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November 27, 2011

Advent Calendar Craft

I wanted to make an Advent Calendar last year, but I never got around to it. My goal this year was to make one before the first of December. After working on it for 3 days, I finally finished my project. I might make a new one next year, but I think this will work well enough this year.

An Advent Calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Most of these calendars come with pockets or windows -- one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day during Advent. In many of these calendars, each window opens to reveal an image, a poem, or a portion of a story such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus. More elaborate Advent calendars have a small gift concealed in each window, such as a toy or a chocolate item.

I have seen a lot of Advent Calendars that's filled with chocolate for each day leading up to Christmas. These Calendars are made of cardboard and they are very reasonably priced. I wanted an Advent Calendar for my kids, but not something that's filled with chocolate or candy. I have looked into Advent Calendars that I could use to fill the pockets myself, but they were either too pricey or they did not really meet my needs. I finally decided to make one this year.

It took me 3 days to finish this project. It will probably be faster for you. Between taking care of the kids and cleaning the house, I only worked on the project when I had time (which was only a couple of hours every day). I was able to complete this project for under $20.

You will need:
* Canvas board (I used one that was 15 x 30, I bought this when it as 50% off at Joann's).
* 1/2 yard of fabric to use on the canvas board
* 1/4 yard of contrasting fabric
* 1/4 yard of felt
* Staple gun
* E6000 glue

I started with a plain white canvas board.
I covered it with the 1/2 yard of fabric I bought. I used the staple gun to secure it in the back.

I embroidered numbers 1- 25 on the 1/4 yard of contrasting fabric I bought. I then sewed numbers onto the felt I already cut out. To make the pockets, I traced a small tea cup to get a perfect circle. I then cut 1/3 off it from the top. Then sew the number on the felt. If you don't do embroidery, then you can use another piece of felt (in a different color) and cut out the numbers you need. After you cut out your numbers, use E6000 to glue the numbers onto the pockets.  
I then sew the front of the pockets I made to their backings. If you don't have a sewing machine, simply use the E6000 to glue them together. Make sure you leave the pocket opening open.
Then glue these little pockets/windows onto your canvas. I made #25 (Christmas Day) extra special by adding rhinestones and cute fabrics to it. Needless to say, this is DD's favorite day on the Advent Calendar.
Here's DD with the Advent Calendar I made. She is very excited about using it as soon as December 1st arrives.
As I have mentioned before, I don't want an Advent Calendar that's filled with candy. Instead, I plan on personalized our family Advent Calendar by print out 25 different fun activity we are going to do ( and bible verses we will read together every day). Some of the things I plan on filling up the calendar with are, " Making Christmas ornaments, going to Santa's Workshop, drink hot coco, watching ' It's a Wonderful Life," bake Holiday cookies, " and so forth.

I will be working on my activity list tonight in order to make sure that our activity list is ready on the First of December. I sure hope that our kids will love our new family tradition of daily fun activities leading up to Christmas.


MyTwoCents said...

That is fabulous, Jennifer!

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