"You are so creative!" I have heard that phrase constantly since I was little. DIY, Refashioning, Crafting, Sewing, Woodworking. I love it all! Now I have a place to keep my favorite projects or ideas organized and share them with you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Countdown on a Ring! DIY Advent Calendar Tutorial

Because the Thanksgiving Activity Calendar / DIY advent Calendar is my all-time most read post on my blog by over 100 views, I figured that the world really likes this type of thing. While I took the easy way out for Christmas, and bought the chocolate calendars, which by the way I am disappointed with so far, my friend Paula went all out with an awesome idea I wanted her to share with you today!  Isn't this just the coolest looking Advent countdown you have ever seen?

I love it because it is portable, and compact. I can't imagine having a board large enough to hold all these pockets but the ring idea... Genius!

Now, she is going to share her awesome project with all of us. Take it away Paula!

Last year, I saw the cutest tutorial on Blue Cricket Designs and they featured this cute 25 Days of Christmas Countdown.  http://www.bluecricketdesign.net/2009/11/25-days-of-christmas-count-down.html I really liked it and I figured I could make it even easier by cutting my circles and numbers using my Silhouette.


Since I am a craft hoarder, I had most everything I needed. I bought the $20 huge stack of Christmas Paper at Hobby Lobby when it was 1/2 off... I mean, who really pays full-price for anything at Hobby Lobby anyway; between their sales each week and the 40% off coupon, you can basically get anything in the store for 1/2 price.

I have enough ribbon to wrap around the world a time or two, so I knew I was good there and since we are a home-educating family (I really don't like the word "homeschooling"), I knew I had seen the library pockets at the local educational store. A project where I only have to buy 1 thing? Bring it on!

Well, apparently I had lofty goals for all my Christmas projects last year because I never made it to that cute Christmas Countdown... I stashed away those library pockets and put it on the "one day" list.

Well, this year, I was determined I'd do this countdown for our family. I (of course) procrastinated until November 30th, but this project took me about an hour total, so it was complete just in time for this year.

You still have time to do it too... Here's what I did:


I used my Silhouette to cut out 2.5 inch circles. You may need to adjust your size depending on the size of your library pocket. If you don't have a silhouette, you can punch them out with a circle punch or trace them out, etc. Whatever you've got; use it!

Also using my Silhouette, I cut the numbers 1-25. I used a font that was about 1.3 inches and I like the font Hobo for this project because they were nice and thick. You can certainly use stickers, chipboard, heck, write them on with a marker... again, whatever you've got!


I sat my booty on the couch with the bambinos watching The Grinch (isn't Jim Carrey the PERFECT Grinch?) and I used my tape runner to stick each circle on the front of the library pocket.


Since I don't like using my tape-runner on little things, I ran my numbers through my handy-dandy Xyron X "create a sticker" to make them perfect little stickers. If you don't have one of these... go get one today. I think I paid $5 for mine. Seriously, bust out that Hobby Lobby coupon and get yourself one. I think it is the best $5 I've ever spent.

Stick those numbers on the circles and you should have 25 pockets numbered 1-25. Here's a few of mine


Depending on the size of your pocket, your inside piece of paper may vary, but in my case, I needed to cut them to 3.25x4.25 inches. You want it to "peek" out of the pocket just a bit so you can see it.

I used these lovely patterned papers from that same paper pack. I love the sparkle in them.


Lastly, I typed up some fun ideas to do each day and formatted them into a text-box that was easy to cut out. Here is a list of mine, but feel free to change them and edit them to fit your needs and family!

Put up Christmas decorations.
Listen to your favorite Christmas music.
Do a special Christmas craft.
Donate Food to your local food bank.
Write a special letter to Santa.
Visit a friend or neighbor.
Hang some Misletoe.
Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
Make a list of things you are grateful for.
Collect and donate your unwanted toys.
Make and enjoy a new recipe.
Go on a drive to see Christmas lights.
Wrap your holiday gifts.
Tell someone special you love them.
Do a secret act of service.
Recall your favorite past Christmas.
Make a trip to visit Santa.
Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa.
Enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Watch a holiday movie together.
Deliver a treat to your neighbor.
Sing your favorite Christmas carols.
Read a Christmas story as a family.
Read about the birth of Jesus Christ.

I cut those babies out, and glued them on the rectangle cards that go inside the pocket. Here’s my tip, glue them a little “lower” than center on the card because it hides them in the pocket and it looks nice and neat.


Slide those babies in the pockets, hole punch the top left corner, use a binder ring to hold them on together (seriously, this is another one of those must-have items… they’re great for everything!) and I tied a ribbon on for the extra-cute factor!


Viola! You have a Christmas Countdown! Have fun! Thanks Kara for letting me stop by your creative place!!!


Paula Sloan is a crafty mama to 2 great boys and a cute Korean princess who is still waiting to come home. She is a self diagnosed blog-slacker, but her blog can be viewed at  stickysloans.blogspot.com

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