Thinking of making an advent calendar this year? I have always wanted to make one, but for some reason, in the busyness of the season, I never got around to it. I woke up this morning determined to make one for the first time. It’s ironic that this is the year I am finally making one, as it’s probably the most insane year of my life with everything that our family is doing right now. But I’m just kind of realizing that there are only so many Christmases I have with my children before they are making their own traditions in their own homes, and no matter what else is going on around us, this will be the year we choose to slow down once a day and acknowledge magic and beauty of the Christmas season.
So I went to Hobby Lobby, got some materials, endured a vicious temper tantrum from my teething one-year-old, tolerated some even more vicious stares from other shoppers, and received a lot of “help” from a three-year-old who wanted to push the overflowing shopping cart (into merchandise).
I came home and put this together, teething one-year-old on hip, three-year-old “helping” again (read: ink everywhere and lots of wasted envelopes). All that said, I was actually surprised by how easy it was! I am usually pretty bad at making these types of things actually look good, but I love how it turned out! I thought I’d share it with you guys with a little tutorial.
Oh and if you’re wondering why there are 41 days on here, it’s because the Eastern Orthodox Church starts counting down to Christmas at the onset of the Nativity Fast, which is November 15th. If you prefer to start it on December 1st, then just adjust according to your own traditions!
I got all of my materials at Hobby Lobby and spent about $35 after coupons and sales. This will last me years, though, and now I have a stamp set and some extra materials for making Christmas cards!
- Wood slab (to save money, check out Craigslist, 2nd-hand stores, or the curb for scrap wood, free wood pallets, or a large empty photo frame.)
- A number & alphabet stamp set
- Various mini envelope/card sets & Christmas tags
- VELCRO (you can use glue or tape, but VELCRO is much nicer since it allows you to remove and replace the envelope to read the notes or to change things up if you want a different design.)
- Place all of the envelopes and tags on the wood slab any way you please. Make sure you count out the right amount and leave room for a title if you want one.
- Use the alphabet stamps to title the calendar.
- Stamp numbers on the envelopes and tags.
- Cut VELCRO if you bought it in a strip and apply one side to the wood and the other to the envelopes and tags.
- Stick the envelopes and tags onto the wood.
- Come up with a list of fun Christmas-y activities and write them out on the cards that came with the envelopes or any other paper. For the tags, write the message on the back (or if you want to be able to reuse the tag and change the activity every year, tape a folded note to the bag of the tag).
And here’s where you come in! Can you please help me come up with a list of 40 things to put on here? Join the Facebook Community and share your suggestions by November 13th. I will post a list of suggestions on the 14th, just in time for the countdown to start in my house. I will be picking a couple of favorites, and the winners will receive a little homemade Christmas gift in their mailbox from me (yes, snail mail!) as a thank you for participating. Request to join the FB group today and submit your suggestion(s)!
Also, make sure you’re on the mailing list (see “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG” on the sidebar) so that you don’t miss the next post!
Update: see the list here!