Sunday, December 6, 2009

counting the days

This Christmas, I decided to make an Advent Calendar.

If I'm really honest, I'm more crafty than I am creative.
There is a distinct - and very important - difference between the two.

Creative people come up with brand spankin' new ideas.
Crafty people copy Creative people's stuff.

I'm definitely not creative.
But I am a pretty good copy cat.

And thanks to Al Gore's super-cool invention, I can be inspired by Creative people all over the world.

So without further adieu, I bring you a few souvenirs from my cyber trip around the globe:
I found a few made out of round tins.
And some made to open like drawers
Then there was the banner kind.
Nice and cute...
And of course the pie tins
super nice and cute.

I saw about a zillion-and-two cute ways to create an Advent out of fabric too, but I didn't even entertain the thought that I could copy any of them.
I just lovingly gazed at them and stashed the ideas in my mental files for another day.
A day when I learn how to sew... without someone standing over my shoulder telling me EXACTLY what to do.

It took me awhile to make a decision, but here's what I finally settled on:

Instead of the traditional round tins, I chose square ones that I bought from a store on Etsy named Lilian Olive.

The process went something like this:
I painted a 16 x 20 canvas.
I used Cosmo Cricket's line of Christmas papers named Jolly By Golly to cover the tins.
I found a few odds and ends to embellish the tins with and then put velcro on the back of the tins to adhere them to the canvas.
I added a little ribbon to hang the canvas with and... we were ready to roll.

Each box has an activity that we will do during the nights before Christmas. Most of the activities are free, (local parades, making cookies, looking at lights, watching Christmas movies) but some are things we will do around town (storytime with Santa, a living nativity, etc). All the activities are things that we will do together as a family.

I'm soooo excited about it.
Way more excited than anyone else in the family is.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that Charlie would be happy if I let him play with the toilet paper for 25 nights straight.

So - anyone else make an advent this year?


kris said...

super cute, jen! it's lovely, so much nicer than my slipshod envelopes, lol! maybe next year... :D

Brittany said...


I love that you have family activities in each box.
There is nothing like celebrating the REAL meaning of Christmas! :)

--Leann-- said...

my 5yr old and I make a count down chain (strips of paper stapled together into a chain). On each slip I write an activity to do and the date (i need all the help i can get) and how many sleeps until Christmas Day.

Each day we take one link off the chain. It's a GREAT visual for how long it is until Christmas.

Beachbrights said...

I bought the LEGO advent calendar because I am not creative or crafty. I know my limits...

Your advent looks fantastic!


me said...

it turned out so cute! hopefully i will get mine posted tomorrow. i have been way too busy to blog, but can't really think of why . . . hmmm . . . .

Carmen said...

I didn't make one. Last year I bought a really cute one at Target for under $20. It's a little house with doors that open. After seeing all of the wonderful advent projects though, I've wanted to make one myself. Maybe next year! Yours is so cute! And your boy....he is adorable!

Tiffany said...

Your advent calendar is definitely one the cutest I have seen and I feel like I have seen a million. LOVE the papers you used. The colors are great!

I can't decide what kind I want to make. Christmas will be here and gone before I decide. Oh, well. Maybe next year, I will figure something out!

Great job!

Kelli said...

I love yours! I made one this year for the first time and went through all kinds of examples. I TOTALLY agree that there's a difference between creative and crafty. I'm crafty.

breanne said... turned out adorably cute!Love it:)

SarahHub said...

So adorable - the calendar and the activities!

Jana (sidetrack'd) said...

Very cute! I made one this year, but it is just a scrapbook paper tree with numbered paper "ornaments".

mommaof4wife2r said...

i love this!!! i have been toying with making a fun funky flet advent pocket countdown, but this is way cuter! love it!

Hubcap, Luva & Puppy said...

Oh for cryin out loud! Just when I think you can't possibly outdo yourself you go and post this wonder. I ADORE it. This is next yrs project for sure. I just can't stop blog stalking you. I,too am only crafty because I copy cat. But finding the good stuff is a talent in itself. Happy Holidays & congrats on your latest addition!

melissa said...

LOVE your advent calendar! i wanted to do that this year but got a late start and i hate to do things half way! i'm going to try and mimic your model! and i love that you included activities for each night. great idea. my two kiddos will love it!

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