As promised, here is a step by step guide to how I created this years advent calendar for my husband. He always appreciates handmade gifts, so I know he will love it!
I had a rough idea in my head of what I wanted to the advent calendar to look like. I really wanted it to look interesting with each number looking different but still all contrasting in a rustic theme. I pulled out bits of material, card, cork and basically anything that fitted in with my rustic/ non girly natural colour scheme. So no frilly bits.. ( I’ve saved them for tomorrows Christmas DIY blog! ). As a little personal challenge, I wanted this project to be 100% upcycled, costing nothing to make while making good use of old things, literally not buying so much as a paper cup!
First: How I made the little buckets
I used: Paper cups, lollipop sticks, cocktail sticks, paint, glue, scissors, staple gun, hessian/twine, craft knife, brown card, paint brush, black ink, pen and letter stamps.
I started by measuring 5cm up from the bottom of a paper cup, then I drew a line all the way around, cut along the line and put scrap cup to one side.
I took some lollipop sticks and measured and marked about 5 and a half cm up from each end. I carefully cut along the marked lines using a craft knife. You get two separate sticks out of one lollipop leaving a little left over.
Once I had enough sticks to go all the way around, I brushed PVA glue on to the cup and then carefully stuck on the sticks, making sure the rounded end of the stick was pointing upwards and the cut end was lined up with the bottom of the cup. The extra half a cm difference between the cup height and the stick height means you don’t see the top edge of the paper cup, just the nice rounded stick tops. Its easier to do this in sections to give the glue time to start sticking. Dont worry if your sticks overlap …it’s better than leaving a gap… and its rustic looking anyway!
Tip: I put hair bobble’s around the cup to help hold the sticks on while drying
Once the glue had dried, I removed the bobbles and painted the sticks with white emulsion. I glued on a piece of hessian type ribbon around the base to hide the rough edge of the cut sticks. I cut the rim off the remaining bit of the cup that I had set aside, then stapled it into the bucket to make the handle. The staples went through the sticks no problem.
Finally I used my number stamps kit to stamp on the word seven in black ink. The other bucket was created much the same apart from cocktail sticks were used instead of lollipop sticks and brown card used for the number 18 and for the handle.
Next: How I made the Mini Briefcase
I used: Mini canvases, printed card, scissors, PVA glue, staple gun, brown card and a number 6 cut out of a used postage envelope.
I placed one of the mini canvases on to a piece of printed card, then cut down the paper size so that there was just enough left to wrap around and staple onto the canvas. I repeated this with the other mini canvas. It’s not essential, but I glued the canvas first before I wrapped the card on.
Tip: I bought these mini canvases some years ago in a pack of four from the £1 shop, but you could use sardine tins or any two containers with an open side and recess, leaving space to put a treat inside.
For the next stage I cut out a little piece of the spare card and glued it on the top of the briefcase to create a hinge. Then I cut out a strip of brown card and bent it over my finger to shape it, then glued down the two ends to the top of the case making the handle. Finally I cut out a number 6 from a postage label and glued it on to the corner of the briefcase.
Cute: My husband will be working away on the 6th of December, so I might sneak this into his briefcase and put his favorite sweets inside!
Next: How I made the Envelopes
I used: plain white paper, gold pen, PVA glue, a ruler and Scissors
Using a piece of A4 paper that I had already cut in half (lengthways) I folded it in half then opened it back out. Next I folded up one of the sides by about a third, keeping it folded, I then folded the rest of that half up to about a third down from the top. Then I rounded of the corners of one end using scissors. I used a gold pen to draw on the numbers, then glued together the two sides creating an envelope.
Tip: If that sounded complicated, Its not…I’m sure it will be my bad explanation…. I ve attached a link to my video down below if you get stuck!
Next: How I made the other Envelopes and Tags
I used: white paper, brown paper, glue, card, black pen, scissors, stamps, sponge, buttons, twine, cork, paint and numbers cut from postage envelopes.
For all of the other envelopes, I basically just played around with different variations of the above. I used the end of a glitter tube as a stamp to create vintage looking spots, tied twine around, stuck bits of cork onto buttons to look like straps and basically just had fun decorating, stamping and writing all different variations of numbers. I cut a tag shape out of an old cork board then wrote the number seventeen on it in black pen. The other tag was made by gluing hessian onto card, then once it was dry, I cut a tag shape out, then cut a number 9 out of some card and used it as a stencil to sponge paint the number on.
Next: How I made the Boxes & Containers
I used: a plastic lidded container, paint, scissors, paintbrush, match boxes, white paper, brown paper, twine, stamps, black pen and hessian
I wrapped up different sized match boxes and decorated them much like the envelopes above. I painted the number 2 on to a little plastic container then tied hessian around the top.
Tip: wrap up the two parts of the match box separately so it can still be opened to put the goodies in!
Next: How I made the Mini Hessian Sack
I used: Hessian, scissors, needle, thread, card, sponge and paint
I cut off a strip of hessian about 15 inches long, folded it in half, then loosely sewed big stitches up both open sides, then sewed a separate stitch across the sack around three-quarters of the way up, repeating this going the opposite way leaving a length of thread spare at either side. I pulled the threads in and tied them in a knot to keep the sack pulled in. Then I stenciled a number using paint and card.
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Finally: How to hang all 25 Numbers
For this final stage, I used a branch from our garden and tied twine around it then hung it on the wall with a nail. I used string and twine to tie all 25 Packages, containers, tags and envelopes on. With some of the packages I attached a little peg or clip if it made it easier to hang. I tried to display them so a bit of each could be seen, but at the same time, I tried not to make it look too crowded. It was a little fidley, but it soon started taking shape.
And that’s it ! I worked on this project over the course of two days, but it was well worth it. Cant wait to fill it with goodies for my husband.
I really hope you have enjoyed reading my first DIY blog. I’m sure I will get better at it as I go along, just as I have done with my YouTube videos.
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I will be back tomorrow with another Christmas DIY
Thank for reading, see you tomorrow!
Check out my video below..I would love to know what you think?