Wednesday, November 14, 2012

God's Gifts Advent Calendar

Mr. Frosty is here to welcome Baby Jesus.

Centered on the fireplace mantle sans Christmas decorations.
After Thanksgiving will come soon enough. 

pockets large enough to accommodate candy
I have two kids...hence the two pieces of candy

love that blue glitter shimmer!
Merry Christmas!

my favorite shot
love the angles and bright colors!

I've always wanted to make an Advent Calendar. I even had a couple ideas set aside for *someday,* but never did figure out what day that was! lol The Totally Green Contest Holiday Edition  gave me the kick in the pants that I needed. The contest objective is to create a holiday decoration (any holiday) out of at least one recyclable item. I love all things reused and renewed! And as my husband can tell you, I have plenty of recyclables lying around. (His exact words were: I think you're becoming a hoarder. I'm concerned.) 
No fear hubby dear! Some of those recyclables/hoard have found a purpose we'll treasure each year! 

It was important to me to include Bible verses for each day as an "echo" to what we are already teaching our kids. Scroll down to the final picture for the link to Bible Study Planet's verse collection on keeping Christ in Christmas and other verses used. 

Recyclable Materials Used

old cork board
 advent calendar
toilet paper tubes
thin cardboard boxes
white cord
(other items: hole punches
and sequins)
old piano sheet music
(who am I kidding?
I'm too lazy to learn how to play this.)
Other items: nativity stencils
printed from
sticks from outside
wooden rectangle from
craft supplies curb alert

dissecting the reindeer stocking

Other Materials Used

paint purchased new
about $1.00
everything else from
my craft closet

purchased new
about $4.00

2 rolls of ribbon from Hobby Lobby
about $6.00

                 Not pictured: 
 number stickers from the dollar store
 glue gun and glue sticks
 paint brushes
 old rag

1. Using hot glue gun, fold and glue bottoms into a pill box style, creating a pocket

2. Cut off roughly the top 1 1/2 scraps. 
3. Paint! 
The former Kindergarten teacher in me saw this and thought: "calendar activity," so I followed an ABAB pattern. All even numbers are painted candy-cane, let's learn how to count by 2's!

4. Using the hot glue gun, glue the cords to the board, then glue the pockets on top. 

Again, "calendar activity," these are in rows of we can learn the concept of grouping and counting by 5's.

5. Print off nativity stencils. 

6. Using an old rag and a mixture of assorted brown paints, "age" the sheet music.

7. Trace stencils onto sheet music and cut out. 

8. I wanted a more defined edging so that my nativity characters didn't blend into the board. Using an old rag and some dark brown paint I wiped around the edges of each stencil. 

9. Using a dry brush and assorted brown paints I painted the stable from a piece of craft board. Hard to see the color variations in this picture.

10. I mod-podged Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus to the board. When dry, I mod-podged over the whole rectangle.

11. Using my fingers I snapped the stick to the dimensions of the stable. Hot glue was used to hold the sticks in place. 

12. To keep the rest of the nativity characters from being flimsy I mod-podged them onto a thin piece of cardboard. When dry, I mod-podged over them. 

13. I also used the thin cardboard to hole punch out snowflakes for the odd numbered pockets. Each snowflake was painted white. 

14. Twine was wrapped around the sticks to create a more realistic look.

15. Then the rectangle, stick shelter, and nativity people were hot glued into place. 

Steps not pictured:
16. The leftovers from the toilet paper rolls (see step 2) were cut in half to fit inside each pocket. These will be the tabs.  

17. Paint each tab. Flatten if they insist on curling. 

18. Apply number stickers. 

19. Seal number stickers with mod-podge.

20. Add Bible verses to the back of the tabs:
Click here for Verses for Keeping Christ in Christmas from Bible Study Planet. I mixed in a few of my own, including verses from Psalm 139 and Zephaniah 3:17. Tried to attach the word document but can't figure out how. Feel free to e-mail me at: and I'll send you the attachment. 

21. Glue ribbon around frame (used Mod Podge for the turquoise ribbon and tacky glue for the white ribbon). 

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  1. Great idea and a wonderful reuse of materials. I'm very impressed. Thank you for sharing at my Our Favorite Things Link party. Enjoy your week.

  2. I am visiting from sewing barefoot. This is amazing, thanks so much for showing the details on how to do it. I love that it has bible verses in it everyday

    1. Glad you liked it! Thanks for your sweet comment. :)

  3. What a great calendar! I love the little pockets. :-) Thanks for linking this up to the Winter Wonders & Holiday Happenings link party!