I don’t know about you, but I’ve really struggled to find nice (and affordable) advent calendars in the shops this year. I haven’t seen any from Cadbury at all in Tescos, so I don’t know if there’s a general shift away from the chocolate advent calendar, or whether there’s just a short supply in my area. Anyway, it doesn’t matter too much to me, because I’d already planned on making a rustic pretty advent calendar for my kids. (By the way – this last point is a “blogger lie” ie. I made it last year, but was too late to write a blog post about it!) This one is pretty quick and easy to make, and is really effective….
You will need:
- A strong stick. (Finding a nice stick could be an issue, but at least we’ve had high winds lately, so it shouldn’t take too long in the woods!)
- Thin rope or thick string to hang the stick.
- 25 hessian drawstring pouches.
- 25 squares of card.
- 25 mini pegs. (Ideally the ones that are a little bit bigger than the really mini ones!)
- Number stamps and ink or a calligraphy pen.
- Cuttings of conifer and ivy.
- Plenty of wool or thick thread.
Please scroll down for links to supplies.
Obviously, apart from the hessian pouches and pegs, which are pretty integral to the calendar; use whatever materials you have to hand.
- Wrap around the rope on the ends of your stick and plan where you’re going to hang it. I was worried the string would slip off, but my stick was nobbly enough! If yours slips, bung some pva glue underneath and that should do the trick.
- Number all your pieces of card. I used a stamp set to do this, but if you have a felt-tip calligraphy pen to number them by hand, that would also look really good.
- Peg the numbered card onto each hessian pouch along with a sprig of ivy or conifer.
- Decorate the pouches however you please! I went with our kitchen colour scheme of green and pink, along with white, and used ribbon, lace, strips of tulle, decorative yarn and wool etc to wrap round them and dangle down. You could even add little baubles on them!
- Fill the pouches with chocolates or little presents.
- Thread the wool or thick thread through the drawstring loop (not both loops or it might be too difficult to actually get inside the pouch) and tie a knot to join the ends together. I made sure there were different lengths used, so they wouldn’t be all in a straight line when hung. (I used ordinary polyester sewing thread, which actually did turn out ok, but I’m not sure would be strong enough for younger kids.)
- Hang them all on the stick – I mixed up the numbers so they still had to hunt for the correct one each morning – and hang up the stick on the wall.
If you’d like to watch me making this rustic advent calendar, here it is as part of my vlogmas last year:
If you give a handmade advent calendar a go, please let me know – I’d love to see photos!