Old World Christmas Plaque | A Mixed Media Project

Here I am again with an old-fashioned inspired piece I call Old World Christmas, made with scrapbook paper, ribbon, and lots of vintage charm. If you are interested in how I did it and what inspired me, then read on.


A few years ago, when I was still creating patterns for Rachel at CrochetSpot, I was looking for inspiration for my crochet designs and I ran across a cute little picture in this Christmas traditions book that I really liked. I made a similar sketch and fiddled with it before coming to the conclusion that I couldn't use it for crocheting. And yet there was a semblance of an idea lingering in my head, so I tucked the sketch away for later reference.

A few months ago I was looking back through the book for inspiration for a different outlet and I remembered this picture. I found the sketch in one of my old pattern draft tablets and started thinking.

This project is the culmination of those ideas, and I am proud of the outcome. Originally, it was going to be a framed picture but after the Give Thanks Plaque, I saw this smaller plaque by Jillibean Soup at the store and, on a whim, decided I wanted to go with the plaque instead. As with the last one, I sanded the "character" of the wood down a bit to prevent splinters.

Creating the Elements

The tree was hand drawn (by me) and bears a lovely little unique lopsidedness. I found the distressed poem on another piece of scrapbook page and decided to use the tree as a frame. Those shiny rhinestones? I've had them in my collection for probably 5 years. I used a few some time back but have had these rolling around waiting for the day I found something worthwhile to do with them. I found they make great, but simple, tree ornaments.

The little girl was harder. I re-sketched her on medium drawing paper along with the tree to get an idea of what I wanted the finished piece to look like. But unfortunately the little girl wasn't so cute. So I tried again. This time I liked it. She was little, and cute, and chubby, with the perfect original bow on her head. In an effort to make the colors bold and seamless, I used some craft markers of my sisters. Long story short, I did not like it and furthermore, ruined my best sketch. What to do? Back at the literal drawing board, I traced the ruined sketch on a thin piece of printer paper and went over it with my drawing pen. Now I was back at the same problem, how to color her. I eventually chose colored pencil and was careful to make the color as bold as I could. So far so good (though maybe not perfect), I cut her out and proceeded onto the next step.

The presents took some thinking, mostly with color choice. I love a good red and green traditional look, but I already had so much red and green on the page as it was. I think pulling blue from her dress and purple from the dolls dress added some balance to the picture.

To top it off, I dug around for some Christmas ribbon I had found recently at the store and played with a few styles of bows for the top left corner. Did you know that just because Pinterest says it works and the idea is presented with snazzy graphics, it doesn't necessarily mean that it does work? But I had some good practice. And I expressly like how this bow looks. It's kind of a typical bow with a twist. Literally.

I added a strip to the bottom as well, making it look kind of like a present itself. It may be a little difficult to see, but I stretched the ends of both ribbons over the sides of the plaque to enhance the 3D look of the picture.

Normally, a stick of glue is my mate when I scrapbook because it is so less messy than a bottle of glue. This time I already had Mod Podge Paper on hand for attaching the first page to the wood so I went ahead and used it for the rest of the picture. Aside from having to mop up corners, it worked really well.

Although I haven't yet sold any of my mixed media pieces, I am questioning whether I want to add this one to my Etsy shop. At least this year. I have such a list to complete before Christmas that I would kill myself if I added to it. And yet I tell myself that it is business and I should do it anyway. Eek! We'll just have to see. (Update: you can order this piece now! Click here to see it!)

As always, I would love to know what you think about my work. Send me your thoughts in the comments below or in an email! I plan to add request orders to my site really soon.

If you are a crocheter, come back soon to see my next Christmas garland pattern! PDF copies will be available for purchase at Ravelry and Etsy!

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