Friday 25 December 2015

A Vintage Merry Christmas

I am so pleased that we welcome you on this very special day to say -

(photo courtesy of Carpe Diem Designs)

All the Creative Guides.

We are also here to welcome a very special guest who is well known in blogland and I will hand straight over to her to to introduce herself and show us a very lovely project, perfect for the day.


It is so wonderful to be here at A Vintage Journey on Christmas Day!

I am so pleased to be able to join in with Annie's challenge that was a total dream to do!...I am so happy to be here, I can't wait to show you what I made for you!

....but first let me introduce myself...

My name is Laura and I have a passion for crafts. I have always been creative and I do a lot of crafts.
I love Scrapbooking, crafting with stamps and inks, I paint - watercolour, acrylic, fabric and glass. I love to draw. I do crochet, knitting, woodwork, pyrography, candle making, servietten technique, sewing, cross stitch, tapestry. I love doing patchwork, pottery and cake decorating. I love making dolls house miniatures...the list goes on and on. 

I really love the 'how to' part of crafting...Can I do this? would I make that?...Would that work? - That to me is the magic of crafts.

Today I would like to show you my Vintage Christmas decoration

  No inks or paints? stamps or stencils?....or diecuts?.....

No, this was a project that began with a printed sheet of photos, some cotton material and some Decoart Matte Medium. The tools used were a paintbrush and a brayer. Minimalist equipment for sure!

As this was being made for A Vintage Journey it had to be inspired by Tim Holtz. Like all crafters here I love the work he does and the items he uses, but for me one thing that stands out is the vintage photos and images he uses in his work. I really love to get the photobooth sets out for projects and the Found Relatives set is one of my most treasured craft items. In fact I like them so much they can be hard to use because I want to keep them!

So for this project I decided to focus on photographs - I hunted the internet for Vintage Christmas Photographs and I tried to select ones that were in the style of the photographs that Tim uses. I also found some quotes and added them....

Image transfer is a well known technique, but I will explain how I did it. You can use any image for image transfer - some work better than others. I find that laser printed images work really well.  Ink-jet prints, while the image does come out, are usually slightly blurred. The quality of the image is also affected by what you are transferring it is great to experiment and see what effects you get with different textured you will see later the cotton material had a fortunate/unfortunate (depending on your view) reaction to being roughly handled.

I set the photographs up to print using paintshop. I also took this time to check brightness and contrast. I wanted a variety of tones, so if some photos had a slight colour I left this as it was because I always love it when Tim Holtz tints B&W photos.  All photos with any lettering were reversed before printing so they would be the right way round on the finished transfer. I added the images and arranged them into a collage style format. To save ink waste I formed the pictures into a rough boot shape as I knew not all the paper would be used.

I applied a generous layer of Matte Medium to the cotton material. It is important that when the image is applied it should have a good contact with the glue and material. Make sure all areas have a decent covering of glue. If parts peel back too easily reapply the glue and stick down again. The sheet of paper needs to be burnished to ensure the paper is really pressed into the glue. A good way to do this is to use a brayer. Brayer it for about a minute...going over and over it in different directions...

Leave the image to dry for at least 12 hours before trying to remove the paper! It will be touch dry quite quickly, but leave it alone! Don't be tempted to remove the paper before this time otherwise this happens....

Yes, I was a bit to eager...Image transfer requires patience. As you can see the image is barely there - a little too rustic I think!

This version worked better - It was left overnight to dry and I worked slowly removing the paper. I would damp the surface down with a sponge and gently rub away the paper...then leave it to dry and re-apply the water and taking more paper off.

It may take several attempts to remove all the paper. Here you can see I thought all the paper was gone, but when the image dried you can see clouds of white paper still covering the image. It took about five goes before all the paper was removed.

Now it is all done! And the image is crystal clear...

 I cut out a template for the Christmas stocking.

I cut out another stocking shape from plain cotton

Now there are the two pieces of the stockings ready for sewing

I turned the tops of the stockings over and ironed them flat which makes it easier to sew. The stitches here don't have to be perfect as they will be hidden by the lace

I cut two strips of crochet lace and glued them to the top of the stockings

When the glue had dried I joined both stockings together (images on the inside) and hand stitched around the edge to hold them in place

Then I machine stitched around the stocking

And turned the stocking the right way round and hey presto - A photograph decorated stocking! Now just to add some final vintage decoration...

....and here it is!

Sadly, despite all my best efforts to have a pristine, clear image transfer - some of the image rubbed off slightly during the struggle to turn the stocking the right way. The matte medium doesn't leave the cotton very pliable and it isn't easy to work with - but Tim always says "Embrace imperfection"..and while the images are no longer 'perfect' they do have that lovely rustic shabby chic look...which can actually be hard to recreate....happy accidents!

It certainly was worth the effort and will be a lovely vintage element to our Christmas decorations this year!

I cut holly and embroidered leaves out of material and used a burgundy button and a twine bow as part of the stocking decoration

Here I used a strip of tartan material and lace along with more holly and twine.

Thank you so much to the Vintage Journey team for having me here....It is so lovely to be sharing Christmas Day with all of you! I have really enjoyed making this and I hope my Vintage Photograph Decoration adds some inspiration to your current challenge.

Wishing you all the very best for a very happy New Year in 2016!

Happy Crafting


A huge thank you to Laura for creating this perfect decoration for today and I am sure Santa filled it with lots of goodies. From all of us Laura have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Wishing you all peace and happiness for Christmas 2015.

huge hugs Brenda and the Creative Guides.


  1. Love your vintage stocking and the fantastic technique you used to create it too. Merry Christmas to all on Vintage Journey. Hugs Rita xx

  2. Beautiful Vintage stocking! Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.
    Linda xxx

  3. I love this! Especially that it is NOT perfect and has this shabby chic touch to it! The spots where the images got worn off a little add such lovely depth and texture to this magical Christmas project! What a brilliant project and idea!

    Merry Christmas to AVJ and to you, Laura!

    Claudia x

  4. How very clever! Absolutely love what you did with those amazing vintage photos, a perfect project for the theme, so original, - who would not love a wonderful stocking like that! Happy Christmas to everyone!

  5. What a wonderful creative project Laura! thank you so much for joining us as a Guest Creative Guide and for sharing just how you made this lovely vintage stocking! I love all the images you found and cropped together! The holly and lace are the perfect accents for it too! Merry Christmas everyone! Julia xx

  6. Thanks for joining us today Laura - your lovely project is a delight and so perfect for today. The vintage photos that you used are so fun to look at. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  7. This is such a beautiful project Laura and I think the slight rubbing off gives the stocking a wonderful 'aged' feel. Thanks for joining us a Guest. Anne

  8. beautiful vintage stocking! thank you for sharing & happy new year!

  9. What a fabulous decoration for Christmas, Laura! Your step by step is brilliant, thanks for sharing.

  10. Always in awe when the sewing machine comes out, and adore the vintage image transfer. Wonderful Christmas Day creation, thanks Laura. Nikki

  11. Lovely vintage stocking, love he imagery and image transfer. The stocking is a fabulous idea, love it. Tracy x

  12. Wow Laura - WHAT A PROJECT - just the photo transfer alone must have taken forever - that was a big transfer! But sooooo worth your efforts. Your stocking is just FABULOUS. Totally in LOVE with the Vintage photos you found. Your stocking turned out beautiful and FUN too. Oh and thank you for such a SUPER tutorial too. Really loved seeing this - made my Christmas Day perfect - thanks bunches. Hugs. j.

  13. Your Vintage Christmas stocking is fabulous ! Laura - love your chosen images all collaged together and thanks so much for sharing the transfer technique you have used to create this cleverly crafted vintage beauty . Very Inspiring . Wishing a wonderful 2016 x

  14. A fantastic project - brilliant use of all those lovely vintage images, and it looks even better in real life!
    Alison xx

  15. What a gorgeous stocking Laura, I love how the images have their lost and found edges, adds to the perfect vintage Christmas feeling! Thanks so much for sharing your technique, I've not tried the matte medium for image transfers but am definitely going to give it a try now! Thank you for sharing your talent with us all and hope you had a wonderful Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year! Deb xo

  16. Wow! So glad you took the time to show us how you did this and what NOT to do! The quality of the print is incredible and I'm yet to get something as good (but now I know...)with this technique.