Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Advent Calendar DIY Round-up (Euro-style)

Ok, there are seriously so many good ideas out there for Advent calendars! I'm going to have to decide soon what I'm going to do this year so I can start working on it and not end up with a rush job like last year's calendar. My husband has actually put in a request: please don't make each day's container the same size. Hm, ok. So a lot of the following ideas won't work, BUT there's hope!

kalendars 1web

Aren't these amazing? 1) German lifestyle magazine Brigitte features a calendar where paper cups are decorated, filled, and then staple-gunned to a rustic plank. 2) All Sorts has this cute felt pocket calendar tutorial complete with template for sewing your own felt pockets. 3) Another example from Brigitte's inspiration gallery, this advent calendar is sewn onto a larger canvas with seams leading up to paper/fabric flags that fold back to reveal a message.

kalendars 2web

Love these! 4) is another Brigitte idea featuring decorated paper cups tied to a branch. 5) Cathe Holden offers a free downloadable calendar to use on vintage spools. Clever! 6) Brigitte really had a lot of cute ideas; here's another one featuring painted twigs and mini-presents.

kalendars 4web

I've entertained the covered matchbox idea (6) by German magazine, Wohnidee. We go through a lot of matches around here with tealights and tea drinking. They had another re-purpose idea to cover and decorate cans (7) that I like. We're pretty bad about making frequent recycling runs, so we have a nice little stash of tins in the pantry...

kalendars 3web

It Is What It Is blog provides free downloadable advent number templates to make their cute brown bagged calendar (9). Tina over at Flying House decorated envelopes (10) for her family-on-the-go. Pretty practical with those holiday travels! Eighteen25 makes pretty scrapbook paper cones to put over gifts (11). I think it would be tempting to peek, but it adds to the mantel decor! As you receive more holiday cards, you'll also make more room working your way through the calendar.

kalendars 5web

I love this Brigitte idea to paint old jars variations of a color (12) and add some simple number tags. I'm such a monochromatic person when it comes to decor, so this is totally something I'm thinking of doing! Another clever repurposing idea from Brigitte is to decorate old CD/DVD jewel cases. All sorts of flat gifts could go in here (movie tickets, treasure hunt clues, gift certificates, etc.).

kalendars6web

If you're not up to making your own, here are a few fun examples of calendars you can purchase from the German catalog, Impressionen. A) Wooden elk/moose with numbered bags, B) red and white calendar with Lindt chocolates (yum!), C) Pretty galvanized magnetic board to hang little bags and decor, D) Red wooden tree silhouette with shelves for pretty boxes, and E) Numbered canisters to decorate, fill and stack as you please.

Lots of those to-purchase ideas look like they could easily been DIY'd, know what I mean? I have a feeling I'm going to do a combination of the jar (#12) and can (#7) ideas...I'll let you know.

What are you doing for your Advent calendar this year? Do you always do the same thing or do you try to mix it up? I have to say I didn't grow up with this tradition, but it seems to be a long-standing tradition here in Germany. I also have this feeling it's growing in popularity in general. What do you think?

11 comments :

Karen at French Skinny said...

Wow! I've always just bought one already made with little chocolates in them. It never occurred to me to make my own.
I love them. They are so creative.
Last year it was my little boy's favorite thing to wake up to in the morning and open the day's little treat.

What to do?

Thanks.

Julie said...

Ha! I almost wrote a post about this very topic this morning and even had picture no. 6 ready to go...great minds think alike :-)! There are so many great ideas out there; one of my favorites was featured in a Swedish photo shoot last year. The lady of the house took itsy-bitsy baby socks (one always goes missing) and made the most adorable advent calender. Great post!

Antje said...

Nice job Juliette! I like how you put it together so nicely. :-) I usually re-use a one made from fabric that I got as a present myself.
:-)

cate said...

so many great ideas, but i vote for the painted glass jars idea! soooo great. cannot wait to see what you decide, juliette!

Bonnie said...

oh wow !!! Those are amazing !!!

likeschocolate said...

What fabulous ideas!

Kelly said...

Love this round-up - it's great! I started a very simple one with 25 small sized stockings of slightly different colors/sizes. I made tags from cardstock all printed in different fonts/colors and tied them on with ribbon. It was simple - but all I had time for that year. My husband had a request too (since the advent calender was for him) - he only wanted chocolate, nothing else inside. ;-)

Grey Lemon said...

I adore your Avent Calendar selection, many great ideas, very inspiring!!

Thanks for your comment last week & the Etsy fav, very much appreciated!!

PS: I'm proposing you a tag on books / authors (if you want!)

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

I'm not able to do these calendars, but here is a lot of pretty good ideas (and beautiful to look)

Jul said...

The first advent after I quit my job, I made an elaborate advent calendar for my husband. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to introduce him to the concept (I used to have them as a child; he did not). Every year I think about making another one, but other projects always grab my attention away.

tschitschi said...

puh, so many options!

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