If you want to make an advent calendar for this year, it’s time to get started. Fortunately for you, I made the cutest calendar ever.
Ok, the undertones of showcasing my new advent calendar with saws in the background was completely lost on me until this very moment. I do not have the makings of a photographer. Wow. I would go try to catch a less serial-killeresque shot but the woodshop is all.the.way.in.the.basement. and the office/guest room that I am currently in is all.the.way.upstairs. Two flights of stairs only to have to take down my saws, take a picture, and then put my saws back in place?
Not going to happen.
The basic supplies are clothespins and small bags. Mine are muslin that I snagged on amazon fairly inexpensively but these would be super easy to make using felt. Or you could buy really small stockings, santa hats, mittens, etc. As long as it can hold some candy, you’re golden.
I stained my clothespins to give them a little more polished look. At first, I tried to rag on the stain on the individual clothespin. That lasted for a quarter of a pin. Then I started dipping them straight into the stain. I would dip a few (one at a time) and then go back and wipe the extra stain off. You need to wipe them well or they will end up sticky when the finish is dry.
How many clothespins did I drop into the finish, only to have to wait to see if they floated back up before fishing them out? Only one. ::pat on back::
You don’t have to stain these at all. Or you could use a tinted stain to give them less polish and more color. Or you can use magic markers to color them. I helped a friend do that and they turned out cute.
While these were drying, I had a stack of rags with stain on them. Good thing I had some other things to stain.
Then it was time to get to work on my bags. I originally planned on hand stamping them. Big problem. I don’t own any winter/holiday stamps and my number stamps are all little kid stamps. I only had about $8 left in the budget for this project so I bought some paper cut outs, fabric paint, and fabric glue and got to work.
I slipped a piece of cardboard into each bag to keep the paint and glue from bleeding to the back. Scrapbook paper works well in these situations as well. Just remember to reposition the cardboard after the paint and glue have a chance to get tacky. Otherwise the cardboard will become a permanent part of your advent calendar.
Now, what to put in the calendar. Some people put candy. Some people put a piece of paper with a scripture or quote on it. Some people put activities like “go look at lights” or “go see Santa.” My friend (who gave me the idea for this project) is putting small candies in for her girls to take out and then they will write something they’re grateful for to put back in. They can see their gratitude memories every holiday season over the years.
For me, I’m putting in candy (duh) and some of them will have activities or ideas. So far I have:
go see Christmas lights
a $20 bill with instructions to go buy something for a toy drive
make a gingerbread house
bake cookies for the neighbors
drink hot cocoa and watch Elf
make ornaments for aunts and uncles
write New Years Resolutions/goals
What other ideas would you put in an advent calendar? Do you have a cool and crafty calendar? Share in the comments!
This is great! I’ve been wanting to make an advent calendar for so long. Every year I say I’m going to. Maybe this year I actually will. I have a bunch of different styles pinned. I like the one that’s individual metal tins, the kind with the screw off caps. You glue magnets to the back, and can put them on the fridge.
Love this! I haven’t done an advent calendar but we’ve done the countdown to Christmas paper chain and some popular ideas were: read a Christmas story book, make a Christmas treat, camp out in the living room with all the lights off except the tree, and play Christmas music really loud and dance to it. Sigh, now I’m getting all nostalgic again.