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Holiday Blizzard Project – Bea’s 12 Days of Christmas Banner

Calling all Cricuteers! Here's a Christmas project using the Joys of Christmas cartridge and your Cricut Bug or Expressions die cutting machine.  And for those of you who have not joined the army of Cricuteers, no worries. You can make this banner, too, with a few adjustments and using other items to represent the theme you wish to make. The great thing about this project is that it can be made for any theme or celebration - think birthdays or 'Welcome Home' celebrations. How about celebrating the family or the kids by showing off their pictures in the middle of the ornaments? Or make an Advent Banner! Use stickers or stamp images and cut them out then attach with 3D adhesive. Instead of a banner, use the ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree. The possibilities are endless!  What ideas can you come up with? 

12 Days of Christmas Banner
By: Bea Rosenleaf, Artistic Guide

Finished Size:  Ornament Circles 5.5"; Banner 36" to 42"

Theologically, the Twelve Days of Christmas actually occur after Christmas. The twelve days start with December 25th and end on January 5th leading up to the Epiphany, which is on January 6th.  For a great article regarding the Twelve Days of Christmas, check out the CRI/Voice Institute website: 


But for our project, we are doing the 12 days before Christmas to decorate for the holidays, and to follow along with the traditional Christmas carol. Each day you can add an ornament to your banner and sing the song. How fun!

Papers from my stash (I have no idea what companies' papers I used as many of them I have had for years)
Chipboard, medium weight (unknown)
I used the following cardstock and patterned paper colors:
Background paper (for front of ornament) is patterned paper with stars in Red, Gold, and Green
Use Coordinating colors for the back of the ornament - I used  Red, Green and Tan papers
2 colors of Green for the Wreath
Red for the Berries
Various colors for the 12 Days die cuts

Adirondack Meadow ink pad (Ranger)
Cricut Bug or Cricut Expressions (Provo Craft)
Joys of the Season cartridge (Provo Craft)
Pearlescent Chalking Set - Jewel Tones (Pebbles, Inc.)
Marvy LePlume II Pine Green Marker #72 (Marvy/Uchida)
White Gelly Roll Pen, medium point (Sakura)
Inkssentials Blending Tool (Ranger)
Crystal Stickles (Ranger)
PVA Bookbinding glue (Lineco Books by Hand)
Circle Cutter (Fiskars)
Craft Knife
Self-healing Mat (Fiskars)
Craft Sheet (Ranger)
3-D Dots (All Night Media)
Wiggle Eyes (Westcraft Trims)
Ribbon (bought at JoAnne's)
Pine Bough Swag (K-Mart) (or you can use a wide ribbon about 42" long)

The following is the general directions for all the ornaments. Each ornament will have a different design representing each day of the "12 Days of Christmas" carol.  The base of each ornament is the same. The size of each design is cut at the same size as shown in these directions. 


Cutting the Papers:

  1. Using the Fiskars circle cutter, set at 4", and cut 12 circles from the Chipboard. The blade will not cut through the chipboard. Put the self-healing mat under the chipboard and complete cutting the circle out with the craft knife. The circle cutter created a 'trough' for the craft knife blade to fit down in and will easily complete the cut.

  2. Place 2" x 12" paper on the mat for the background of the ornaments and insert into the Cricut. Set the Cricut at 5". Choose the Ornament design, press AutoFill (Cricut Expressions feature. On the original Cricut you will have to press the Ornament design key for how many designs will fit on the mat) and press cut.  You should get 4 Ornaments. Repeat three more times.  I used 3 different background papers for my ornaments.
  3. Place the lighter Green paper for the Wreaths on the mat and insert into the Cricut. Set the cut size to 4.5". Press the Wreath1 key and Auto Fill (paper must be 12" x 12" to use the Auto Fill feature).  Press cut. Repeat to cut 12 base wreaths.
  4. Place the darker Green paper for the Wreath layers on the mat and insert into to the Cricut. Do not change the cut size!  Press the Layers key, Wreath1 key, and the Quantity key, then enter 12. Press cut.
  5. Place the Red paper for the Berries on the mat and insert into the Cricut. Press the Shift key, Layers key, Wreath1 key, and the Quantity key, then enter 12.

If you have a Xyron machine, run the ornament backgrounds, leaf layers and the berries through the machine to make them sticky on the back. Otherwise, you can use your favorite glue or adhesive to attach the layers together.

Preparing the Wreaths:

  1. Using the PVA glue, glue the front and back papers to the ornaments. Set aside to dry. You might want to set a heavy object on top of them so they don't curl while drying.
  2. Distress the Wreath with Adirondack Meadow ink using the Blending Tool in a circular manner.  Take the ink pad, pop off the lid, and using a direct-to-paper method, swirl the ink pad over the wreath. This will create interest and depth to the leaves.

  3. Using the wide end of the Pine Green marker, add veins to the leaves. Using the smaller end of the same marker, add outlines to the leaves.
  4. Using the White Gel pen, trace over the veins of the leaves.

  5. Using the Crystal Glitter glue, repeat the last step.  Set aside to dry.
  6. While the wreaths are drying, outline the leaf layers in the same manner above, using the Pine Green marker, the White gel pen, and the Glitter glue. Set aside to dry.
  7. Apply Glitter glue to the berries. Set aside to dry.

Preparing the Individual 12 Days Designs:

  1. The Partridge - Set the Cricut at 2.5". Press the Shadow Feature key, then the Partridge key to cut a shadow layer from Dark Green cardstock. Do not change the cut size!  Press the Partridge key and cut one Partridge from a lighter Green cardstock. Press the Layers key, then the Partridge key to cut a Partridge and a Pear from Yellow cardstock.
  2. Run the top two layers through the Xyron, or use a favorite adhesive, and layer to the shadow layer. Do not run the shadow cut through the Xyron, or apply ahesive, as you will attach 3-D pop dots to the backs of the shadow layer to create a 3-D look to the ornament.
  3. Use the chalks to add color to the Partridge and the Pear. I used the Dark Yellow and the Light Green chalks. Give the leaves some veins using the method above in Preparing the Wreaths, but don't apply glitter to them. Apply glitter to the breast of the Partridge and to the Pear.  Add a Wiggle Eye to the Partridge. 
  4. Add the 3-D pop dots to the backs of all the dies cuts. Do not remove the protective papers from the pop dots yet.
  5. Prepare the remaining designs representing the 12 Days of Christmas in the same manner as above. Use colors that coordinate for the papers. Add highlights using chalks, watercolors, marking pencils, colored pencils, or whatever you may have in your arsenal of art supplies.  Use glitter to add a little bling!  The idea is to add highlights to create life to your die cuts.  Give them their own personalities!

    Note:  You will need to change the cut size for the pipe (Ten Pipers Piping) to 1" to make it fit the ornament.

Assembling the Ornaments:

  1. Glue the pattered ornament to one side of a chipboard circle, using the PVA glue (unless you ran it through a Xyron machine to make it sticky). Attach the coordinating paper to the back of the ornament. Repeat with remaining 11 ornaments. Set aside and let dry.  You may want to set something heavy on top of them while drying to keep them from curling. Optional:  Add Crystal Glitter glue to the background stars after the ornaments are dry. You will need to set aside again to dry, if you add this step. (I did.)
  2. Layer the dark Green leaves on the Wreath.

  3. Place the berries around the wreath in a pleasing arrangement. There are 9 berries cut per wreath.

  4. Attach the layered Wreath to the Ornament.

  5. Arrange the ornaments in a color pattern. I arranged my as follows:  Red, Gold, Green. Repeat the same order throughout the 12 ornaments.
  6. Attach the 12 Days of Christmas die cuts to each Ornament prepared with the pop-dots to create a 3D look.
  7. Cut ribbon to about 12" to 14". Attach ribbon to the top of the Ornaments and tie them to a ribbon banner, or to a Pine Bough Swag decorated with lights and Poinsettias.
  8. If desired, finish the backs of the ornaments with stamps, stickers, collage elements, photos, etc.
  9. Be sure to sign your work.

Hang your banner up and enjoy your materpiece!

For your viewing pleasure, here are the individual 12 Days of Christmas ornaments:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a Patridge in a Pear Tree

On the 2nd day - Two Turtle Doves

Day 3 - Three French Hens

Day 4 - Four Calling Birds

Day 5 - Five Golden Rings

Day 6 - Six Geese A-laying

Day 7 - Seven Swans A-swimming

Day 8 - Eight Maids A-milking

Day 9 - Nine Ladies Dancing

Day 10 - Ten Lords A-leaping

Day 11 - Eleven Pipers Piping

Day 12 - Twelve Drummers Drumming

 Note:  As I was going through the ornaments, arranging them in order,  it occurred to me that the individual days didn't correlate with the song we all know so well, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  I re-arranged the ornaments to go with the song, above. You will probably notice a different order on the actual banner itself, as I followed the Cricut order.  At any rate, this is a project that is fun and can be shared with children, with supervision. And it makes a great decoration on the mantle or hanging across a wall.

 My holiday wish for you is for peace, happiness, and good health during this holiday season and throughout the New Year!








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3 Responses »

  1. How adorable. Very good tutorial

  2. Bea,
    Your banner is beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to show how you put it all together. Have a Merry Christmas!

  3. Thank you for that lovely display. Very nice. Simple enough even I could do it.
    Great directions. Happy Holidays. MJ