Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

This is the very first Christmas that we have really had the chance to decorate since we have been married. The last few years we have moved so MANY times that we just didn’t bother to decorate. So like many young couples who don’t have a money tree in their backyard & do not believe in using credit cards we made the choice to DIY most of our christmas things. It is been a blast!!

A few months ago I saw this picture above of an advent that I loved!!! Click here to check out the website that I saw it on. The website is in another language & there wasn’t a tutorial or anything of that nature, so I just decided to wing it on my own.

We had some left over barn wood from making our headboard so I decided to use two pieces of wood to make the advent. Johnny sanded down the boards for me while I gathered all the materials needed for the project. The only things that I had to buy for this project were stencils ($2.50) & pins ($2). You can totally use whatever kinda board you already have or just hit up your local lowes or home depot & buy one that works for the space that you have to put your advent.
Materials needed to make Advent:
  • A piece of wood (whatever size you decide to use will word fine)
  • White Paint
  • Paint brush & Foam brush
  • Red paint (I used acrylic)
  • Pins (24)
  • Gift tags
  • Yarn or Twine
  • E6000 Glue (or another strong glue, NOT a hot glue gun)
  • stencils for numbers
  • a few cute gifts to wrap
  • advent ideas
  • Some good music
After your wood has been sanded (if needed) then cut it to your desired size. I decided to make two separate advents that I might put together later this week or I might just leave them seperate. The barn wood that i used is 1X6 inches that is two feet long.

Paint your wood & let it dry overnight, If your using spray paint then you can probably wait an hour & your good to go.

Paint your pins or you could use mod podge & put some fabric or scrap paper on them instead. I painted the majority of mine red & just a few white for a little variation.

Once the paint was dry on the wood, the next day I measured two inches down & with a pencil marked very faintly across the top of the ruler where I wanted to put each of my pins. Each of the pins are about an inch apart. I decided to put the first 13 days on one board & then 14-25 on the second board. Perhaps this isn’t the correct way to make an advent but hey it is mine, so I’m going to do as I please :)
Anyhoo, once you decide where to put each of your pins then get your stencils ready to use. OH I highly recommend that you PRACTICE using your stencils before just going for it like I did. I have NEVER used a stencil before in my life & just thought I could go for it, that was a mistake. So after you practice go ahead and line up where you want your stencils. Then...

At this point I decided to go ahead and glue my pins onto the board. Do not use a hot glue gun because it will not hold. Trust me! They will break off as soon as the glue dries. I used E6000 glue. Put a line of glue along the back of each pin & then hold it down on the wood for about a minute each. As you hold the pins down the glue will start to ooze out so just wipe it off with your finger. Glue on all of your pins.

Next, I lined up all of my stencils above my board. Then I went to stenciling. Luckily I used acrylic red paint & not something more permanent like the white paint because take a look at the picture below…. look closely… I missed number 11 !!! I had to get a wet towel to wipe off 11-13 not just ONCE but i did it TWICE!! Seriously! 

I’ll just add that when you are stenciling make sure to leave the stencil on until the paint is totally dried because if you don’t it will smudge. Smudges are horrible, adds some character to your advent, but too much smudgy smudges just looks bad. While your stencils are drying get to work on your tags. I searched on pinterest & asked some friends & family for ideas for our advent and came up with our own events tailored to our families time, budget, & interests. I also wrapped two small gifts. One for Johnny to open & one for Noah to open. Johnny said that he wants to get me one to open, so I’ll have to add it to the advent later this week. I used yarn & twine to hang the gift tags from the pins.
Ta DA! All done! This isn’t where we are hanging our advent, but for the sake of a decent picture I took it up against our grey bathroom wall. lol.

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