Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rustic Advent Calendar DIY


While Santa Claus and Frosty decorations have their place, especially in a child-friendly home, I am going for a more subtle look overall this Christmas. My decorations started with this rustic DIY Advent calendar, which I finally got up on the wall just yesterday.

I was inspired by a similar piece that I saw in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I don't have a lot of experience with crafts, but I thought this project looked pretty darn simple, even for someone like me.


And it would have been simple...if I could find the little muslin drawstring bags. I confidently headed to my local crafts superstore. I found the number stamps no problem, although they were a bit smaller than I would have liked, and a lot more expensive. Luckily, I had a 50% off one item coupon. I got a couple of green and red stamp pads too. But no muslin bags. I checked the dollar store too. No bags. With December 1st quickly approaching I decided I would have to stop my store searches and head online.

I eventually ordered the bags from a soap making supply company. Because the shipping cost more than the bags, I decided to throw in a lip balm kit too for $19.99. Same shipping costs. How's that for logic?


The bags arrived within a few days. In the meantime, I found some branches that a neighbour had sent to the curb. My husband fished some twine out of the basement. I bought some inexpensive Christmas toys to fill the bags with, including pencil sharpeners, rings and stamps. I used leftover Halloween candy for the rest. The kids would be disappointed if some candy didn't come from those bags. By the way, each bag has two identical items...to avoid fights!


I used one of my vintage Christmas stamps to stamp "Merry Christmas" on the December 25th bag.


Here is my Advent calendar project up on the wall. We had only one spot big enough to fit it. Also, we had to hang it a little high, because Jolene the sniffer dog can smell food a mile away. She could use that couch arm to pull down a few bags. Don't think she wouldn't. I caught her chewing on one of the empty bags. The bags arrived in a box stuffed with packing peanuts that smelled like they were made from cereal.

First a homemade doll dress, and now this? What's happening to me? It seems you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I am actually having a great time, and I will have a homemade hostess gift idea for you soon too!

What do you think? How is your decorating going?

Domesblissity

52 Mantels

Dragonfly Designs

38 comments:

  1. looks adorable! I love the muslin bags! have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend too!

      Delete
  2. Your calender is beautiful but what I enjoyed most about this post is the description of trying to find one of the items to make it! On more than one occasion I have set out to replicate a lovely DIY I pinned on pinterest, only to find that one of the items I need is nowhere to be found! This has led to some amusing substitutions and conversations at store (e.g. asking a worker at Home Depot if they have bulk lavender bud - they do not)...thanks for keeping it real... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Naomi, I definitely learned some lessons from this. Number one is, give yourself more time to get it done! Like weeks! Nothing is as easy as it seems. :)

      Did you end up getting your bulk lavender?

      Thanks for your comment, Joann.

      Delete
  3. So pretty, it came out great! I always love stamps, I'm sure you'll find more uses for them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's lovely, I have zero talent or patience for anything remotely crafty but this time every year I'm inspired to do something next year. I"ll be bookmarking this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me, you can do this! Definitely pin it for next year. Just find the bags in October!! :)

      Delete
  5. Hi Jo. I love it when I come across a blog that just makes me sigh, like yours. Can't wait to have a good look around. Love it. Thanks so much for linking up at Thriving on Thursdays.

    Anne xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is just about the nicest thing anybody has said about this here blog! :) Thanks so much Anne. You have put a smile on my face. Joann

      Delete
  6. WHAT A GREAT IDEA JOANN--IT LOOKS GREAT.NO WONDER MY GRANDAUGHTER WAS EXCITED ABOUT IT LAST NIGHT.
    MOM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mom! Yes, I think she likes the project and the bag contents. The boy on the other hand was not impressed that I used Halloween candy because it already belonged to him.

      Delete
  7. Oh wow, I love it!!! It fits your decor wonderfully-- really, really cute!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your advent calendar is amazing!!!!!!!!! (And I love your couch!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wendy! I got the couch secondhand on Kijiji. My kids are too dangerous to buy brand new. ;)

      Delete
  9. This is so cute Joann! I love it ;DD

    ReplyDelete
  10. Creativity must be just oozing out of your body these days! Nice idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just taking more time to enjoy little things! :)

      Delete
  11. oh i love this so much. love, love, love.

    Thank you so very much for joining us for An Aloha Affair last week. How sweet it was to end the month together.

    Our beautiful December team has gathered and we are so excited to invite you to join us for... An Aloha Affair. Come mingle and grow with us, you are always welcome. Always.

    Cheers,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nicole. I'll see you again. :)

      Delete
  12. This is SO CUTE! Great work! I don't have kids yet, but I am going to hold onto this idea for the future - I bet your kids love it!

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ashley! You could put treats in it for yourself! :) Or, just leave it empty. I really did it more for decor, but the kids insist on treats of course. ;)

      Delete
  13. Oh, this is absolutely charming! I've always wanted an advent calendar, but it's simply never been part of our (Jewish) tradition. I guess I've missed the boat again this year, but I'm filing this idea away since it looks perfectly simple and easy. It won't be much of a surprise if I make it for myself, but it will still be fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could definitely make a secular calendar, Hannah. Put some treats in it for yourself. If your memory's like mine, you will forget what you put in anyway! ;)

      Delete
  14. That is lovely Jo (and extremely coincidental that we both posted such a similar DIY on the same day!). I bet your children are really enjoying the advent calendar. Wishing you a grand weekend my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weird, right? I love your project. It's on my list for next year! Have a fantastic weekend too!

      Delete
  15. I love this project Jo! It is adorable and you did a fabulous job! And your living room looks lovely! Have a wonderful weekend! Angie xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Angie! You are the queen of decor! Have an amazing weekend!

      Delete
  16. Love this- pinning it! I haven't made an Advent calendar yet, though I wanted to... it's a little late, but I might try to pull this together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura! You definitely could pull this together quickly...as long as you can get the bags. ;) Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  17. This looks lovely, simple but really effective! I'll put it in my 'maybe next year' pile!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have so many things pinned for next year. I may never end up looking at them again... ;)

      Delete
  18. I have got this on my Pinterest boards so I can look for these items and have this made for next year.

    I can't wait to see what hostess gift ideas you have.

    You have been a complete inspiration Jo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so sweet of you to say Rachel!! I do hope you like my hostess gift idea now. ;) Thanks for making me feel good!

      Delete
  19. Jo, this is so perfect! I love this so much!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ruthie. I have to say I am really enjoying looking at it each day. :)

      Delete