Some call this an Advent Calendar…I call it simply a “Christmas Countdown Calendar”…it could be either or both ;)! I just want to start by saying I owe credit to many people out there that have inspired me (mostly you Pinterest peeps)…but I’m just gonna tell ya what I did to make mine!
>>Get a window- the chippier, older, warn down, the better…but really just get one to your liking. I have some suggestions on WHERE to get one at a decent price if you don’t happen to have a barn as a backyard (I do not, just to throw that out there…I kind of want one though…especially if it came packed with rustic treasures…oh now i’m just day dreaming…). Craigslist is an option…but do this- go to Facebook and search for Facebook Groups in your area with words like “shabby chic”, and “vintage” in the titles…if you live in an area anything like mine…there are many of these boards and they are a great place to grab old windows on the cheap (ish)…they are very trendy right now, so you’ll likely have to accept the “trendy mark up” ;)! If you absolutely can’t find a window- what about an empty frame (no glass)…could paint and distress for more character…just a thought…
>>To Paint or not to Paint…I did not- if you do you will likely need to chip some old paint off, sand and then repaint and don’t forget to distress! :)…WARNING: old windows ‘prolly contain lead paint- be careful and smart if you start doing anything to it- wear a mask, etc ;)…
>>Other things you’ll need:
- Paint (I used Martha Stewart Vintage Decor Paint (Chalk Paint) in Ivory<<<one small bottle of this goes a long way, you will notice this is the same paint as my last post- same bottle!!)
- Number Stencils (#s 0-9)- I used Martha Stewart Cardboard Stencils- just make sure the size is right (about 2 inches)
- 24 Bags -I used mini-burlap drawstring bags (two packages, about 3″ tall) from Michaels (wedding aisle ;)))…but you could really use any small bag that looks cute to you…I wanted something I could re-use year after year, but you could even use disposable bags
- 24 small clothespins- I used white clothespins purchased at Michaels (one package).
- Tape/eye hooks
- Staple Gun
- Sponge paint brush (the disposable kind works well)
- Cardboard (from a cardboard box, for example)
- Optional for Paper Banner- Scrapbook paper, alphabet stamps, ink, banner paper punch, small circle paper punch, glue gun, paper glue
Here’s how you make it…
- Make the bags, 6 at a time (I dunno why I picked 6, it just fit in my space- pick your own number that works for you ;))-
- Cut out 6 pieces of cardboard to fit inside the bags and keep paint from bleeding through while giving you a hard work surface…place one inside each of the six bags
- Use the stencils and paint to put the numbers (1-24) on the bags…eyeball it- the placement doesn’t have to be perfect, that’s part of the charm ;)…I just held the stencils in place with my hand…you can tape them down if you want, but that will take you longer…I usually take the “get it done quick” path…(tip: use the sponge paint brush and push down a little to get the paint completely covering the burlap…being careful to not let it bleed through the sides of the stencil…don’t sweat it the numbers are not perfect, mine definitely are not- look closely)!
- Remove the cardboard and place those six off to the side to dry…repeat steps with the next six and so on until finished with your 24 numbers.
- String the twine…this also is not a fine science…just use tape (I used packing tape) to place the string where you want it, attached to the back. I left it like that for now (just tape), but you can finalize the placement by screwing in eye hooks where you taped it, and stringing the twine through the eye hooks in the back.
- Attach the bags to the twine with clothespins when paint is dry- in an order that looks good to you :)!
- Use a Staple Gun to attach wire to the back…I staple once, fold the wire over my staple from the bottom and then staple at least once more over the fold (above the first staple)…this makes it securely fastened!
- Hang (woo hoo)! Fill with candy or small treasures for your kiddos or grandkiddos???
- If you want to make a mini-banner for a little color, like I did, use supplies on hand- if you don’t have paper punches- cut by hand using a little template off the internet, etc. I punched little circles in white, stamped a letter on each to spell “Merry Christmas”, glued to the banner punches out of scrapbook paper (red christmas pattern), hot glued to the twine and voila! 😉 Hang where it looks good, attach with tape or tie to the wire.
I would love to see what you create!! Post below or on my Facebook Page (or both) :)! Make sure to click on the pictures to see closer up detail!