Monday, September 14, 2015

Nativity Inspiration

It's Day Five of Papertrey Ink's September release countdown. Welcome, and thank you for joining us! 

Today we are featuring two more holiday product collections, both with some truly beautiful religious imagery and sentiments. This month's addition to the Petite Places series is a Nativity scene. As we've come to expect, Betsy has packed both the stamp set and the die set with the most amazing details. Also featured today is O Holy Night, an elegant sentiment set designed by Dawn McVey. They pair beautifully!

Today's featured products, along with the rest of the September release, will be available at 10 pm EST September 15 in the Papertrey Ink store.

I've got three Nativity projects to share with you today, beginning with a Christmas card.

 I used the Sentiment Splits: Curve Vertical die to cut a mask out of scrap card stock. I taped it to the bottom and did some sponging along the top edge of the mask to create a horizon line. Next I stamped the Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus image in black, as well as the tree and the Star of Bethlehem, also in black, leaving room for a die-cut stable. Before adhering the stable, though, I used the Star of Bethlehem layer from Scene It: Bethlehem as a stencil and sponged the stars. With all the sponging and stamping complete, I then adhered the stable. 

I actually stamped this stable with one of the O Holy Night sentiments. I know that probably seems random, but I originally stamped it to go with a different project. That one didn't work out, but I liked the pop from the black ink on the Kraft, particularly with the other elements stamped in black, so I decided to use that die-cut here. 

Below the stable is a three-layer stacked sentiment die-cut from Christmas Cheer. I had to do some hunting in my stash for the word "blessings" in a size and font that would work here. Of course, I could have used one of the many sentiment components from Christmas Cheer, but for some reason, the nativity scene had me fixated on the word "blessings." I found this one in the Etched Easter Eggs set, and it is perfect. (Yes, sometimes I can be a bit OCD about these things!)

STAMPS: Petite Places: Nativity; Etched Easter Eggs, O Holy Night
DIES: Petite Places: Nativity; Christmas Cheer, Scene It: Bethlehem
INK: Soft Stone, True Black, Classic Kraft
PAPER: Fresh Snow Linen card stock; Stamper's Select White card stock; Classic Kraft card stock
OTHER: liquid glue, sponge dauber, foam adhesive

Next up is a tag specifically designed for mass production. I'm feeling so ahead of the game with Christmas tags this year!

The how-to on these: First, I used the Minute To Make: Holiday Tags die to cut three tags out of the new white heavyweight tag stock. I forgot to mention the tag stock yesterday, but I used it for those tags, too. I can't say enough about it! It's soooo thick and sturdy (perfect for tags) and it stamps beautifully. And I think its heft just makes it feel that much more luxurious.

Anyway, cut three tags from white card stock (remember this die set comes with three identical tags wired together, so you can cut three tags with just one pass through your die-cutting machine), and three tags from Sheer Basics Vellum Patterned paper.

On the white tags, stamp sentiments from O Holy Night in Versamark and heat emboss in silver (or to make things go along even quicker, stamp in metallic silver ink). Stamp the Mary/Joseph/Jesus image and the Star of Bethlehem in True Black. Adhere a Soft Stone stable die-cut and a Soft Stone roof layer. String one stamped tag and one vellum tag together with True Black baker's twine.

And here's how it looks in action, tied to a kraft milk carton gift box. (I found 2-packs of these, in both kraft and white, in the Target Dollar Spot pretty recently.)

STAMPS: Petite Places: Nativity; O Holy Night
DIES: Petite Places: Nativity; Minute to Make: Holiday Tags
INK: True Black, VersaMark
PAPER: 160# Tag Stock, Soft Stone card stock, Sheer Basics Vellum Patterned Paper
OTHER: Target gift box, Smokey Shadow ribbon, True Black baker's twine

Last project for today: a nativity Christmas ornament:

I've had this empty PTI twine spool strung up as an ornament since last Christmas, but the spool was still just bare wood waiting to be decorated. As soon as I started thinking about ways to use the Nativity products, I thought a nativity silhouette might be just the thing for my sweet little ornament. Turns out, this was super easy to make - bonus!

I cut a piece of holiday-themed newsprint from my patterend paper stash (maybe Echo Park or My Mind's Eye?) to fit the spool, then stamped the different nativity images in black all the way around, and adhered the paper around the spool. That's it - really!

Oh wait, I did wrap some silver tinsel around the spool below the scene. And I adhered some greenery and a pinecone to the top. And I did give it a coat of matte multi-medium to help protect the paper from wear and tear.

I do like the simple, rustic look here -- it fits the nativity scene quite well.

As I said above, I had already turned the spool into an ornament sometime last year, so I don't have any assembly photos for you. But here are the basic instructions. (There may be a better way to assemble -- I'm known to overthink things!)
  1. Sponge Classic Kraft and Dark Chocolate ink onto the spool to age it.
  2. Take a length of rope or twine, approximately 18-20" long. Fold it in half. Thread the top, fold first, through the middle of the spool, stopping just when the fold peeks out from the bottom. (You might have to use a paper piercer or pair of tweezers to help pull it through, depending on how thick your rope is.)
  3. At the fold, tie on some jingle bells (buttons would work too) using some thread or lightweight string or twine. Knot securely and trim off the ends closely so they don't show. This will keep the rope from pulling back through the middle of the spool.
  4. On the top of the spool, you'll have what looks like two pieces of rope. Make a small loop from one piece of rope. This will be your hanging loop. While pinching the loop to keep it in place, use the remaining rope, as well as the other length of rope, to tie off in a bow. Trim the ends, and embellish as desired.
STAMPS: Petite Places: Nativity
INK: True Black, Classic Kraft, Dark Chocolate
PAPER: holiday text print (source unknown)
OTHER: empty PTI twine spool, rope, tinsel, rusty jingle bells, matte multi-medium

For more Nativity Inspiration, be sure to visit the Papertrey team:

Thanks for visiting! 


Sandy Kay said...

Amy I love everything you've done, and especially the spool ornament - how special is that!!??

Sandy Kay said...

Amy I love everything you've done, and especially the spool ornament - how special is that!!??

jan metcalf said...

Your card is stunning with the neutral colors, love the sentiment stamped on the stable! And then your spool ornament! Love it! My mind is already designing in a new direction for the holidays!

Mihaela said...


Joyously Noelle said...

Your projects are just lovely!

Mary W said...

Thank you so much for the inspiration. I've had several of my grandmother's wooden spools saved for years and have now found the perfect way to create a keepsake that is useful and beautiful.

Leigh Penner said...

I love all of your projects, Amy! Your first card is so gorgeous and I love how you added the "blessings" -- I was hoping it was included in the Nativity set. I love the Christmas Cheer dies, but I might have to get the Etched Easter stamp set to use with them.... And your tags are so sweet and Sage and I are swooning over your ornament that you made with the PTI spool! I have several of those, so I'm pretty sure we'll be making some of those for gifts or for our own tree this year.... Thanks for the inspiration!

Marybeth said...

Amy all your projects are wonderful today! I love the random stamped words on the stable,it gives it so much depth . I did that once with birch tree so I think it's a great idea! Love the ornament on the spool simple and pretty! Love your work,

Cynthia said...

love the tags!

A Cup of Cold Water said...

Gorgeous post Amy. Every project is stunning.
You gave us lots of ideas to use ourselves!
Thanks for sharing

Leslie S. said...

Beautiful projects!! Love the tags~

JanetB said...

All your projects with your personal touch, are beautiful. I especially like the empty spool ornament, a very good idea!

Holly Saveur said...


Diane Jaquay said...

Your projects are all really fabulous, Amy!!!

Shari said...

Wow! So beautiful.

karenb said...

I love your projects, Amy! Especially the first card! Beautiful!

Queen Mary said...

Gorgeous Amy, as always, but this collection has just captured my heart, and the way you have mixed and matched the pieces has me on the edge of my seat to get the collection and get started!

MTPatB said...

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. The nativity set is so nice. I'm sure it will be a huge seller.

María Alba Negrón said...

Hi Amy,

You blew me away with these projects!!! I am soooo happy that you joined the PTI designers!

María Alba

Kathy Krug said...

These are beautiful projects, I love the Chritmas ornament.

Marisa said...

ADORE yoru card - so nice to see the true meaning of Christmas in stamp form :) Amazing set of samples - all of them!! Christmas docoration is adorable!!

Brithzi said...

Wow, Amy! Gorgeous projects. Love these Christmas sets. You have given me so many ideas. Thanks.

Tracey McNeely said...

Amy this ornament is darling! What a creative way to use old wood spools. You always create such unique and fabulous projects. 😊

Oliwiaen said...

Fabulous projects, Amy! Love every piece!