25 November 2012

{make it} advent calendar

I shared this tutorial last year, but thought I'd repost for those who missed it. 
December is nearly upon us and this quick and easy project is a fun way to get into the spirit!

I have been searching for just the right advent calendar for the last few years to no avail. But this year pinterest gave me the confidence and inspiration to make my own. And I am so happy I did! My inspiration came from this photo:

                                                                 Source: sundayinbed.tumblr.com via Carina on Pinterest

There was no tutorial to go with it, though it seemed easy enough. So, I set to work!
It came together in an hour or two - so you still have plenty of time to get it together before December arrives! 
Ok, now gather your supplies:

24 clothespins, spray paint, paintbrushes, glue or mod podge, patterned ribbon or washi tape, a stencil, white paint, hot glue 
(not pictured) and wood.

A few notes: you can use a 2x4 and paint it any color you'd like. I used some pieces of our old fence -
I love the rustic look and I love repurposing.
Seriously, use whatever white paint you have. Craft paint, ceiling paint, acrylic, whatev.
I used three different patterns of ribbon. You can also use fabric, washi tape, or just leave your clothespins painted. 

The first step is spray painting your clothespins.
I used colonial red, which was the perfect Christmas color for me.
Spray one side. Let them dry for a bit, flip them and spray again.

If you're covering the front with ribbon, you really just need to make sure the sides are well covered. 
Once you think they are good enough, leave them to dry for about 30-45 minutes.

In the meantime, cut 24 strips of ribbon or fabric. Just use your clothespin as a guide.
 The ribbon I chose already had adhesive on the back. Super handy and so quick! 
(And I think they're only $1 per roll at JoAnn's.)

Apply your ribbon to each clothespin. If yours doesn't have adhesive, or you're using fabric, you can use a little school glue or some mod podge. 

quick tip: did you know that mod podge is just diluted glue? Just add a little water, swirl, and voila! You've just saved yourself bundles of crafting cash!

Next up is stenciling your numbers. I positioned my clothespins about where I wanted them and then stenciled on each number just above.

Now fire up that hot glue gun. A thin line of glue on the back should be all you need to attach your pins to the wood.

Presto! You're done! So easy, and you've got yourself a lovely little Christmas keepsake.
What you decide to hang from your clothespins is up to you, but I've decided to have a fun little variety for the kids to get us into the Christmas spirit.

I found these free printable gift tags:

                                                                 Source: jonesdesigncompany.com via Carina on Pinterest

I am going to print out fun activities on some of them for several days... things like:
watching A Charlie Brown Christmas
going out to look at lights
baking cookies
fun Christmas crafts
singing carols and drinking hot chocolate
reading Christmas stories
sharing treats with our neighbors

We'll also have days where we say a prayer together for someone special
and read parts of the Christmas story from Scripture.

And no advent calendar is complete with out candy, amiright?
So most days will also include some of these:

                                                                       Source: peppermintplum.blogspot.com via Carina on Pinterest

How cute are those?!
That's the final touch, which I will attempt to whip up tomorrow.

I am so excited - this is the best time of year. And as my kids get older, I LOVE making every day magical. 
Happy advent, one and all!

What fun and crafty Christmas projects are you working on?


  1. ah, this is so cute!
    My best friend is obsessed with advent calendars, so I can't quite decide if I want to send her this link.. or make her one first!
    Brilliant either way :)
    XOX Angela
    P.S. coming over from the fab LIY giveaway :)

  2. Oh my word, this is so perfect! Great job!

  3. can you just make me up one of these and drop it on the mail? thanks! xoxo

  4. So cute and creative! Love the rustic feel of it! ;) xo Heather

  5. love this idea! I made a message board using clothes pins once, but this is perfect for advent too :)

  6. so super super cute! i will more than likely not have time THIS year, but it's definitely pinned for next year. thanks!

  7. Superbe cette idée. Je l'ai mise dans ma sélection Pinterest concernant les calendriers de l'avent :D. tu peux voir l'article ici: http://www.panierdezazou.com/mon-choix-pinterest-les-calendriers-de-lavent/ Merci de l'avoir partagée avec nous! A plus.