Friday, December 16, 2011

Easy Advent Calendars (12 Days of Green Christmas Crafts)

DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar

Liz and I were inspired by this advent calendar from Crafty Nest, so we decided to do some crafting ourselves. We wanted to make a 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar. I had to stop by Green Baby on Thursday to drop off my diapers, so I brought some crafting supplies with me: Fleece, cardboard, yarn, old Christmas cards and gift bags, and contact paper. Somehow, we were able to do some crafting while our kids played happily. It was a Christmas miracle.

We got started by cutting some cardboard (from the recycling bin.)
Why does Gaby always use beer boxes for her projects?

We cut out some fleece big enough to wrap around the cardboard and traced the cardboard shape on the fleece so we would know where to place our images.
DIY Advent Calendar Step 2

The baby on the back is optional.
Baby on Back in Ergo

We quickly realized we were running out of time and we would have to finish at home. We thought it would be interesting if we both took the same idea and made it our own. So we went home and finished our advent calendars. Here's what we did:

Advent Calendar 1:  
Cut out squares from old Christmas cards, magazines, and gift bags. Enclose them in contact paper and trim. Punch holes in each for lacing yarn through.

Advent Calendar 2:  
Lay out squares on felt to make sure they will fit.

Advent Calendar 1: 
Lace yarn through the holes you punched in the images.

Advent Calendar 2: 
Lay out images and adhere to cardboard with a sheet of contact paper.

Advent Calendar 1: 
Color in lines on index cards (I laid one of Baby T's markers on the fat side and just drew a rough line) and cut out in candy-cane shapes (I freehanded one, cut it out, and traced around it for the rest.)

Advent Calendar 2: 
Cut out windows where images are laid out.

Advent Calendar 1: 
Cut out squares from a brown paper bag to cover your images.

Advent Calendar 2: 
Use hot glue to adhere the fleece to the backer. Make sure to add glue around the edges of the windows. Wrap fleece around the cardboard and use hot glue to adhere to the back.

Advent Calendar 1: 
Glue the candy canes onto the brown paper with a glue stick, leaving the tops free to hook onto the images. Write numbers on brown paper with marker. As your child lifts off each candy cane, you can tuck it behind the image.

Advent Calendar 2: 
Add embellishments and numbers with felt to your windows.Give to your child and watch his amazement. Thomas said, "Wow!" When he saw this.

The hard part now is getting the kids not to peek under each candy cane or flap. This is the great part about these two advent calendars, though: They are great for different ages. The beauty of Liz's advent calendar is that Thomas can enjoy it now; I keep hovering over Baby T and reminding him not to take off #4 until tomorrow. But as Baby T gets older, I can use real candy canes with numbers glued to them, or I can tuck a little prize behind each window.

You can still make this! There are nine days left until Christmas. (Eek!)

Check out some of the other 12 Days of Green Christmas Crafts:
December 14: 
Felt Owl Ornaments
December 15:
Burlap Tree Skirt

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