Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paper Pockets DIY Advent Calendar {& printable}

Advent calendars are one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Counting down to Christmas and celebrating a little bit each day leading up to the BIG DAY is really fun.

This year I was inspired by the Design Sponge DIY envelope Advent calendar featured on OhAmanda's Best Advent Calendars post. Paper crafts are my absolute favorite! So simple and so pretty. And? Recyclable!

The envelopes make cute little pockets for stashing something special for the kids to find each day.

I don't like to craft alone, so I invited some friends to come over for an Awesome Advent Adventure! While us moms crafted over coffee and salted caramel hot chocolate, the kids played contently in the 80degree sunshine. (typical Texas November)

We each crafted our pockets a little differently, adding our own flair and style. No two pockets alike, that's for sure!

Want to make your own? Here's what you need:
- 25 pockets, can be made up of 13 #10 envelopes, or any size envelopes
- stickers, construction paper, buttons, markers, any embellishments
- glue
- scissors, regular and/or decorative
- jute/twine, ribbon, string, or yarn
- clothespins (at least 12, i used 19)
Design Sponge printable numbers (cut apart)
- printable activities from MamaHall (cut apart)
- printable scriptures from MamaHall (cut apart)
- any other pocket fillers such as small candy, stickers, temporary tattoos, trinkets

Here is how I made my Paper Pockets Advent Calendar:
1. I started with 10 plain white #10 envelopes. BigGirl and I painted them red and green with watercolor paints. And then I cut them in half vertically, making 20 half-envelopes (pockets).

2. I found 3 brown invitation envelopes, about 4x6, and cut them in half vertically, making 6 half-envelopes (pockets).

3. Using the Design Sponge printable numbers, scrap paper, stickers, stamps, and stencils, I put a number on each envelope #1-25, and adorned some of them with other crafty embellishments.

4. I fixed the backs of the envelopes so that the opening was at the tops only, sealing the sides with double-stick tape. I also altered the tops of the pockets with fancy scrapbook scissors.

5. I hung a long strand of jute (twine), and clipped each envelope with a clothespin. I hung mine in the large window in our kitchen. On the mantel would be pretty, or draped on the staircase, or hung on any blank wall. Make sure you anchor each end of the twine good- the clothespins and pocket contents might be too heavy for a strip of tape. I had to tie mine on to the curtain rod.  

6. Fill each pocket with an activity from this printable page of Advent Activities. Includes 1 page of blanks for you to fill in some of your children's favorite activities.

7. Put a scripture in every other pocket (from this printable page of 12 Advent Scriptures.)

8. Add any extra trinkets or treasures to your pockets that you'd like. An idea I had was to find a small Nativity Scene puzzle and put one or two puzzle pieces in each pocket so that by Day 25 the puzzle will be complete!

Happy Countdown to a Merry Christmas!

feel free to share this Advent activity and my free printables with your friends, family, and readers. all i ask is that you keep it free and give credit where credit is due. thank you and Merry Advent!