Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent is a go...

My first major Christmas project from the list is complete!

The Advent Calendar.

I've wanted one for years. If you travel through Blog Land during the holidays you can see all sorts of beautiful calendars. Some simple, some quite intricate.

I felt simple would suit us just fine.

This calendar went through several incarnations. And I'm happy to say that I'm pleased with the results. It "goes" with our kitschy holiday decor.

If you too have been pining for a quick and easy advent calendar, search no further.

The tools.

The supplies.

I found these little organza gift bags at a craft store in the Christmas section. They came twelve to a bag and cost around $5.

No need to look further.

You'll need a contrasting fabric for the numbers. I used a linen-type cotton. I wanted something natural to contrast with the glitzy bags.

I cut 24 small squares and then used pinking shears around the edges.

Oh, did I mention that this project is no-sew?

Well, it is.

Merry Christmas.

You could draw your numbers freehand.

I opted for the stencil route. I am too OCD and didn't want to worry about the wonkiness of my numbers outweighing my tolerance level for such things.

This was a good call.

I used a fine point permanent marker to trace the numbers...

...and a fabric pen to fill them in.

Now you have a cute little stack of 24 numbers.

I'm sure you could use fabric glue or spray adhesive for this project, but I had neither.

I used the classic Elmer's.

So far, none of the numbers have fallen off the bags, and it was a light enough glue that it didn't go through the organza (too much) and cause the bag to stick together.

Obviously, you could hand stitch the numbers in place. That would look really cute.

But that would take this out of the "simple" and "no-sew" categories.

I love those categories.

Now for the fun stuff.

I found these gift tags at another craft store. The perfect size for little shimmering bags.

Each one is inscribed with a little bit of Christmas cheer.

I will be posting about some of our activities leading up to Christmas. There are quick and easy things like reading a Christmas book, which are perfect for school nights, as well as more labor intensive projects like making ornaments, which are saved for weekends and days off school.

I know I'm speaking to the choir, but The Crafty Crow is a treasure trove of ideas for arts and crafts geared towards kids (and adults, in my humble opinion). You could get lost for hours going through the archives.

Believe me, I know.

I added a little crochet flair.

I made a long chain with some holiday yarn and hung it across the doorway to the dining room, right next to the tree.

I used clothespins to attach the countdown bags.

It's a perfect fit.

The Offspring have been so excited to see what's inside all those glittery Christmas bags.

Today is December 1st.

The wait is over.

Let the countdown begin!