Countdown to Christmas

Today, I’m sharing a vintage “Countdown 2 Christmas” book that will hold all of my holiday memories until Christmas. The book showcase numerous Papertrey Ink products, but it features Countdown to Christmas and Countdown Details designed by Heather Nichols. The new products will be available October 15th at 10 pm EST. Now, here are some photos of the book.


I picked up a vintage poetry book from my local used book store and painted it with gesso, added some ribbon, and customized the cover with Block Alphabet Upper Letter die cuts, By the Numbers die, and stamps. You can find year stamps in the Library Ledger Additions set.

Here is a photos of the book’s pages, which was inspired by a book by Maggie Holmes. I cut lots of pages out of the book  and adhered multiple pages together to make durable pages. I also stitching the pages together.

Edited to Add: The pages are stitched along the outside edges wo keep them from coming open and for aesthetics! The sewing machine does not reach the spine (mine didn’t). I also secured the pages with some fabric tape to make sure they didn’t fall out. Another commonly asked question – How long did it take – about 8 hours. Not too bad for a full day’s worth of work!

Each page represents a day closer to December 25th and a place to hold special memories. Similar to an art journal, I painted some pages with acrylic paints and others with gesso. I used Framed Out #9 die to hold the number 1 and the Library Pocket die to hold a tag for December 2nd.

For December 3rd, I stamped Background Basics: Striped Sweater and Peaceful Pinecones. The page is pretty basic and ready to hold journaling and photos. Day 4 includes lots of tags with ribbons.

I combined the design for Days 5 & 6. Painted some circles and stamped the rest. I added a little fun banner with new stamps from Countdown Details.

Day 7 holds a Framed Out #9 die cut with Countdown to Christmas stamps on Tag 6 die cut.

Day 8 showcases a calendar stamp from Countdown Details. I also used a bit of decorative stamps from Over Under Easy on Mat Stack 5 die cut. The ribbon is by May Arts.

Day 9 holds Mat Stack 3 die cut with more Countdown to Christmas stamps. Day 10 showcases Snowflake Flurries stamps and die cut.

This little stamp will be perfect for showcasing a wish list!

I stamped some diagonal stripes on the upper left corner and added some stars. Used a banner border on Day 12. The patterned paper is by Authentique.

After painting the page, I added filigree border die cuts to the center and some decorative tape.

Modern Number die cuts hold Day 15. Day 16 uses a Fabulous Frame die cut and a Count Your Blessings sentiment die cut.

I combined designs for Days 17 & 18 by adhering a large doily to the center and some washi tapes. I also added a mistletoe die cut.

Stamped a few snowflakes and added a paper bag and a damask snowflake to hold Day 20.

Another Fabulous Frames die cut holds “December” and “21” is on a Snowflake Flurries die cut. I also used a Half & Half die down the center.

Painted some stripes on Day 24 and stamped some sentiments for both days.

For Christmas Day, I left it pretty open by only adding patterned paper and stamping the calendar and some candy canes.

Let your creativity soar with Countdown to Christmas and Countdown Details to make cards as well! I used Countdown Details to make this fun card. I just love that circle polka dotted stamp. It (along with others in the set) can be used year-round (LOVE THAT)!

I stamped the snowflake image over top the polka dots in fine linen ink to make a simple background design. To make it a bit fun, I stamped “25” in the centers.

I die cut the tree (Layered Postmarks: Holiday) from simply chartreuse cardstock and stamped the sentiment in the center. I also die cut the little star from the Believe coordinating dies. The card measures 3.5″ x 5.5″.  Very simple, but a fun way to invite your family and friends to your home for a festive party or get together!

Thanks for visiting! Need more holiday inspiring ideas? Check out these great links!

Nichole Heady
Cristina Kowalczyk
Betsy Veldman
Danielle Flanders
Dawn McVey
Erin Lincoln
Heather Nichols
Jessica Witty
Maile Belles
Melissa Phillips
Back to top
  • Holly Saveur - LOVE your book!ReplyCancel

  • June K - Beautiful book, Ashley.ReplyCancel

  • Jeni Jenne - This is the most creative project I have ever seen! So beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Jill Norwood - Brilliant! Love all the painting and the cool old book you used so well! The card is lovely – cute background and tree! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Penir - Ashley, studying each detail is captivating! Honestly, your ideas are worthy of a book! I’d purchase the 1st edition! I absolutely love visiting your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Walford - This is absolutely amazing!ReplyCancel

  • jan m - How fun! Love themix and match of your colors and elements!!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Beauchaine - How did I know you would make an AMAZING Mini!!! Ashley it is GORGEOUS!!! I LOVE that you did it with a poetry book, so fitting!
    And… so beautifully done.
    You ROCK mini’s!
    Thanks for sharing

  • erin - you get me every time with your books– wow!!! And love your use of the May Arts ribbon.ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - WOW! What an amazing piece. Thank you for the used book idea as a starting off point.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - WOW, Ashley, this is absolutely FANTASTIC! So much inspiration to be found within these gorgeous pages! Love how you’ve combined paints and stamps and die cuts to make this into something so special and so pleasing to the eye. WELL DONE!ReplyCancel

  • Krista - Love the idea of sewing pages together. Any hints, tips or suggestions on the best/easiest way to do this?

    Love all the bits and pieces to this project.ReplyCancel

  • LindaM - I just love this book! Altered/minibooks are one of my favorite things, and this is DELICIOUS! I really like the way you used multiple pages stitched together to give it some “heft”–guaranteed to last past the New Year. The colors and images are exciting and vibrant. Thanks for this…BRAVO!ReplyCancel

  • Traveling Mama - This is amazing! You are all set for Christmas now!ReplyCancel

  • Angie Tieman - Wowza! What an amazing project! Thanks for sharing all those photos!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou Kemp - Your mini journal is adorable and perfect for photos and journaling the excitement of the holidays. I also think your card was clever using the 25 as a background. Thanks for sharing your creativity.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanie P - ADORE this project – how clever.

    QUESTION: How did you stitch the pages together? Using a sewing machine, it doesn’t seem like you’d be able to get so close to the binding. Did it work to just fold the covers back against each other to be able to stitch a few pages? Did you cut the pages out and somehow tape/glue/stitch/etc them back in?

    LOVE it. Can’t wait to try one.ReplyCancel

  • Donna K - Ashley – the details, ideas, tips and TIME that went into this beautiful book is amazing. I know I will refer back to this post often leading up to Christmas for ideas. Wonderful job!ReplyCancel

  • Connie C. - Another gorgeous project, Ashley. You never cease to amaze me!
    — Connie C.ReplyCancel

  • Linda in Aus - Ashley your book is AMAZINGReplyCancel

  • Bev - Outstanding! I love the artistic touches you added to various pages – wonderful details. I will look at the pictures over and over for ideas. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Tracey McNeely - Ashley I never tire of your mini albums, this is just fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • Pat K. - Your count down mini album is fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Gabby - Ashley, this advent (countdown) book is AMAZING! I love what you’ve done w/each and every page! It’s so like an art journal and I love that. All of the details … painting, stitching, die cuts, stamps, colors, designs … just super! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Voegelchen - Love, love, love your book – amazing!!ReplyCancel

  • Diana K - What a fabulous mini book – love the free and happy spirit of it. The colours are gorgeous too and so is your card.ReplyCancel

  • Jann Gray - Absolutely adore this book…you have inspired me to do something similar for this year’s December Daily/Journal Your Christmas project! So very cool!ReplyCancel

  • Cassi - This is amazing! Love the idea of using a vintage poetry book. Then I won’t mind if some pages peek through. And I have to get that countdown stamp to circle dates.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Nicholson - I am completely blown away by your awesome book. So beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for all the details photos!


  • Trell - Ash, you really outdid yourself here! You make some of the best mini albums, so I was definitely looking forward to what you were going to do with this set and you totally delivered!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda B. - This is incredible! It must have taken forever to create. It is just so very gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • kim B - I have an addition to these types of books and your is amazing. What an inspiring idea. Thank you for sharing it!ReplyCancel

  • Janet - Amazing book, Ashley! Beautiful work 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Char4355 - Asley this is fantastic!!!ReplyCancel

  • Audrey Pettit - This is BEAUTIFUL!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - This is incredible. I’m so inspired to try and make one of my own books like this! Wow. Amazing.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *