Advent Frame | Merry & Bright | Melissa Vining

Hi everyone!! It’s Melissa here and today I have a Christmas home decor project to share with you that I created with the stunning new MERRY & BRIGHT collection!! Every year our kids have chocolate advent calendars, but this year I decided to make something for advent with more meaning.  When I first saw the ‘COUNTDOWN‘ patterned paper I knew exactly what I’d make.

Christmas has a special meaning to our family, and I decided to create an advent calendar with 25 biblical scriptures for kids.  I had some second hand cloth that I picked up in our local thrift shop, and it was perfect to create little bags which I sewed together on my sewing machine.  I just cut out 50 rectangles of fabric one night in front of the tv. I sewed each number on top and then sewed them into bags.  I decorated them very simply with glimmer paste and crystal drops, and I added a ‘PUFFY GOLD STAR’ onto the 25th.

For each of the scriptures I stamped a clipboard and numbered them 1 to 25 with circular number stamps.  I wrote the scripture reference only to encourage my older two kids to look up the scripture.  This also gave me extra room to embellish with ‘DIE CUT EPHEMERA‘ and ‘ACCESSORY STICKERS’.  I also added more glimmer paste and gold crystal drops.

Here is a close up of some of my stamped clipboards. I had a lot of fun adding texture and shine to the ephemera pieces and stickers!

I purchased the frame from Kmart and painted the back white.  I adhered the bags on craft foam with my hot glue gun.  I added a flower on the top right of the frame.

And I added an adorable house on the bottom left of the frame.

I used some really old letter stickers from my stash to spell out ADVENT, and added more glimmer paste.

This home decor piece turned out far better than I ever imagined, and I’m looking forward to using it every December from now on!  I love that its interactive, textural and beautifully embellished with this gorgeous collection!! Theres nothing wrong with chocolate advent calendars, but I love that this one is homemade and has a lot of meaning to our family.  I think the 25th might just be my favourite!!

I hope I inspired you to use this gorgeous collection off the page.

Enjoy your Christmas crafting during this wonderful time of year!

Melissa xx

Merry Christmas | Merry and Bright Collection | Anna Blades

Hi CVS friends!

It’s Anna back with you here on the blog. Today I’m sharing my first layout featuring the gorgeous “Merry & Bright” collection. I love the colors! It’s so sweet and soft that every project made with it has magic. For today’s layout, I used this beautiful picture of my sister and my brother-in-law with their first son.

I started this page with the “Holly Background”  Cut to You cut file. I backed it with the “Joy to the world” and the “Oh Christmas tree” papers from the A5 Paper Stack. I think it looks great, and green and soft pink go very well together. Then, I put foam squares behind it and glued the cut file to the “Star Bright” paper.

I placed the picture on the right side, with a leave overlapping it. The background of the photo is full of leaves, so I like how the cut file seems an extension of it. Then I created three clusters around the photo using the floral die cuts from the Ephemera pack. Flower die cuts are always my favorite item from every collection. To add a touch of gold, I placed two puffy stars on top of the clusters.

For my title, I used one of the stickers from the Accessory Stickers that says “Merry Christmas”. I stacked it on top of one of the A5 papers to frame it. I also raised it with foam squares. As the final touch, I put a flair button and a little red bell in the upper right corner. I framed the page with the B side of the “Countdown” paper.

I love how it turned out and how pretty the cut file looks. I hope it gives you some inspiration for your holiday pages.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful day!

Anna xx

Hello Lovely | More Than Words | Kylie Kingham.

Hey there friends! It’s Kylie back with you today for ‘Throwback Thursday’, where I have created a layout featuring a past collection. It was and still is…. one of my favourite collections of all time- ‘More Than Words’.  Just when I was thinking my stash was pretty well done, I was able to create yet another layout design!

I selected a white piece of card stock for my background and added some simple watercolour stripes and splashes in yellow. Going through my pile of embellishments, I had noticed that I had quite a few of the ‘frame’ die cuts. Once my paint had dried I began layering the frames over and under each other for a fun background detail.

My photo was trimmed down to approximately 3″x 4″ and backed with some of the ‘COLLAGE’ paper before being adhered to the centre of my page with foam tape. Working on diagonals, I began layering elements from the chipboard stickers and die cut pack. Some were added with foam adhesive to give my page more dimension. I had been hoarding the gorgeous Deer chipboard sticker for so long because I love it so much. Now it is finally on a layout!

Sometimes when I complete a layout I am often left feeling it needs a little ‘extra’ something. That is how I felt with this design, so I added several Butterfly die cuts on various angles across my page to bring balance to my completed works.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope my layout encourages you a little to dig into your own stash of supplies to have fun creating something special! Until next time,



Joy | Merry and Bright collection | Tarrah McLean

Hi friends!

It’s Tarrah back with you here on the Cocoa Vanilla blog and today I have a new Christmas themed layout to share with you featuring the stunning Merry and Bright collection! I just can’t get enough of this gorgeous Christmas collection! It’s my most favourite Christmas collection ever!

I decided to use the gorgeous large Christmas Tree die-cut and the backing paper but used it slightly differently to how it comes. I pulled off the die-cut from the backing patterned paper and backed all the spaces with papers from the 6′ x 8′ paper pad. These papers were different to the patterns on the backing paper it comes with. Once it was all backed, I added craft foam underneath and adhered it back to the backing paper, however I moved it over to the right so that the tree pattern underneath could be seen. I love the shadows this creates on my page.

On the right, I layered some of the awesome 3′ x 4′ journal cards under the photo of my Mum with my boys and niece. To the right of the photo I tucked in a tree die-cut and also added 2 over on the left, I tucked one in and the other is adhered on top. I also decorated the tree with a few more die-cuts and accessory stickers too. The flairs are super cute from the Merry and Bright collection, I added the pink one that says 25 December on the left side of the page.

I added more die-cuts including some hearts and phrases and those gorgeous gold puffy stars! One had to be added to the top of the tree and I added 2 more to the other embellishment clusters. To finish I trimmed down the backing patterned paper and backed it with the ‘B’ side of the Countdown paper. I then trimmed this paper down again and backed the entire layout with gold glitter cardstock. Lastly I splattered some gold mist around the layout and stamped the date stamp.

Thanks so much for stopping by the Cocoa Vanilla blog today, I hope you enjoyed my layout and that you were inspired in some way!

Happy Christmas creating!!

Tarrah x

Merry & Bright Mini Album | Rachel Lowe

Hi CVS friends, with Christmas almost upon us and recently receiving the new Merry & Bright collection I just had to make a mini album in preparation of those Christmas photos.

I only made a 6 pages in this album because to be honest most of my Christmas photos are usually less than average, but I can add the best or highlights!

I used a cut file from the Silhouette Design Store. To protect my album cover I cut one in acetate and used an embossing file (stars) to add texture. I added a pop-pom tassel for that little something extra. I love the coloured O rings you can now get, I chose some teal ones to blend in with the colour schemes of Merry & Bright.

I used the 6×8 inch paper pad for this album, another reason I love 6×8 inch paper pads, the smaller prints are perfect for mini albums and mini albums. I used Season Greetings paper wood grain side to create a thin border and Oh Christmas Tree paper over top. I embellished with florals from the die cut ephemera, a phrase sticker from the Accessory Stickers and finished off adding a flair and puffy gold star.

Here I created a pocket and made a tag. I have used Jingle All the Way paper for the tree page and tag. I added the Santa card from the Oh What Fun paper.

So I could add multiple 2×2 inch photos I added a accordion flap to the page adding another paper element from the Oh What Fun paper.

I added two die cut baubles, a puffy star and  finished off with a sprinkle gold paint across the page. I used the Oh Christmas Tree Paper as my base paper.

For my last page which I used Star Bright paper, added a frame die cut and created an embellishment cluster. You will notice I added a machine stitched border around each tree page to add texture and definition.

You could obviously add lots more pages or create double sided pages depending on how many photos you want to add, the good thing about mini albums like this you can make them bulky and they still look great.

Well thats it from me for today! Happy creating!

Rachel X

Joy | Merry & Bright collection | Sue Plumb

Hi everyone! It’s Sue Plumb here today to share my take on this month’s beautiful “Peppermint Place” mood board that has been designed for us by Raquel Bowman. I decided to go with the Christmas theme of the board and document some photos of my boys laying under our Christmas tree last year.

Here’s a reminder of what the board looks like…

And here is my take on it, using the fabulous new ‘Merry & Bright’ collection

For my layout, I was initially drawn to the picture of the stacked lines in the top centre of the board, which inspired me to create a strip style layout. I chose 3 patterned papers – Season’s GreetingsJingle all the Way; and Oh Christmas Tree; and cut a variety of different sized pieces. I then distressed all of the edges, before layering them vertically down my page.

On top of the paper strips I added a white paper doily inspired by the lacy pattern on the lantern in the bottom left corner, then some frayed gauze for texture, and finally, my photos on top.

For my embellishments I then decided to use a cascading design, and follow the flow of my page vertically down the page. I used a mix of Die Cut Ephemera pieces including flowers, tickets, banners, and hearts.

To the right of my photo, I added the Flair Button with the two hearts on it, whilst to the left of my photo I added the die cut Christmas tree from the ephemera pack, which I popped up on a little bit of cardboard to bring it up to the same height as the photos.
For my page title I added the word JOY which I fussy cut from the Season’s Greetings paper. Underneath that I added the large floral piece from the Die Cut Ephemera pack. To finish off, I stamped the date and added a line of handwritten journalling.
I hope you will play along with our challenge this month. We have a $25 store voucher up for grad for one randomly chosen winner. To be in the running, load your entries via the Cocoa Vanilla Studio Community Group by the 31st December.
Until next time, happy scrapping!

Confort and Joy | Merry & Bright collection | Sophie Delorme

Hello Cocoa Vanilla friends !

Sophie here and I am very excited to share my first layout using the beautiful Merry & Bright Christmas collection !



I started by playing with watercolors on thick white cardstock, mixing aquas and red on the bottom of the page. I removed about a 1/2 inch of the white cardstock to adhere it on the red and pink “Jingle All the Way” patterned paper. I machine stitched around the page with aqua thread.



I teared a big chunk out of the “Count Down” paper and the “Oh Christmas Tree” paper that I put on the center of my layout to sit my photos.



They are photos of Sabrina and our dog Fiona right after playing in the first snow (so little did we have !!).



I printed the photos in black and white, added tissue paper and adhesive foam and arranged them in a horizontal line on the teared patterned paper. I tucked in a beautiful pocket card between the photos for my title.

I created two floral clusters under which I wrote down my journaling. I also created a third cluster on the upper right side of the page with a Christmas ornament, tags and stickers from the Accessory Stickers and Die Cut Ephemera pack.



Oh how I love the end-result !!!

This Christmas line, I am telling you, is just perfection ! The color scheme, the beautiful patterns, the pocket cards, the numerous embellishments…Ahhh, just can’t have enough and can’t wait to start another page !!!

Here are other close-ups :









I hope you felt inspired by my page today, thank you so much for stopping by !

Happy crafting !

Sophie xx

Sweet Memories | Merry & Bright | Raquel Bowman

Hi everyone, today I thought I would share an in detail look at my sample layout for this months Monthly Challenge called ‘Peppermint Place’. Here is a picture of the challenge in case you missed it. 


Here is the layout that I created ‘Sweet Memories’. The subject of this layout is my gorgeous daughter and the arrival of our Elf Chippy. The excitement was real the day of his initial arrival. I wish I could capture these moments and keep them forever, thankfully we have memory keeping right! Since Chippy’s arrival to our home he has been a much anticipated and loved friend of our house, who dramatically changes the feel and keeps that Christmas spirit alive. It really is just beautiful and so special. 


As you can see from the mood board I was definitely inspired by the Christmas tones in the mood board, the red tones and foliage and greenery in the board. So so beautiful. I had a lot of elements to choose from. Initially I wanted to create a wreath style design for this layout similar to in the pictures. But when I saw the bauble cut files in the Cut to You store I decided to use those as the main inspiration and the uneven drop of the baubles mimicked the bells in the bottom left corner.


I matted the white card stock background in the Candy Stripe 12×12 patterned paper.I also added a simple white stitch with my sewing machine around the border.  I tell you what, I think Zoe should release a patterned paper pack of just woodgrains and diagonal stripes. They are hands down some of my favourite patterns in every collection. 

The baubles were backed with a variety of papers – both in the 12×12 designs and the 6×8″ paper pad. I chose to use the small print floral to back most of the bauble pieces. The berries in the Holly were created using the red in the diagonal stripe paper. I just love how these turned out. I adhered these to the page with a foam adhesive to give the layout some dimension. 

The photo of my daughter and the elf was actually matted in one of the 3×4 cards in the journal card pack. I loved the red and thought it tied the layout together nicely and complimented the challenge board well. 

When I design a layout I love to create an imaginary triangle where your eyes can travel around the page, from the focal point of the photo, to the journaling and embellishments. I created an embellishment cluster to the right of the photo using a variety of ephemera pieces and accessory stickers. I used foam and glue dots to adhere these to the page, creating dimension. 


An element that you will see on most of my layouts is typewritten journaling. I tend to just document what first pops into my head when I see a particular photo. It may be a reflection, it may be a retell of an event, or sometimes it is simply the specific details of what is in a photo. This layouts journaling is a reflection. 

It was so hard to choose which ephemera to use on this layout. There are always so many beautiful options. But thankfully, sometimes when you have the direction of an inspiration board this can be made so much easier. For me, I chose to use the floral elements as there was a foliage and greenery focus in the board. 

I hope that you have been inspired by this layout and enjoyed the in depth look at how I was inspired by the elements in the monthly challenge. Be sure to give it a go this month!

Raquel xxx


Hi Creative friends, Gwen back on the blog today with a new share for Cocoa Vanilla Studio using their brand new ‘Merry & Bright’ collection. For today’s share, I’m working with this picture of me! This one was taken on a Christmas cruise we did a few years back.

It’s been a while since I’ve scrapbooked a photo of myself, so it was definitely the inspiration for the page. I knew I wanted to go with a vertical design and thought it might be fun to include this Christmas Tree Cut File by CUT to YOU.  The idea is that both the tree and the photo run vertically and draw your eye up and down the page.

I’ve started by backing the tree in the ‘Star Bright’ pattern paper. I’ve also used this paper as the background of my page. For the trunk of the tree, I’ve used the ‘Seasons Greetings’ pattern paper and I’ve also used that as a feature border around the edge of my background. I almost always add a border to my pages, I love how it finishes the edges off and am always sure to add stitching for extra detail.

I’ve backed my photo with a cut candy stripe from the ‘A5 Paper Stack’ and mounted on foam for dimension. I’ve added stitching to it as well which you can see below.

For the embellishments, I’ve decided on one main cluster in the top left-hand corner of my photo. I’ve used a mix of Die Cuts from the ‘Ephemera Pack’, some cut apart elements from the ‘Oh What Fun’ pattern paper some fussy cut florals from the ‘Joy to the World’ pattern paper and a flair button.

I also decided to add some cute decorations to the tree. For this, I’ve used some more fussy cut florals from the ‘Joy to the World’ pattern paper and some die cut ornaments from the ‘Ephemera Pack’. All finished off with a star from the ‘Puffy Gold Stars’ pack.

I’ve also made a YouTube video of my layout process which you can watch here.

Until next time,



November “Serenity Lane” Challenge Winner

Hi everyone,

It’s time to announce the winner of our November monthly challenge!

If you haven’t joined in with one of our challenges yet, make sure you pop over to our Facebook Community group where they are hosted. Here you will find all the details of the current challenge, as well as instructions on how to you can enter to be in the running to win a $25 voucher for our online store.

Here’s a reminder of what our November “Serenity Lane” mood board designed by Tarrah McLean looked like…

And our winning entry, which was selected randomly from our entries was this lovely layout…

Congratulations Petra de Vroege!

Petra used our ‘Daydream’ collection for her pretty page, which was perfect to capture the vibe of our beautiful board. Petra – you have won yourself a $25 voucher to spend in our online store.

If you would like the chance to be our next winner, our current challenge is the festive “Peppermint Place” mood board designed by Raquel Bowman. Even if you are not inclined to create a Christmas project (you don’t have to), we are sure you will find elements on this board to inspire you anyway…

To enter:

  1. Entries must be loaded into the November challenge album in the Cocoa Vanilla Studio Facebook Community group prior to midnight (AEST) 31st December to be eligible for the prize. (If you aren’t already a member, make sure you click the link to join.)
  2. Cocoa Vanilla Studio products must be used. Yes, you can use other supplies as well, but the majority of products used should be CVS.
  3. Entries must be created solely for this challenge and not combined with other challenges.
  4. You may enter as many times as you wish and entry is open to participants worldwide.
  5. The randomly chosen winner will receive a $25 store voucher to the Cocoa Vanilla Studio online store.
  6. By entering the challenge you automatically give permission for your work to be shared by Cocoa Vanilla Studio via any of our social media channels.