Last year, I saw the most creative idea for a DIY advent calendar from this blog. It's a magnetic advent calendar made from a cookie sheet and magnetic knickknacks.
I gave the finished advent calendar to my mom for decoration in her house, as she didn't have one. I figured I'd make another one, as I had an open Saturday and needed a project. I liked my calendar last year, but I knew I wanted to have a little more variety than just red and green (it will be hanging in my green dining, so I wanted some color diversity).
Since I was making another one, I figured I'd write up a DIY tutorial for you to make your own, too!
-Non-Teflon-coated cookie sheet (I got mine from the Dollar Store, although it's smaller than the one I used last year that I got at Wal-Mart)
-Mod Podge (or some sort of decoupage glue) and a foam paint brush
-acrylic paint (optional)
-drill with 3/16ths drill bit
-yardstick or ruler
-various knickknacks, chip board, and decorative pieces
-your creative juices
I used a Dollar Store cookie sheet and cut a 12x12 sheet of paper to fit the bottom of it. Last year, I had a larger cookie sheet and thus had a little more room to be creative, so I used decorative ripping and two coordinating papers. This year, I kept it clean and used my paper cutter.
I glued the paper to the cookie sheet using decoupage glue. (I use the bottom of the cookie sheet as the front of the calendar.) Last year, I used acrylic paint on the cookie sheet before decoupaging the paper, but I liked the silver and blue look so I didn't use paint this time. I also added a "Merry Christmas" scrap of paper at the bottom for some decoration.
Next, I used a 3/16th drill bit (although the size of the holes is up to your discretion) to drill holes over marks I made with the Sharpie. Make sure you drill down (aka into the front side of your calendar) so that the shavings go in the back.
Once your decoupage glue is dry, draw the calendar squares. I chose to do a 6X4 grid (to make 24 squares) and then one Christmas square at the bottom. I measured the empty space and used a calculator to help make the squares (err, rectangles) exact. I used a yardstick to draw straight lines.
Pick up your chip board or decorations and start putting numbers on them. Because my calendar squares were smaller this year due to the size of the cookie sheet, I was slightly restricted in the pieces I could use. Thus, I was a little less creative this year.
With each piece, put a piece of magnetic tape on the back so that each piece will stick to the magnetic cookie sheet. You can store the pieces on the inside of the cookie sheet so that each day, you can pull a piece to the front.
Lastly, tie some ribbon through the holes to hang your calendar. I used some colored raffia I got at Wal-Mart for gift wrapping, but because the raffia is so easily broken (and it's being strung through cut metal), I quadrupled it up. I'll probably change it to white ribbon because I'm still unsure if my raffia will hold up.
The final product:
Up close and personal with the pieces:
So that's my 2011 advent calendar! Do you buy the chocolate kind? I can't use those because I always want to skip ahead to Christmas so that I can have 25 pieces of chocolate at once. I'm not too good with patience. :)
Do you have a yearly advent calendar you use? If you make your own, make sure to blog about it then leave your URL in the comments so I can see!