This year was the first holiday season that my daughter, now 2 1/2, really understood what was going on… that the Christmas Season is a time for cheer and merriment, decorating, cooking, doing fun projects, singing funny songs, and spending time with family. The concept of Christmas Season vs. Christmas Day took a little explanation and reinforcement, however. So I decided to hunt down an advent idea that would help give her a visual reference for the approach of Christmas day.
Let me say, there are a lot of truly adorable advent ideas out there. As you can imagine, doing a Pinterest search results in a plethora of craftacular ideas. And yet, I wasn’t quite satisfied for my purposes, so I created one of my own.
I decided to go with an ornament advent calendar because she really loved decorating the tree, and wanted to decorate it more every day, which goes hand-in-hand with this project. Additionally this way the days that past were completely separated from the days to come, making the approach of Christmas Day visual, my key criteria. Eventually each morning she would count how many ornaments were left, and how close we were to Christmas.
You could do this project any number of ways… paint store bought globes with the numbers (could combine this with other fun bulb painting projects, such as family hand prints, reindeer, snowmen), cut felt flags with coordinating felt numbers (pick just three or four coordinating seasonal colors and combine with felt garlands to tie it all in), or do salt dough with numeric cookie cutters (paint and glitter as desired, as discussed in the salt dough post here). The options are as endless as your creativity.
I decided to use my Silhouette craft cutter for this project. I actually did find an advent flag stencil in the online shop that I launched from for my design (here), but modified it a bit. I liked the colors and the mix of designs, but wound up switching some up (21-25 were too similar), making each two colors, and adjusting the cut so I could fold them in half and have them be double-sided. From there I simply printed them on cardstock, had the Silhouette cut them out, folded and glued them together, hole-punched a spot for some twine, and since I had some mini jingle bells lying around in a craft bin, half of them jingle-jangle.
Before they wound up on the tree here they were pinned to a ribbon hanging above our mantle. My daughter could easily see them, and they looked pretty. They often wound up clustered in the same spot on the tree, but we’re not sensitive to that so that’s what you see in the pics here.
I hope this post reminds you to find your own twist on all the genius ideas you can find out in the world of craft we have access to at our finger tips these days. I find it so easy to forget that a tutorial isn’t the end-all-be-all, and you can’t help but grin a silly little grin when you see your own creative edge on a complete project.