i have always wanted to start the christmas tradition of doing an advent calendar with my kids, but the busyness of the season has always pushed it to the side – how sad is that?! well, not this year! i finally created an advent calendar we can reuse each year, and make changes each year if we want.
this year i have completely revamped our christmas decor. in the past, i have gone all out elaborate with with the traditional reds, but also threw in lime, pink and turquoise! its definitely festive, but this year i wanted to try something completely different: i’m calling it luxe lodge. i wanted to go for a warm, rustic feeling, then cover it in glitz and glitter! think pinecones, flannel and antlers mixed with feathers, faux fur and crystals. like it? me too!
want to learn how to make a modern advent calendar for yourself? its super easy! i started off by heading to home depot… and got a little distracted ;)
i bought a 2′ x 4′ plywood panel,
a small pot of quick-drying stain, and some essential prep supplies, like swifter 360* dusters and bounty towels for prep and cleanup, and febreeze to help eliminate the odor of the stain (it was a rainy day, so this project was going to be done indoors).
while the board i bought was precut and already pretty smooth, it still had a few spots that could use some smoothing out, so i lightly sanded the entire board with 100 grit sandpaper, paying special attention to the edges.
anytime i do a sanding project i like to use swifter projects since they pick up the dust better than any tack cloth.
the staining was super quick & easy – maybe 5-10 minutes.
next i gave the stain a little shake and open it up. do you know about the coin trick? if you don’t have a paint can opener or a flathead screwdriver on hand, a quarter can easily pop open the lid!
i used an inexpensive chip brush (so i could just toss it when i was done)
and painted a heavy coat of stain along the grain.
as soon as i had covered the whole length of the board, i wiped it down with a rag, again in the direction of the grain.
then i stained another section, the full length of the board, and wiped again, until the board was completed. the stain was created to dry in an hour, so i was able to complete this project the same day i stained it!
i wanted to use 25 hand-made envelopes for this project, so i grabbed a variety of envelopes i had on hand to get an idea for size and spacing.
next i gathered a handful of decorative papers (scrapbook paper and wrapping paper)
you can buy an envelope template, but i wanted to have several different sizes of envelopes and didn’t want to pay for them, so i made my own – its super easy. all you have to do is take an existing envelope in a size you like and open it up completely, pulling apart the sections that were adhered together. lay it flat and you have your envelope template!
with a pencil, i traced the template on the back of the papers so if i made any wonky lines i wouldn’t see them on the outside of the envelope.
also, i made sure the pattern placement of the paper was how i liked it as well.
after i cut out the envelope template outline, i folded it, using the corners as my guide.
for most of the cards i used double sided tape to stick the 3 sides to each other, but he glitter paper was a bit feistier, so i brought out the big guns (glue gun, that is).
one of my favorite things to do is play with color, pattern and style, so laying out the cards in a pleasing order was really fun for me! once i got them all in place, i used some washi tape to hold the cards down without damaging the paper.
i used tiny binder clips and itty bitty nails to secure the envelopes to the board.
thankfully, the wood i chose was fairly soft, so this task was pretty easy.
well, i heard it was easy – sean did it for me so i could take pictures!
the advent calendar hangs in our little hallway off our kitchen, where our family rules canvas usually hangs. i used a striped ribbon bow draped over a glass knob to look like the calendar is hanging from it, but its really hanging from wire in the back.
i found some great paper with advent numbers on it (basically anything with 1-25 will work), so i cut them out and simply hot glued them right on the envelopes so we know which envelope to open on which day!
i love all the variety of paper, the bits of glimmer mixed with newsprint, and the one red envelope.
when i was doing my layout of the envelopes, i wanted to leave a little space at the top to do something fun! i spelled out “joy” with some glittered letters i had and a mini wreath as the “o”. they are all held on with thumbtacks – so easy! and i wanted to add a little pop of color and tie in to the rest of the holiday decor, so i added a striped red bow to the top, hung by a vintage glass knob.
what i love most about this calendar is that i can easily change it up next year if i decide to change my decor again. i can add in a couple more colorful envelopes or even paint over the stain. i love that its going to be so versatile for our family, and for me, who can never make a permanent decision!
*This is a Sponsored Post, but all opinions are my own.