Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Counting down…

Well it snowed here last night so I’m just gonna talk about it…only 43 days till Christmas!!!

christmas countdown app

We’re holiday freaks around here (including my husband, the one who insisted on a 12 foot tree!!) and we unabashedly love this season and planning for it. The boy and I have been talking about our plan of attack on the holiday decor for a good week now. I know we have Thanksgiving to go still and yes, I honor that day plenty (and I’m thankful all year round), but I love Christmas most of all. So for today…we’re talking about it!

(Cause it snowed. It’s allowed now.)

Every year about this time I share a few advent calendar ideas so if you’d like to DIY (or order!) one, you’ll have plenty of time. Only 18 more days till December! Am I freaking you out yet? :)

Let’s start out with the tried and true – Pottery Barn never disappoints this time of year. And sometimes you (or is it me?) just want to buy something and not DIY it:

pottery barn advent

(source)

I’ll take the white planked wall behind it too.

I believe it was Ballard Designs that did the advent pillow idea a couple years back, but I love this PB version too:

pottery barn advent pillow

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I’ve seen DIY versions of that that I’m sure are much cheaper, but man, that would take a lot of time, right? I don’t know, maybe not.

I found this cute version on Etsy:

DIY advent calendar

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LOVE the fun graphics on that one! You could do this yourself with spice tins and some wrapping paper as well.

I thought this version was lovely as well:

box advent calendar

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So detailed and pretty right? I think I love these as much as the kids. (Can I get an adult version big enough for a margarita? No?)

OK, let’s talk do-it-yourself now! This one is pretty basic but kind of BRILLIANT:

toilet paper roll advent

(source)

Any guesses as to what that is? Yep, toilet paper rolls. ;) You could also save the paper towel rolls and get a few out of each one I bet. I LOVE the idea of the kids breaking through the front to get to the treat. How fun is that? And you could easily dress that up – use colored paper or again, wrapping paper. You don’t even need to number them really.

And…you could make it into the shape of a tree perhaps? So cute.

My friend Beckie knocked off one of my favorite PB advent years back:

bucket advent calendar

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She used tiny buckets from the wedding section at the dollar store! I looked for tiny buckets all over a couple years back – this is so smart. (I think a few come in a package so this could be done for under ten bucks easy.)

This idea is pretty cute too – using a muffin tin:

muffin tin advent calendar

(source)

From what I can tell you just cut out the paper (in circles or squares) and then glue magnets to the back. Pretty easy!

This one isn’t quite as interactive for the kids, but Laura’s advent art was so pretty I just had to share it:

advent calendar art

(source)

Isn’t that just beautiful? Sigh. Her fireplace always looks amazing too.

And finally, I made our advent calendar five years ago and it’s still going strong:

advent calendar boxes

I usually just put the little boxes out but this year I may corral them into a tray or one spot. I don’t know, still need to think on that some more. It was a lot of work when I made it (but fun!) but it’s held up great!

My son LOVES seeing these come out:

advent calendar boxes

Do you have an advent calendar? Have you made one? Feel free to share a link to your DIY versions in the comments!

32 comments:

  1. Source for toilet appear roll advent calendar is http://www.morningcreativity.com/diy-toilet-paper-roll-calendar/.

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  2. I love that toilet paper roll one!! We started it last year with little muslin bags that I numbered. I just keep them in a basket. My kids love it!!

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  3. I love, love, love Advent ideas...so here is mine: http://waldeewee.blogspot.com/2013/11/advent-idea.html I made several of these years ago and always love to pull it out and make sure it's full of goodies and the Bible story too.

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  4. My favorite advent calendar is the one my mom made when I was little and now it is in my house. She would mix up the ornaments in the pockets every year and we would take turns who went first but Christmas Eve was always the Santa one, which meant Santa was coming that night. (Squeal! So exciting!) Here is a link to it, about 7 pics down http://rebeccasroundup.blogspot.com/2012/12/christmas-decor-2012.html. Thanks, love your personality and your blog.

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  5. Mwaaahhh! Thanks friend....I have one more....
    http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2011/12/advent-calendar-pillow.html

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  6. Oh my goodness, these are all so cute! Just for grins I had to go check out the price on the PB one -- gasp, heart attack, and who buys these things? Well, not me, but it sure is cute!

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  7. I love your advent calendar. I like colorful holiday stuff. :) I made one last year with a long ribbon and some decorated mini envelopes. Easy peasy! http://www.serenitynowblog.com/2012/11/diy-ribbon-and-envelope-advent-calendar.html

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  8. LOVE these! I am not ashamed to say that I am decorating now (it usually takes a few weeks!) while our Canadian Thanksgiving is in early Oct, I'm pretty sue I'd start now if I lived in the US too. I wouldn't dream of criticizing anyone for decorating on Dec 24, or not at all, and it just seems to me that people are all too quick to criticize those that like to start early. Anyhow, I love that you posted this inspiration, and whether you decorate today, or next month, can't we all just be friends? :) I kid, this comment just sounds all too serious now.

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  9. Nothing says Christmas like a countdown advent calendar. Love your ideas!

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  10. I've done the muffin tin one and it's not hard at all. The fun is deciding what the "gifts" are going to be..

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  11. I wrap up Christmas books and the kids get to open one each night to read during Advent. As the pile gets smaller they know it's getting closer to Christmas.

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  12. These are all fabulous! : ) I have one I started last year with the kids. http://cherishedbliss.com/2012/11/christmas-advent-calendar-12-days-of-christmas.html

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  13. I'm super duper excited to be working on my first Advent Calendar - made out of burlap bags. I love this time of the year!!

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  14. I totally agree with you...if it snows then you can talk about Christmas! Heck, I will sprinkle glitter all around too! Unfortunately for this Tennessee gal we rarely get snow but I did buy my faux snow at Pottery Barn Outlet a couple of weeks ago! Love all the advent calendars! So cute!!!

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  15. I don't have a proper Advent calendar but your post makes me want to make or buy one!
    Since I'm in California I would never get to be excited about Christmas if I had to wait for snow but I too love Christmas!

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  16. My friend, Alex just did this one at www.Northstory.ca and I think it's so cute and clever! http://www.northstory.ca/diy-advent-calendar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diy-advent-calendar

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  17. Sarah - thanks so much for sharing my Advent calendar. I just got an email from a friend - I have finally made it in her eyes because I am on your site! Thanks for giving me some street cred!

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  18. I'm still stuck on 18 days. My eyes glazed over after that.

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  19. I love the Pottery Barn Tree Calendar!! Gorgeous! This is the link for the one I made last year, http://www.houseontheway.com/christmas-advent-calendar-idea/.
    Thanks!
    Leslie
    House on the Way

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  20. We have several, actually :) My parents have given us several, and I have a hard time deciding which to use each year.

    I did make one a couple years ago, from paper towel tubes, too! Here it is: http://agoodhomeblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/o-little-town-of-paper-towel-tube.html

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  21. oooo love the punch out one the kids would have fun with that!
    i did one last year and im thinking of pulling it out again (with new cards though)

    http://thesemicrafter.blogspot.com/2012/12/snowflake-advent-calender.html?m=1

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  22. I made a really fun one last year similar to the Etsy one, but in a wreath shape. Since I have teenaged boys I had to get a little clever with it and it ended up being a very special memory!

    http://homecrushblog.com/goodbye-fall-happy-christmas/

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  23. We use one that my grandma made - it's so special and makes me think of her. I love the ideas that you shared!

    http://www.mrsbomb.com/2612/31-days-counting-down-to-christmas-day-21/

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  24. This is the first year we're doing an advent calendar, so I've been looking up all I can find--I'm ending up with a hybrid (of course ;). Great inspiration, Sarah!

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  25. Aw shucks we haven't had any snow yet, I'm waiting for it, it's about time. ( live just few miles west of Grand Junction, CO) I've never made one, odd since we had 4 kids. Didn't know what we were missing huh? What area do you live in?
    I don't even need snow to think about Christmas, making things. Went digging in my holiday projects earlier this week to see if I could find some inspiration. I usually make paper ornaments every year but decided to make something else. Last year we didn't have a tree, (just a small table one). I'd love to have a small real tree but even those have gotten outrageous. Just love the smell of it.
    Maybe I can get some real branches to make a swag with to hang on the wall by the tree
    I just notice that the older I'm getting I'm not quite up to doing what I used to. Putting it all away is hardest part for me but I so love decorating and making things to give away. Love the hustle to get it all done on time. A few years ago I was going in to have a knee replacement and postponed for a week so I could get gifts finished and cards done. It's a 5 day hospital stay and you sure don't feel like making things or decorating when you get home (had already had right knee replaced year before) so I had surgery done on Dec.14th. instead of 7th. lol.
    I'm going to go back up to read all your comments and see what they all made for advent calenders. Great post, loved it.

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  27. They are supposed to be really good as well.

    http://www.amezingblog.com/rugs-101-how-to-choose-the-ideal-bath-mat/

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  28. My son has a lot of food restrictions, so I came up with this little food-free advent tree last year. Some dear friends gave us a special little tree one Christmas when our firstborn was in the NICU and we didn't have time or money to get a real tree, and now that we bought a bigger tree for our main tree, we use our little one for this!
    http://thepursers.blogspot.com/2013/11/in-preparation-for-december.html

    Just wrap 25 little ornaments and put them under the tree. Sing a Christmas song together and open one present every night before bed. It's so fun for little kids!

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  29. These are all such great ideas, much better ideas than the store bought advent calendars! Thanks for sharing!

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  30. What beautiful ideas! I'm new to your blog and I love it already. You make me laugh for sure and inspire me greatly. My daughter (age 11) and I are going to make one of these lucky crafts. Decisions decisions!

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  31. My girls made cookies each year with their Nana that in turn were individually wrapped and hung in her kitchen as a countdown to Christmas. We live near and they were able to visit almost daily and eat a cookie from their ribbon hanging in her kitchen.
    Now it is time for me to carry on the tradition with my 3 year old grandson. We live in GA and they are in WI so we will wait until they visit and make a week countdown cookie ribbon. Best part is the time spent together making the cookies and decorating them. Also nothing to store away after the holiday except a bow and yard of ribbon!

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