Friday, December 16, 2011

(Advent) Calendar Love

I know it's already the middle of December so you have probably either made an Advent calendar or scrapped the idea by now, but I absolutely love the one I made so I am still going to show it to you.

My Advent calendar idea was inspired by a couple things I saw on Pinterest. First, this amazing Christmas tree of vintage ornaments hung on a screen:

pinned here
via my fav bloggers, pinned here
I decided to make a magnetic Advent calendar. At first I was planning to just put it on our fridge, but then realized that the ornaments were likely to get knocked off because our fridge is in kind of an awkward position in our house. So I decided to use a magnetic board and hang it somewhere else in the house.

On my way home from work, I stopped at Goodwill and picked up a 16" x 20" botanical print for $7. Then I went to Target and picked up two sets of colorful ornaments.

Because it was nighttime and c-c-cold outside, I started painting the ornaments first. Using Martha Stewart silver craft paint, I labeled the ornaments #1-24.

After the ornaments dried, I used a hot glue gun to attach a magnet to the back of each one.

The next day, I took the glass out of the picture frame, set up shop in the back yard, and spray painted the frame. Learning from a previous projects, I made sure that I primed the frame.

After the frame was painted, I went to Home Depot to get some sheet metal and have it cut. Much to my dismay, the only piece of metal big enough for my 16 x 20" project was $20! No thank you. Instead of using sheet metal, I decided to go to Target and find a magnetic board that might fit. Luckily Target had a number of 16 x 12" magnetic dry erase boards, and I picked up the cheapest one for $7.

I unscrewed the frame around the whiteboard and pried it off with a screwdriver, which left me with this result:

The frame whiteboard didn't fit snuggly in the frame, so I used a hot glue gun to glue the white board to the backing of the original frame. Once I had my magnetic surface, I cut my fabric to size.

I used spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the whiteboard, spraying both the white board and the fabric.

Once the fabric was attached, I squeezed a bead of tacky glue on the inside of the frame. To make sure the board was secure, I also used upholstery tacks to hold the board in place. 

With the board done, I set out to make fabric pouches for each ornament. Using my sewing machine and some utility fabric I found for about $5/yard, I sewed little 3 x 3" ornament pouches. 

First I cut 24 4 x 7" panels of fabric:

Then I cut a piece of yarn and placed it near the top of the bag:

The first  seam I sewed was the drawstring pocket. Leaving the yarn in there made life SO much easier than if I had to pull the yarn through the pocket.

Then I folded the panel in half with the wrong side of the fabric facing me. I sewed along the two open unfinished edges. I was careful not to sew into the drawstring area so that I didn't render the drawstring useless.

Once I was finished sewing the pouch, I knotted the yarn and turned the bag from inside out to outside in.

Using the same silver Martha Stewart paint, I painted numbers on all 24 pouches. To prevent the paint from bleeding through the fabric to the back of the pouch, I used pieces of cardboard and pieces of a shopping bag in between the layers.

To display the bags of ornaments, I braided six strands of yarn together (3 strands doubled up), hung strand over a nail, and used tiny clothespins to attach the bags to the strand. 

I'm excited about the end result! I even glued the bow at the top of the board to a magnet, so that it's completely removable. That way I can use the magnet board throughout the year!

Has anyone else made a cool Advent calendar this year? I think they're a really fun Christmas activity with so many different way of making them your own. 


  1. Oh my gosh! That is so cool! I've been really wanting to make an advent calendar this year, but I just haven't gotten around to it (and now it's getting kind of late).

    This is such a good idea with the magnetic advent calendar using ornaments! Love it!

    You've inspired me! I should just make my advent calendar now before Christmas is over, so that way at least I have it come next year!


  2. Aw thanks! I'm glad you like it! The nice thing about it is that you can use the magnet board all year if you want!

    And I agree -- Do it now so that you'll have it ready for next year!

  3. So smart! I love the idea & it looks gorgeous too.


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