for you. But my thick material punch worked great.
When you’ve finished your first row, again cut off the excess so your punch can have access to the next row. Keep cutting until you’re done with all 25.
Now to add some background to the galvanized metal sheet. I cut out paper strips in alternating colors and fed them through my 7-inch Permanent Adhesive Cartridge.
Then I adhered them to the galvanized metal sheet. I then arranged my tags once again to form the tree, and placed some green mini pom pom trim around it to help emphasize the tree shape. I used dabs of hot glue to adhere the pom pom trim, first at the corners, then dabs every few inches along the sides and bottom. Oh, I also punched a small hole in each tag and tied some baker’s twine through them.
Then I took some pink mini pom pom trim (yes I’m obsessed with pom pom trim) and framed the whole metal sheet with it, again, using dabs of hot glue in the corners and every few inches along the sides to adhere it. And finally, I used a ready-made rosette as my tree topper.
There are lots of ways to store the tags while the month is going by. You could attach a clothespin or hook to the metal sheet and hang them, or keep them in a little crate or jar beside the calendar. I ended up borrowing a truck from my Christmas Trees on Cars and Trucks Mantle Decor to store them. It’s the perfect size and too cute with the baker’s twine sticking out!
The girls are going to love counting down to Christmas! Can’t believe December 1st is in just a few days. Phew, I made my Advent Calendar just in time. You have all weekend and Monday to make yours!
Thank you Xyron and Pebbles Inc for the goodies to create my Magnetic Advent Calendar! Be sure to follow Xyron on Facebook to see what my fellow Xyron Design Team Members have created with their fun stuff from Pebbles Inc, and for inspiration all year long!
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