Friday 6 October 2017

2017 #14 Glitter: Christmas expects glitter!! {by Jo Firth-Young}

2017 Topic 14: Glitter

The day I was allocating Topics for the end of the year, Jo happened to clock onto the fact that 'Glitter' was a topic, and sneakily booked herslef in waaaaay ahead of everyone else! I think after reading this you will see why - she has a LOT of glitter and she's not scared to use it!! She may need some glitter therapy!

Hi everyone, it's Jo Firth-Young with you today, and the project I'm sharing with you today has a VERY festive theme and it seemed appropriate because Christmas expects glitter!!

I bought a wood advent calendar a while ago with the purpose of up-cycling it.  It's a really cute little substrate, and its wood construction made it perfect to alter with paint and glitter .. did I mention there would be glitter?  To be honest with you when I started the project I didn't really expect there to be so much glitter but then how much is too much?? 
Here is the advent calendar in its (almost) original state. I felt the colour scheme was designed to appeal to children and I wanted to give it a more 'grown-up' scheme (because adults like advent calendars too!! lol).The (3.5 x 3.5cm) cubes originally had little wooden knobs but I removed these to make decorating the cubes easier. I used the original holes as a guide when adding new handles...

There may be 7, yes SEVEN, types of glitter on this project but I didn't want it to be 'gaudy'.... some of the glitters are quite subtle.

I designed sets of cubes.  Each set has its own design (this means cubes next to each won't be the same): different colour way, different handle... this makes the advent calendar more interesting.

The calendar is decorated with lots of my 'favourite' items - cardboard, buttons, tags, ribbons, stamps... and glitter!!  I chose quite a neutral colour palette of off-white, kraft, sage and metallics (golds and vintage silver) - a palette that could easily be altered in future years by repainting the sage cubes a different colour such as aqua (or red for a traditional christmas colour scheme).

This was the first of the cubes I decorated - there had to be corrugated cardboard somewhere (its so useful!) I dragged the ridges with glue and dipped it in glitter (Glitter No 1: Ranger Vintage Platinum Distress Glitter Dust) - I really like the contrast between the cardboard and the glitter. The handles are made from ribbon and the tags have been stamped with the cube number.

This set of cubes was painted in a mix of Sage and Winter Green Fresco Finish paints - creating a lovely, almost Eucalyptus, colour. I used JOFY mini (JM07)

... to create a pattern. A great little stamp (not too busy for this small space) and perfect for decorating the cubes.  Stamped in Snowflake and detailed in Metallic Glaze (Glitter No 2).
The handles are buttons wired on and secured at the inside and covered with a piece of paper tape. I used this method to secure the handles on most of the drawers.

Book text covered cube with a handle made from a die cut snowflake which has been embossed with WOW Metallic Platinum Sparkle Embossing Glitter (Glitter No 3). This was die cut from a cardboard box and I found that one layer wasn't strong enough to work as a handle and so I had to glue two layers of snowflakes together for strength.

I stamped a sheet of vintage ledger paper with the text collage from HP1501

I stamped in  Archival Olive (second generation to lessen the intensity of the colour). I then embossed it with WOW Sensational Sage Embossing Powder (Glitter No 4).  I like the subtle glitter on these cubes.  The handles wired on beads.

This cube is completely covered in glitter paper (Glitter No.5) - fabulously glittery & sparkly - from my paper stash. The die cut numbers stick very securely to this surface because the glitter is sealed.  This cube doesn't need a handle because its sits in its own compartment at the top of the advent calendar.

I needed small numbers for the cubes so I looked through my Ink & the Dog stamps as I remember there were lots of numbers and alphabets in the collection... Words Plate 4  had exactly what I was looking for! I cut up the small numbers from the alphabet (bottom right) and used these on all the cubes (really useful alphabet - very happy to have rediscovered this!!)
Words Plate 4

I covered the outside of the calendar with corrugated cardboard and wiped the ridges with Matte Medium and then scattered Prima Finnibair Pearl Glass Glitter (Glitter No.6) over the surface to give a frosty look.  I also dragged the ridges with Metallic Glaze.  To embellish the calendar and add to the glittery wintery feel I die cut and embossed several snowflakes using Ranger Distress Stickles in Rock Candy (Glitter No.7).

Each of the little cubes/drawers is big enough for a chocolate or other treats.  It will look lovely on a fireplace at christmas.

This project was a lot of fun! ... and the glitter is EVERYWHERE! lol but not to worry, it was worth it.  It was fun to rummage through bead boxes and button tins to find the different bits and pieces to decorated the cubes. And then to work out the best way to attach and secure them (would they work, were they strong enough); revisiting wire work to attach the handles; and the best glue to secure glitter?!!?  (That last question is still unanswered! lol)
I also rediscovered a stamp set which is always good - if ever you are stuck for the 'perfect' stamp - take a look through your existing stamps you might find a gem (or two) in there!

I hope this has inspired you to give an object a festive makeover in time for christmas.

Take care


Twitter: @jofyjo
Instagram: @jofyjo

Here are the workshops I'll be running before the end of the year - all with a festive theme! Hope to see you there!
14.10.17  Birds in the Barn, Marks Tey, Essex (

04.11.17 & 18.11.17  Loobi Crafts, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire (

I've always wanted to tackle one of these advent calendars! And what a beauty! And yes...we get it..glitter is deffo a must at Christmas! LOL ~ Leandra

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog

Our creative team love to read your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired!  

Why not join our 2-weekly challenge by blogging your create response to the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link Topic 14:Glitter will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, 15th October 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.


Ruth said...

Oh wow Jo, this is stunning, I love a touch of glitter and this is upcycling at its best! Love! x

Mac Mable said...

Yey to all that glitter...messy, fun and fabulous. Had a chuckle on your blog about forgetting about stickles! What a glorious project which you sure had fun with x Love it!

Helen said...

what a gorgeous transformation! I love the new look - and all the glitter too.

jojo79 said...

Fantastic Jo, Love all the giltter. This has inspired me to start on the advent calander that I have had for years waiting to be decorated. x

JoFY said...

I know! how could I forget Stickles!! lol

JoFY said...

no such thing as too much! lol

JoFY said...

do it!! If you start now and do 4 'drawers' a week you'll have it done by 1st December!!
#justsayin good luck!! x

JoFY said...

Thanks Ruth!

Keren Baker said...

I love this! So much to take in- you've completely transformed it and the glitter is classily done! x

JoFY said...

Thanks Keren! x

Hazel Agnew said...

Go go go glitter, with knobs your creations Jo. Xx

Miriam said...

I love your advent calendar Jo...even with all that glitter. Lol! It's awesome.

Redanne said...

Love that you upcycled, it was nice before but now it looks amazing - you really have got to use glitter around Christmas!

JoFY said...

lol all this glitter makes me laugh as I really only use it at christmas and never this much before.... maybe its the way forward!!

JoFY said...

thanks! go on, put some glitter in it - you'll feel better for it! sparkly!

JoFY said...

thanks! lol exactly - like I said - christmas expects glitter and sparkles!!

Fiona said...

Oh my goodness! Beautiful transformation. I’m loving your style. I need to get out and get me an advent calendar like that. I’ve looked at them in the past and thought not quite me. But this style, perfect. Thinking I could do something similar and take it to work for my team with a little chocolate in. They would love that. Loving al the glitter ✨

12thecraftstudio said...

Ooooh sparkly loveliness :-) This looks amazing Jo, gorgeous transformation.
Looking forward to our festive themed workshops in November x

Anneke said...

A fabulous project!!

Art By Wanda said...

oh, this is just wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

craftimamma said...

Stunning transformation Jo and a very classy upcycling job indeed! Love it!

Lesley Xx

UplayOnline said...

I love the new look - and all the glitter too.


Kirsten said...

Gorgeous transformation and a huge improvment on the original!

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

This is a super fun idea. Thank you for the step by step process. I have this wooden tree, a garage sale find for $ drawers, had been using it to hold distress inks on my desk. Did your little cubes come with this? I'll keep an eye out for substitutes this year and maybe can do up one for my grand girls.
Thank You for the inspiration and Wishing You and Yours a Happy New Year.