To me, Christmas really is magical. Whether you connection to Christmas is rooted in faith, tradition, family or other, it's hard to ignore the incredible, overall 'good will' that seems to abound at this time of year. For a day, a month, a season to induce such warmth, renew humanity's faith in each other and encourage such generosity? Like I said. Magical.
I, like so many of you, feel like I'm propelled into creative overdrive during the holiday season and when I do create, I want them to be things that will keep with that warm, magical and inspiring feeling, especially when it comes to decorations. I'm not so much into animals and Santas that sing and dance when you press a button, but if you are, that's cool. My husband tries every year to convince me that an inflatable lawn decoration would be 'awesome'. We still don't have one. Score 1 for me!
Staying with the 'magical' idea, I'm going to share this winter scene project with you that I created inside a hollowed out, hard cover book. I was inspired by another project I did last year using a mini street lamp; this waterless snow globe.
Hard cover book
Mini pine trees
Mini park bench
Mini street lamp
Faux floral sprigs
Adhesive / hot glue gun
Stiff board to use as a base
First item on the list. A hard cover book. I was looking for a book that was Christmas themed or at least makes you think of winter and the holidays. My find? Little Women.
I proceeded to hollow out the book just a little as it doesn't need to be overly deep (1/4 inch or so). If you have never hollowed a book before, you can see my full tutorial here. Since the winter scene will nestle into the book, I cut out the shape for the base of my scene first and used that as a template for the book. I traced the shape of the base onto the pages, so I knew where to cut. I also left a few pages 'free' before the opening to give the feeling that the scene is coming to life from within the pages.
Next up, raid your craft cupboard, backyard, front yard, neighbours yard, holiday decorations etc, for items to use in your scene. I had extra light up street lamps from last year (dollar store), broken pieces of a terracotta pot that were thin and flat like shale which I painted to look like stone, miniature fence (dollar store), little bits of faux holly berries (not pictured), tiny pebbles, twigs etc. I also tried to co-ordinate the colours of my pieces, with the book. Not that they had to 'match', just belong together.
On the board I cut out for the base, I mapped out the scene with pencil as seen in this picture. I didn't just take a picture for this post, but also so I could remember where I wanted to place my items. It changed a bit from my original drawing, but the overall feel remained the same. Hmm... not quite sure what a 'fench' is lol...
Next I wanted to give it some height. Using some small bits of newsprint from the recycle bin and some Mod Podge, I built up the areas where the trees were to go. Just like paper mache.
Another option would be to use a product like Snow Tex. It's lightweight, mimics snow and you can build it up easily. It's like white paint with sand in it, but 'fluffier' and flexible.
Since Snow Tex is a little more to purchase (not overly expensive mind you), I used the newsprint to build things up, painted it all white and saved my Snow Tex to coat everything after with an old paintbrush just to give texture.
I also painted my wee fence white and brushed some Snow Tex onto the tips and where the wires were, to look like snow had fallen on it.
I began adding my wee bench, fence and trees... securing them in place with glue...
... behind view. All of the tree 'bases' will be covered in the end with more Snow Tex.
I adhered the 'stones' I created from my broken terracotta pot to create a walkway, then added more Snow Tex to give the look that snow had fallen on them. Then, added in little bits of faux holly berries and other sprigs from my craft supplies. You don't need much at all! I finished it up by putting on my light up miniature lamp post.
In the end, more Snow Tex was added up against the fence line, on the bench, on the lamp, a wee bit more on the trees and to cover the base of the wee trees. To get it into the hard to reach areas, I put it into a small sandwich bag, cut a little hole in the corner and piped it in like you would pipe icing on a cupcake, then spread it out using an old paintbrush. While the final layer of Snow Tex was drying, I sprinkled white glitter over the entire scene to add sparkle. Once dry, I shook off the excess.
The final step was adhering a strip of ribbon to the underside of the scene base, long enough to drape out over both top and bottom of the book. The ribbon gives the look of a 'bookmark', but also serves the purpose of allowing you to lift the base out after the holidays are over. Then the book can be closed, the scene wrapped up and packed away for next year. It also allows the book to be used for other hidden treasures in the future :)
And if you are wondering where I put the battery pack for the lamp, I just tuck it behind the book cover so it can be easily accessed to turn it on and off.
Thanks for checking out my wee Christmas book scene. With a little imagination, it really did come to life!