Sunday, June 8, 2014

Christmas in June

Hello everyone! I have a fun project to share this evening. This month’s Inspiration Emporium challenge is Christmas in June and there is a fabulous prize for one lucky winner who plays along: $50 gift certificate to the IE store.
I decided to play along and make a new decorative item to display on my entertainment center. Every year I have a bunch of ideas but usually wait too long to start them and sadly they just stay ideas. But not this year – I can now say I have completed one of them.
And here it is – a tower made from 3” altered trading blocks.


Two sides of the tower spell out words, “Noel” and “Xmas”, and the other two sides are covered with panels that have been embossed.


To begin, I cut out four artist trading blocks using the Block/Cube/Bank 3D XL Scoreboards Die (Sizzix) and mat board. Once cut out I painted all of the panels using Ruby – Dina Wakley Media Paint. Once dry I roughed up the edges with a Tim Hotlz sanding tool and then sponged the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.
For two sides of the blocks I wanted to add some shiny panels so I covered cardstock with Metal Foil Tape, cut in 2.5” squares and embossed using various embossing folders: Bricked, Rulers, Patchwork, and Blueprints. After rounding the corners I layered on Black Soot Distress Cardstock and adhered to the blocks (at this point blocks are still unassembled). To tone down the silver of the foil I rubbed on some Latte Alcohol Ink (Ranger). I also used this alcohol ink on many of the other metal embellishments.
Before assembling the blocks I wanted to decorate a couple sides of them with embellishments that would need to wrap around a side. For one I used black twill ribbon and a buckle to mimic the lock of Santa’s belt. 

For another I used a Christmas Wordband and Jute String. At this point I assembled the blocks together. For the bottom-most block I adhered some large rock jewels (the ones you find in the floral department) on the inside. I did this because the embellishments on the top were making it a bit tippy – this provided some much needed stability.
Speaking of the top, it was decorated with a couple of rosettes cut from Motif Resist Paper (Idea-ology) and the Mini Paper Rosettes Die. I swiped some Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters Distress Paint over the paper to give it color. Once the paint was dry I assembled the rosettes and adhered them to the top ATB. I also added a pull knob and some Letterpress blocks (colored with Shabby Shutters Distress Paint).


For the two sides covered in letters I started with Grungeboard Alphas that I covered in Distress Paint – Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint. Once dry I added a coating of Glossy Accents and then covered with Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint Distress Glitter. Oh glitter, how I love thee. Once dry I glued the letters to the cubes. I did add a metal number brad to the one.

A few more embellishments were added. I used Christmastime Remnant rubs to decorate an acrylic tag then added a piece of Peeled Paint Distress cardstock behind it and finished with a star and some baker’s twine. I used the same cardstock and rubons to embellish a bottle cap. Once assembled I filled the bottle cap with Glossy Accents.

To put it all together – I cut some 2” square spacers from wood and painted them black. I also painted four small wooden spools black. Once dry I adhered the blocks together with the spacers between. I then attached the feet (wooden spools).

It took a bit of work but the final product was worth the effort.  If you have any questions just let me know… and I would love to hear what you think about it! :)

Coupon Alert!  If you are shopping at the Inspiration Emporium you can use coupon code fatcatstamper for 10% off your order. Pictured below are links to some of the products I used to create this project.


  1. What a fun idea ... must feel great to have done it :)

  2. What a fun way to decorate for small spaces. Love all the detail. thanks as always for sharing.

  3. This Artist Trading Block tower is amazing! Love each and every little detail- and am also impressed that you are ready for Christmas :-) Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for your sweet comments! I love hearing from you. :)