Pop it Ups

The Twelve Days of Christmas Mantelscape

November 22, 2014

Nancy Walker is back as today’s Guest Designer, showing us how to create this stunning Twelve Days of Christmas Mantelscape.


The Twelve Days of Christmas Mantelscape

By Nancy Walker

Since Karen Burniston joined forces with Elizabeth Craft Design, I have been excited to see what she designs next. I have followed her designs for years, and these new wafer-thin dies are a dream! I have been delighted that all shapes needed to make a complete card with various levels of mats and focal points are included in the die sets. This makes storage a dream. The Accordion Fancy Label die has become my favorite. There is no end to what can be done with this set. And now—a scene for your mantel!


1. Choose a set of coordinating stamps. This project uses a stamp set based on the Twelve Days of Christmas from the familiar old song.

2. Cut number of panels needed for the stamp set from patterned paper. This project uses a 6” square pad of various coordinating Christmas cardstocks. It is acceptable to use all the same paper patterns or one or two coordinating ones.

3. Using one of the dies from the set that will be the correct size for the images chosen, cut these into squares from heavy white cardstock. Bristol board or hot press watercolor paper takes water media and markers very well without much bleeding.

4. Stamp images on white cardstock, cut close to the size of the die chosen. Note: the title for this piece was too large to use a smaller die, so an extra panel was cut from the hot press watercolor paper and trimmed off so it fits flush with the pivoting fancy label inside the panel.


5. Stamp images in black or heat emboss with black fine detail powder. If using water media to color the stamped images, heat embossing will allow more control with the watercolor. Alcohol markers were used to color these images, so a black ink that is suggested for use with alcohol markers was used.

6. Color all images and cut with chosen die.


7.  If using one of the smaller dies, and there is another larger one that can be used for a mat, cut mats from solid cardstock that coordinates with the panels.


8.  Using Distress Inks and an Ink Application tool, add some warm color to the edges of the colored panels. Then switch to a clean applicator tool and edge each colored panel and each colored mat in gold ink. Then use a metallic gold paint pen to draw a controlled edge around each mat. Hint: cut a small slit in the applicator tip, prime the pump, and run the pen around the edge with the paper inserted into the slit. It will not be perfect, but it is an easy way to accomplish this task.






1.  Adhere each finished matted image to panels onto pivot area in the middle.

2.  OPTIONAL: If the chosen cardstock is “wimpy” as much printed cardstock is, add a reinforcement panel on the back. Since this is a large piece, it will need reinforcement. Smaller projects will be fine without them.

3.  To make a reinforced panel, cut a panel out of either coordinating cardstock or plain white. This project uses white and then each panel is stamped with a background Christmas words stamped in green and then sprayed with gold glitzy spray to match the gold on the front. This way the center won’t be too heavy and can be trimmed down as shown here:



1.  If a smaller accordion fold card has never been made, it would be good to practice on some plain panels to get the idea. Following instructions with the die (or online at one of the excellent YouTube videos by Karen Burniston and Els van de Burgt showing you how to assemble an accordion card), practice along with the person teaching on the video.

2.  Remember to lay out the panels with the “wing” on the right. Adhere some double sided adhesive on the front of each flap or wing and on the front of the two little tabs that will connect the center panels. Now “exercise” that flap and the tabs a little by turning them up at the fold line and then flattening them back out.

3.  Put adhesive on all flaps. Begin with the first panel and add the second panel to the flap, adhering the flap to the back of the next panel on its left side. Do not put the second panel flush with the fold line. It needs a little “wiggle” room so it can open and close. Repeat this method, assembling the first four panels. Then repeat this for each of the next three panels.



4. Decide if the mantelscape needs to begin with a mountain fold or a valley fold and then fold each group accordingly. This project begins with a valley fold on the outer frame panels so that the title page shows up better when on the mantel. The inner panels will be a mountain fold over the valley fold. Once that decision is made, take each center on the little pivot points and “exercise” them once.

5. The pivoting centers of each panel fold the opposite way, so take the first two panels and adhere the tabs to the back of the next pivoting panel. That will put the centers in the “mountain” fold pattern. Tape the next center panel going the opposite way as shown in the photo or the directions from online. See next photo.


6.  Do this with all the rest of the panels already put together. It is better to make 4 smaller versions of this project than to add one at a time. { To quote a favorite teacher, “Ask me how I know.”}

7. Now merely join the first section with the second section via the flaps and join the tabs the same way on each previous section. Repeat with the next two sections, and finally join the two large sections in the middle.

8. Be very careful when handling this many sections at the same time. It is better to keep the section being worked on folded as best as possible while joining the next panel. Be aware that the pivot area is the most fragile part of this panel, so do not put too much stress on any of the pivot points.

9. Once totally assembled, it can be pressed gently in a single stack to “set” the folds. Remember to alternate mountain and valley folds. When the outer panel is a valley as seen above in the sample, the center panels come forward and are joined together. The next folded area will be coming forward in a mountain fold, while the center panel will go towards the back in a valley fold. This is an excellent pattern for a decorative piece.

10. A project like this can also be used on the center of a table by finishing both sides with images. Reinforcement will not be necessary if two panels are combined for this method.






Elizabeth Craft Designs – 

771 – Accordion Fancy Label

506 – Transparant Double Sided Tape – 6mm

Others – 

Twelve Days of Christmas stamp set – Stampington & Company

Memento ink – Tuxedo Black

Copic Sketch markers

Cardstock: red, green, white

Hot Press Watercolor paper – Fabriano

Distress Ink and Ranger Ink Blending Tool

Delicata Gold ink

Gold spray mist

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  • Mary Prasad December 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Wow! What a great project!

  • Kelly Booth November 30, 2014 at 7:54 am


  • jancastle November 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    TFS…I just ordered the stamp set and hope to give this a try – probably for next year…LOL!

  • TracyM #6773 November 23, 2014 at 3:50 am


  • BeverlyBL November 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    What a beautiful stamp set. Love what you did with it. Your keepsake is lovely.

  • Frances November 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    what a fun decoration this would make which you can keep bringing out year after year!

  • Raquel Mason November 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    What a great decoration!

  • Jane Hambly November 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    This die is on my list love Elizabeth dies .
    The card is stunning thr reinforcing is a brilliant idea too thanks for the tips

  • barb macaskill November 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Absolutely amazing!! I am going to try to do something similar but in a different theme!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Diane Hover November 22, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Wow….what an amazing decoration!! Lots of work, but so well worth it!!

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