Countdown to Halloween: Halloween Countdown Calendar

13 Oct

What day is it today?

Mr. Lupescu will tell us!

Good job Mr. Lupescu!

Last year I tackled a pretty monumental sewing project (for me), my Halloween countdown calendar.

Halloween Countdown
Notice the dead plants… I think it adds to the atmosphere.

I saw the hearse pattern forever ago and knew immediately I needed to make something with it (I was thinking a skirt), but when the idea to make a calendar reanimated itself in my brain I knew it was perfect.

I searched EVERYWHERE for a good countdown calendar tutorial. I figured I could even use Advent calendars – the fabric would just be a little different. I ended up basing mine off of this one over at The Art of Darkness.  I liked the idea of sewing all the pockets in a row.  It reduced the amount of error I could make in measuring and I need all the help in the world with that.  I knew I wanted a header and a snazzier day 31, though so I played around a LOT with graph paper.  I hate math and I found myself calculating and recalculating how much room I had to fiddle with.

Eventually, I ended up with this as the header:

Rich Man, Poor Man
“One and all will here and stay,
Come and dance the Macabray.”

No I’m not a terrible speller.  The quote is from “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. At first I wanted a quote from the catacombs in Paris, but decided this was much more light-hearted and in tune with the fabric.

I chose a font I liked from dafont (Rock Show Whiplash) and printed it onto the fabric.  Some people have asked how I did that, so here’s a quick explanation.

*Cut your fabric to 8 1/2 x 11 (or the size of whatever printer paper you’re using).
*Cut a piece of freezer paper to the same size and iron it to your fabric.
*Use a glue stick to glue the freezer paper to a regular sheet of paper.
*Make sure all the little strings are clipped and neat – don’t want them snagging important printer bits!
*Print your image on it like it was a regular sheet of paper.

And that’s about it.  After it was done, I cut it into the shape of a gravestone, ironed some fusible web to the back and attached it to the main piece.  I went around the outside with an applique stitch, but I constantly changed the length of the stitches to give it a more unfinished look.

The wings on the bottom were made exactly the same way.

Man, the amount of  cat hair already collected on that thing is really scary.

The numbers were made with regular iron-on printer sheets and the same font.  They were actually the most painful part of the whole project!  I cut some of the hearses, coffins and spiderwebs from the excess fabric, attached fusible web and ironed them to the pockets.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.  I meant to make a cool little guy to go in the pockets (a ghost would be perfect for the theme), but for now it’s just Mr. Lupescu.

~ April


7 Responses to “Countdown to Halloween: Halloween Countdown Calendar”

  1. Cobwebs October 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    I love this! The header is a brilliant addition.

  2. Manda October 19, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    When you print on fabric like that, does it wash off or is it permanent?

    • April in Autumn October 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

      Since it’s not something that I’m going to be washing very often I’m not worried about it. I’m guessing if you did it on something like a t-shirt it would at least fade. I did go over it with an iron afterward to heat-set the ink.


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