For years I've had Christmas countdown calendars (yes, plural) but to be honest I'm not a huge Halloween fan, so I'd never made one for October. But when WM[squared] came out with this amazing "Frightful" collection it just screamed (get it? Halloween? screamed? ha!) "CALENDAR" to me! I started by googling some images for ideas, and found this one that inspired me to do this:
I started with an 11x14 artist's canvas and a stack of old sheet music (I considered using old book pages as well... any cool vintage black and white background would work!). I used gel medium to adhere the papers and then give them a finishing overcoat. (Note: I wrote in the WM[squared] blog post that gel medium does not cause bubbles/wrinkles in paper... well, it did this time. I suspect b/c the paper was old, thin, and somewhat brittle. Using smaller pieces of paper would have helped, I think. I just went with it and made it wrinkle and crease on purpose.... hey, it's Halloween, so a little funky texture should just add to it, right?) After the gel medium was dry enough--just 30 minutes, maybe--I painted the edges of the canvas and onto the front a bit with black paint, then wiped some off the front with a damp paper towel so it wasn't so opaque. I also used a gridded rolling stamp from Queen & Co. for a bit more texture around the corners.
When the paint was dry, I used gel medium to adhere the ribbons and ric-rac, criss-crossing the background, then (again, with gel medium) put a black button on top of each end of ribbon. The top title piece is in a black metal frame from Basic Gray, and the bottom corner has a funky flower made (oh-so-artfully, haha!) out of white tissue paper, folded and cut in circles and scrunched up. (When you use gel medium as an adhesive like this, it needs several hours - overnight to dry properly... but once dry, it is STRONG. I also used it to attach the hanging ribbon!)
As for the flags... they're all created with pieces of the "Frightful" collection. I wanted to be able to magically send them to a one-hour developer for printing, so I sized and arranged them to fit 4 flags (either triangular or rectangular) on a 4x6 photo print. I used a Frightful playing card as a clipping mask for the other rectangles (so they are all the same size and shape). For sturdiness, I backed each printed flag with either orange or black cardstock.
It was a fun project to do... I still may not really look forward to Halloween, but I think I might enjoy the counting down to it this year! :)