December 03, 2013

24 little surprises

For years I have wanted to make an advent calendar for the little guy. I remember my cousin having one when we were kids. Her's was made of flimsy cardboard and each little compartment was filled with a chocolate surprise. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Every year I plan to make a nice advent calendar and every year I neglect to get my mess together and make it happen. It almost happened again this year too. I ordered muslin bags from Amazon a few weeks ago but kept forgetting to get the other items that I needed to go with them. I wanted to attach my goody bags to a board and hang it on the wall or lean it on a table decorated for the holidays but since I waited too long to get started, I had to make a modified version of what I really wanted. I made an advent garland. I'm definitely bummed that I didn't have time to make what I really wanted but with two birthdays (three birthday parties!) and Thanksgiving, I just couldn't make it happen. This is how my advent garland turned out.


Advent Garland @ TheChicDream
I'm really pleased with how it came out. This style of advent garland is pretty common. You can even buy kits on Etsy with everything you need to put one together for yourself. I decided to make my own and I'm glad I did. It cost less than $20 and I have tons of twine left over and the paint and stamps can be used for other projects.


Before I started stamping, I cut a piece of card stock a bit smaller than the bag and inserted it into the bag so that that the paint would not bleed through to the other side. It worked out perfectly. When it came time to stamp my bags I painted the stamp with silver paint, being careful to smooth out clumps, and pressed firmly to make sure the paint penetrated the fabric. I love how the fabric took the paint- it has a nice mottled look and each bag is unique. I had 25 bags and I only needed 24 so I had an extra to practice my technique which was helpful.

I kept the bags simple with just the number and a small snowflake. They look a little plain against the white mantle but next year they will be mounted on a board and I don't want them to look busy when that happens. I can always jazz them up later: maybe a circle around the number or give the snowflakes some punch with crystals or beads. I actually bought some crystals for the snowflakes but I guess I left them in the shopping cart because they weren't in my bag when I got home!


I'm pretty sure I could have bought red clothespins but, again, I waited 'till the last minute so I had to paint... 24... tiny... clothespins. Ugh!


I sent Daddy to the dollar store for some toys and candy for our bags. I also made some coupons for some fun things. I asked the boy what kind of things he would like to do if he was allowed and he said, "go to the bowling alley and help you and dad do things around the house." How cute is it that he wants to help us with some home projects? He's so sweet. And naive. Haha.



Once the bags were dry, which only took a few minutes, I stuffed them with the goodies and tied the strings into a bow for easy hanging.

When it was time to assemble, I spread out all of my twine and clipped on my bags, spacing them out about three inches. I left six inches or so of twine on each end for attaching the garland to the mantle. After it was hung, the clips were all askew so I re-clipped each bag so that the clips stood up straight. I added some simple bows and a couple of potted rosemary trees to the mantle and called it a day! I got the "trees" from Lowes and the pots from Hobby Lobby. I absolutely love my holiday mantle! Except for the TV         (I hate TVs above a fireplace) and the wire that we still can't figure out how to get behind the wall.

Advent Garland @ TheChicDream

Now I'm not sure where our stockings are going to go. I may have to move the garland or just put up the kids' stockings on the ends and put ours up on Christmas Eve. Any thoughts on how you would incorporate the stockings are greatly appreciated!

Do you guys use an advent calender of some sort? What kind of goodies do you put in yours? I am really loving ours and so does the little guy. It's been a long time coming thanks to my procrastination but it all worked out in the end!

4 comments :

  1. So creative! I laughed at the flimsy cardboard advent chocolates - my girls pick those EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. I'm determined to get myself together next year and have a "real" advent of some kind.

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    1. Thanks! At least the kids like cardboard ones. That's what's important. But let's be honest, we want pretty ones!

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  2. I love this idea! It's so cute!! This year, Kyndle has a Lego Friends advent calendar. Each day, she can put together a little lego thing & then she'll have a "winter" thing at the end. It's cute, but no where near as creative as yours!!

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    1. Thanks, Toni! I love the Lego idea. That sounds so fun and she will be really proud of herself when it's finished.

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