adventures in advents

December 3, 2009 at 12:24 am (christmas, craftiness n' colors, holiday, pieces of me)

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.”

-Harlan Miller
Advent calendars have been on my mind a lot. Seriously. I’ve been thinking about them since I saw this one on Sew Mama Sew back in – um – July. No joke. Ask Kendall. I sent her the link.
This beauty has also been lurking in the corners of my mind – and it was posted on Pink Chalk Studio back in December of 2008. . .
*sigh* They’re so pretty. . .
But lets be realistic here, even if I HAD the time for a QUILTED project like those (and there is no way in H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS that I do) I still would be faced with the dilemma that, yeah, I don’t know how to sew. Sure, I’ve DONE it before, but I totally suck at it. I wouldn’t be considered even a moderately decent seamstress by the kindest of souls. I can’t sew a straight line (well, I have problems with those no matter the medium – its my free spirit, I’m sure ). But these! These beauties look like someone put serious time into them, not to mention God-given talent. Tutorial or not, I just don’t think I can swing it. But it makes me sad.  Cuz’ I really WANTED one! I’ve always wanted one, and I don’t remember ever having one as a kid (sorry if I’m misremembering, mom). They just look like they’d be so much fun!
So, I checked out the shops. But the ones I saw there were either waaaaaay to expensive or just. . .not fabulous. So I figured I’d have to wait another year. Maybe between this Christmas and the Christmas after I could find a way to butcher my way into sewing an advent calendar of my very own. Then I remembered that I’m pregnant. And due in April. Well. . . phooey. Even in a year, with a new little infant to nurse and everything else that I do in a day – let’s be realistic here. I’m lazy, and busy, and it won’t happen – even in the 4 months I’ll have left between Christmas and April. It just won’t! This is a project that could possibly take me years to complete. *sigh*
And so I resigned myself. . .but I was sad. T would REALLY love one, I’m sure. She’s at the perfect age to start Christmas fun of this sort. And aside from that, we’re going to be learning about the days of the week and calendars starting in January, and what better introduction than a calendar that you get daily prizes from!?? Still, the end of November was upon us, and I had yet to find or create an advent calendar. . .
But on November 30th, I got all upset about it. Cuz’ . . . I just did. So I decided to make one of my own. And I did.
It is by no means perfectly done. . .
It was super-cheap, done entirely with stuff I randomly had around the house at the time. . .
I didn’t bother to measure. Anything. And we all know I can’t do straight lines to save my life.
Totally spontaneous, and created sans pattern using nothing but scissors and hot glue. . .
But I am SO proud of myself!
Teaball really loves it, and I like it, too! The whole thing took about an hour and a half-ish. And let me tell you – I never knew until now that I am a frikkin’ DIVA with a hot glue gun! Not a single stitch sewn. . . it may not last forever, but I’ll be happy with it for this year, and hopefully the one after.
Now I’m going to break down the cost of this whimsical project. . .
1. White background felt: 36"  white felt was around $2.99/yd,
but I got it at 50% off, and used 1/2 yard - so . . . 'bout $0.75
2. Felt for pockets: 4 sheets for $1. I used 3. . .  again $0.75
3. Ribbon for pockets: I got 2 packs of Christmassy ribbon from
the dollar rack at Target, and had EXACTLY enough. . .$2.00
4. Big pocket: This was a hand-towel that I got from the dollar
store, cuz' T was infatuated with it. . . $1
5. The blue edging ribbon I have had around since T's birthday
party. I wanna say it was 2 rolls for $1, but I didn't have a
whole roll.  I'll say $0.25
6. Hot glue can be bought here at the dollar store, and I used
about a half of a pack . . . $0.50
7. The dowel rod came with the house, so free for me.But I've gotten
them for around .25 in craft stores before . . . .$.025
8. Glitter fabric paint: I bought this 4 oz bottle years ago for
something like $3. I've used it countless times, and it still is
more than half-full. I have no idea! I'll randomly assign it $0.50 ?!?

Grand total: $6.oo and about an hour and a half of my time. 
I’d say it was well-spent. It may not be as perfectly nice as the ones I wanted, but it will do nicely until I get there. I also think its nicer than what I saw in the stores for a similar price – even if the lines don’t quite. . .ahm. . .line up perfectly! Plus, it matches my blue, silver, and white Christmas theme! Hooray for advent calendars – I’m so excited to finally have one!


  1. Kendall said,

    I absotively posolutely LOVE your calendar!! We handmade one ourselves and I think I prefer it that way. I bet yours will last, because you “Hot Glue Diva Frog Princess” will just re-hotglue it when the pieces start falling off, if they ever do! I never can get hot glue to let go of anything, so maybe it’ll last forever and it should store really well, too. 🙂 I think it’s great and even if T wasn’t able to help much in the making of it, that’s not what she cares about…it’s the GOODIES!!

  2. Amber said,

    Wow, really beautiful!!

  3. Sarah Benedict said,

    I LOVE it! You are very talanted. I couldn’t even come up with that!

  4. Jenn said,

    Wow, wow, wow! Your Advent calendar rocks!! Wow, wow, wow!!

  5. wecki77 said,

    I like yours better anyway. Tori’s has the little chocolates that she loves (given to us by my aunt over Thanskgiving), but it is not favulous…it is just a paper/cardboard style. The worst part, the numbers are everywhere! I’m sure there’s a reason because they are all like that. But for a little one learning their numbers, that’s hard. No only do we have to disucss what comes next, it’s not next. It is somewhere in any random space. Nice job!

  6. maygan said,

    It IS perfect, so cute and fun! What a neat project…of course now I wish I could sew because everything you posted looked lovely. *sigh*

  7. ChristinesLillSprouts said,

    I’m impressed! It looks great actually! Very cute! I’d love to know what you’re going to put in the pockets…I think that would be the difficult part for me. You’re so creative. I’m sure T will love it!

    • Me said,

      Thanks gals! You are all so kind to say such nice things – I know it isn’t all that, but it makes me so happy to ‘hear’ it!

      Kendall: I LOVE your calendar. I think it turned out great!

      Wecki: It seems to be a tradition in these things that the numbers go every which way. I intentionally made mine linear, because we’re also working on numbers, and will be working on calendars and such – T isn’t anywhere near good enough with number recognition to be able to find them in a batch like that. . .

      Maygan: I know! Those quilted ones are soooo pretty. But I KNOW you’re a crafty one, so forget sewing – c’mon momma – join the Hot Glue Gun Brigade! Be a diva with me – Trent would totally love an advent calendar of his very own – and Ryan, too!

      Christine: So far no candy, though I’m sure I’ll get around to that eventually! I have little dollar items that were supposed to be stocking stuffers laying around, and have been using them so far. Day 1 was a tiny Hello Kitty pen. Day 2 was a Christmas coloring book (I tore out 1 page and put it in th’ pocket, then gave the rest of it) and today was a Hello Kitty beaded necklace. Tomorrow will prolly be a lollipop. . .but I do try to avoid sugar. We’ll see – it will be hard to keep it up, but its only a month!

  8. Kelli said,

    As the Nester would say, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!” I think it is fabulous!!! You should be PROUD!!!

  9. Ki said,

    But you sew hippie bags SO WELL – don’t ever forget that!

  10. Saumya said,

    I’m impressed…Very beautiful!!!

  11. FooFoo said,

    Gorgeous, I love how you did the blues/violets spectrum for advent rather than red and green, blue is my all time favorite holiday color, along with silver….
    Beautiful, gorgeous calendar.

  12. YoMama said,

    Very, very nice! After Christmas, you can sew everything down permanently with your sewing machine. No pinning necessary!

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