diy project: prudent baby easy advent calendar

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this fun diy project comes from jacinda at prudent baby. she whipped up this last-minute advent calendar using common office supplies, and created something that the whole family could enjoy. whether you fill your bags with presents and sweets, it’s always fun to have a little something special with which to start your day. thanks so much to jacinda for sharing her project with us!

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

Easy Advent Calendar from Prudent Baby

What You’ll Need:

– A Frame – this is the RIBBA frame from IKEA – 19 3/4″ x 19 3/4″
– Foam Core or Cardboard to fit frame
– String – this is Martha Stewart Baker’s Twine from Michaels
– Head pins or Tacks
– x-acto and straight-edge
– Adhesive – I love my Xyron products but you can use double-stick tape or even spray adhesive (cough-cough)
– Wrapping Paper or Fabric to cover Foam Core – This is Marimekko Christmas paper from Crate & Barrel a few years ago.
– Small Paper Bags (see photo) from Michaels
– Number Labels – I used my handy Dymo Label Blaster
but you can use number stickers, stencils, a glitter pen, or a #2 pencil.
– Stickers or tape to seal your envelopes
– Little surprises for your bags. I chose stickers for my sticker loving girl but you can do little prizes or candy or notes (maybe a christmas-y activity every day!)

Instructions:

1. These are the bags that I bought from Michaels’, I stuffed each one with a few stickers.

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2. Remove the back and the glass of the frame.

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3. Cut a piece of decorative paper to the size of the frame back.

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4. Adhere the decorative paper to the foam core and trim the foam core down to size.

5. Insert the foam core into the frame and secure.

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6. Fold over the top of each little bag and arrange them on the frame. I did a 5 x 5 arrangement but with a rectangle, you would do 4 x 6.

7. Cut a length of string for each row and tie a knot at each end leaving a small tail.

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8. Pin through the knot to start each row. Push the pin at an angle so you can tape over the part that comes through on the back or bend pin backs to avoid the sharp points.

9. Pull string snugly across frame and pin knot on the other end.

10. Hang fold of each bag on the string. The flap can either face front of back.

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11. Secure each flap with a sticker or tape.

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12. Number each envelope from 1-25. I did this at the end because I was using stickers and because my “prizes” were all interchangeable. Feel free to number your bags earlier in the process.

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  1. Rebecca says:

    that is so neat.
    As a child, my mother hung an advent calendar for us every year and we totally looked forward to it. At first it was just paper doors, then as we got older we always looked for a chocolate treat each day!

  2. I simply loved that. It is cleaver and simple!
    That’s what I did for these Christimas http://raquelminardi.blogspot.com/2009/11/christmas-count.html

  3. I loved our advent calendar growing up…this is fabulous too!

  4. A really smart idea! I would fill some of the pockets with little notes and wishes. Wouldn’t it be fun if each had a riddle that once solved led to a little treat?

  5. wishcake says:

    I adore this! I’m a little late to see this post, but I’m printing it out so I can do this next year. I’ve been looking for a crafty type of advent calendar!

    Totally adorable.

    :)

  6. abigail says:

    ooh that’s lovely! i made a travel-friendly calendar for my boyfriend last year because we were all over the place in december. it was a bit bigger than a match box and the gifts were written on tiny messages hidden in mini plastic test tubes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44679587@N00/4390437420/
    very handy!

  7. Sibylle says:

    i loove it! great idea! this year I made my own DIY Advent calendar, a last minute thing! The kids and the hubby love it: http://fun.kyti.me/index.php/2010/12/diy-advent-calendar/

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