How To: Make an Easy Advent Calendar

On yesterday's Christmas house tour, I promised to show you how I made the Advent calendar I put together over the weekend. So here's the "how to" on making an...

Step one: Gather your materials. For this project you will need:
  • About 1/2 a yard of burlap fabric (available at a fabric or hardware store).
  • 1 1/4" wide ribbon (I used green grosgrain that I had already).
  • A sheet of paper with the numbers 1 to 25 printed on it. You can hand-write them as well. It's up to you as to what "look" you're going for. If you print them, the size of the numbers will depend on the font you use. I used a font called Playdate for my numbers.
  • String/yarn/thread for hanging.
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Needle with a large eye (optional)
Step two: Cut your materials to size. Honestly, I eyeballed mine (sorry to all you exact measurements people out there!). If I had to guess, I think that the burlap rectangles measure 4" wide x 3" high and the ribbons are about 2" in length.

You should end up with 25 burlap rectangles, 25 pieces of ribbon, and 25 rectangles of paper with the numbers 1-25 written on them.

Step three: (optional) Fray the edge of your burlap. I pulled two strands out from each edge of the burlap to give my rectangles a more finished (but sorta unfinished, ha) look. This might be the easiest step of all, but I did take a picture of this process in action...I can just hear everyone saying "Ohhh, that's how you do it. I am soo glad you showed this step." Am I right? :) 

Step four: Assemble the layers. Center the ribbon piece on top of the burlap:

Center the number on the piece of ribbon. Staple the three layers in the top-center portion of the number. You can see the staples in later pictures.

Step five: String up the assembled pieces to make them into a banner. To make this easier, I threaded my string into a large-eyed needle and used the needle to weave the thread through the burlap on the back side. I forgot to take a picture of this step because I had to use both hands to do it (bad blogger). As you thread the burlap, slide each piece down toward the opposite end of the string. You can adjust the distance between the pieces later. Once strung up, it'll look a little something like this:

Step six: Hang your banner up in your room. I left about a foot of string on either end to allow for tying. Here it is in our living room over our TV:

And you're done! I'd suggest turning on your favorite TV show while you cut and assemble this project...it can be a little tedious and time-consuming, though mindless.

Now, I realize that this is not a traditional Advent calendar in that there aren't any presents to open (or chocolates to consume, ha). I wanted create a simple way to count down the days until Christmas. It can be so easy to get caught up in the materialistic hubbub of this season, but seeing this calendar each day reminds me that the real reason we are counting down the days is because of a person, not because of presents. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is the real reason for marking Christmas day every year, and I want to make sure I remember that in the midst of this busy time!


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  1. That turned out so cute! Love the burlap!


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