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Advent Calendar

My kids have always been fascinated with hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree. I think there is nothing cuter than watching their little hands hang special ornaments. I created this ornament advent calendar to keep them happy and involved during the season. Each day they can hang an ornament (with the days date on it) on the Christmas tree…when the crate is empty…it is Christmas time!

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You Will Need...

  • Basswood boards, 3" x 24"
  • Black Acrylic Paint or Chalkboard Paint.
  • DecoArt Glamour Dust in Ice Crystal
  • Decoupage, matte
  • Sand Paper
  • Foam brush
  • Saw - just to saw the board into pieces
  • Drill
  • Paint pen, white or white paint and small brush
  • Pencil
  • Print out of the numbers in font of your choosing
  • Ribbon, twine, cord, wire for hanging
  • Distress Ink, Frayed Burlap
  • Optional: Vintage Christmas Images from The Graphics Fairy (the first time I made these I did not use images on the reverse - this is how I am updating them for 2011!)
Estimated Time:
  • Step 1

    Paint the basswood board (prior to cutting it) and let it dry. Two coats is best. If you use chalkboard paint, rub chalk all over the board and wipe off.
  • Step 2

    Measure out the squares for the numbers - I made my numbers 3" x 3" - that yielded 8 numbers per board - and cut into equal pieces. This process leaves rough edges - the Basswood is so light and thin that it tends to crack when cut. This was not my intention, but it also did not bother me - Rough and distressed makes me smile.
  • Step 3

    Sand all edges with the Sanding Bug to remove sharp edges and rough patches. This also gives the edges a distressed look, which I ended up loving. (NOTE: You can cute the boards first and then paint for a less distressed look).
  • Step 4

    5. Print out your font in a size that you prefer (one that fits on the 3x3 square).6. For the numbers, now, we go old school... A. Cut out the numbers/dates. B. Take a pencil and on the back side of the print out, rub pencil lead using the side of the pencil on the lines of the font. C. Then flip over position on the square, correct side up. D. Using the pencil trace the lines of the numbers/date. You get a faint outline of the date in the font you desire. E. Then use the paint pen or you paint and a paintbrush and go over the numbers. Let dry.
  • Step 5

    Drill 2 holes in each pieces about 3/4" in and 3/4" down on the top. This also splits the boards a little (NOTE: If you choose to cut your board prior to painting, drill holes then as well)
  • Step 6

    Once this is all dry, glam it up a little with some DecoArt Glamour Dust. I am so in love with this paint...it creates a subtle sparkling finish...beautiful. I just paint all over the front
  • Step 7

    Once dry, distress the edges of the numbers by running them through the ink.
  • Step 8

    Optional: Once the number side is dry, add the image to the back. Cut/trim/tear image to size; apply a thin layer of decoupage to the back using a foam brush; apply image; apply another layer of Decoupage over the image and let dry
  • Step 9

    Once dry cut ribbon into lengths of about 10" (it can be longer or shorter). Thread through, from the back side, into each hole. Knot on the front side and you have your hanger.
  • Step 10

    Voila - you are done!

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