Merry Christmas!!! Ho Ho Ho!!! I know, it's a little early, but this year I have decided to do my 12 Days of Christmas starting on December 1st instead of the 13th, so that there is time to actually make the projects! And I have a good line-up this year for your holiday enjoyment.
So today is Day One, and we are starting with an Advent Calendar. Its really cute and not hard to do, but it does take some time to make, so lets get started!
|I had trouble getting a good picture because its long and skinny.|
You need 3 sheets of 12x12 cardstock in your favorite Christmas color (mine are red), these are your base sheets. You also need 2 more sheets in the complimentary color (mine are green). Set all of these aside for now. Then you need 24 scraps of Christmas design or solid color paper to make the pockets. You need to cut 24 pockets that are 3 1/2"x 3 5/8". Take one of those pieces and score three edges 1/2" in from the edges. Cut the two bottom corners at an angle and fold up the pocket. This should make your pocket, when folded, 3" tall and 2 5/8" wide. (You can also make a template out of poster board or a thin plastic sheet type cutting board and place it on each pocket and fold around it. Just make sure if you do it this way, that your template is a little smaller so that your finished pocket still measures 2 5/8" x 3".)
Now do this with the other 23 pockets. You can use cardstock or paper. It won't matter. Now here comes the fun part. Decorate those pockets any way you like!
|The picture part moved up where it didn't belong, but I think you can still see the pockets OK.|
You can see that on some of the pockets I used a circle punch on the top edge and left some of them straight. I used a different paper for every pocket, but you could use all coordinating papers if you wanted. I used a QuicKuts font for the numbers, sorry I don't remember which one. It belongs to my sister-in-law. I love its old-fashioned look. Like I said, this is the fun part, so just have FUN!
Now let's start the assembly. Lay out your two base sheets of cardstock. Take the two complimentary color sheets and trim 1/2" off two sides, then place them on the two base sheets and center them. There should be 1/4" all the way around. Attach them with scrapbook adhesive, whichever kind you prefer, but make sure it is permanent. These two together now make up your base sheets. Put two eyelets on the top and bottom edges of each base sheet, about 1/2" from the top and bottom edges and 3" in from the sides. These are for attaching the sheets together and for hanging.
Lay out all your pockets in numerical order. For this step, all the measurments will be for the TOP base sheet, the one that is now 11 1/2" square. You should have 1/4" between each pocket and 1/4" on each edge. Starting at the top of the page, leave 3/4" inch above each pocket so you have room for the cards to go in an out, and so they don't overlap onto the pocket above. Make them as even as possible and attach them to the base sheets.
The next thing to do is to decide on the activities you want to put on the cards. Here is a list of what's on mine, but you can put whatever you want on yours.1. Do a good deed every day in December
2. Make a Friendship Bread Starter (recipes are online)
3. Make handmade Christmas cards
4. Make a new ornament for your tree
5. Finish your cards
6. Make presents for Grandmas and Grandpas
7. Make some Christmas cookies
8. Take some cookies to the neighbors
9. Make a Christmas card ball ( directions in 12 Days of Christmas 2010)
10. Make some Christmas candy
11. Make gifts for teachers.
12. Have a Christmas movie marathon
13. Finish the grandparents' gifts
14. Play "Build a Snowman" (coning up in a future post)
15. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
16. Do your last-minute shopping.
17. Wrap all the presents!
18. Make some Friendship Bread
19. Go caroling OR Have hot chocolate and sing some carols.
20. Read a new Christmas book or story
21. Wear Santa hats all day long
22. Have a Fruitcake Toss competition
23. Play "I Spy" around the Christmas tree
24. Read the true Christmas story from the 2nd chapter of Luke in the New Testament
I printed the cards on business card stock, so they were exactly the right size. at the top of the backs of the cards, I stamped Merry Christmas with a little stamp I have that just fits, so that it shows when the cards are in the pockets.
The last sheet of 12x12 cardstock you have left is for the picture section. Score it at 6", right down the middle, and fold it in half. You can attach your family photo any way you like. I cut a hole for my picture to go behind, like a photo mat, but you could just attach the picture right to the cardstock and it would look just as good. I found a little poem in an old Christmas card that I liked and printed it out and cut a hole for it, too. Now, choose the color of ribbon that you want to use to fasten them together, and tie the sheets together using the eyelet holes. Put a loop through the top two eyelets to hang it by, and Ta Duh! You have an advent calendar like no one else's!
Here is what the little poem says:
It's a season of magic
and sugar spun sights,
Of gossamer angels and
bright, twinkling lights.
It's a season of feelings,
of love and of laughter,
Of memories to make
and to keep ever after.
I hope you will enjoy making these advent calendars and will use them through the years. I leave the same picture every year to remind me of what my family looked like in 2005. Wow! We have lost two of the adults in this photo, through divorce, gained two others, through marriage, and gained two more grandchildren and three step-grandchildren since then. And there are six who are not in the picture! As of today, December 1, 2011, we have 8 children, five ex-children that we still care about, and 18 grandchildren, including all those we gained through marriages! Maybe I DO need a new picture!
I hope you are getting into the Christmas Spirit, and remember what Anne Frank said..."No one has ever become poor by giving." Until tomorrow,