I know that great bloggers would have had this Christmas project ready and posted the minute Halloween was over, but great bloggers would have also posted more than 1 post in the last 3 months-so I guess I am not going for the "Great Bloggers Award" any time soon. I actually have had my mind nearly completely focused on my in home preschool that I am doing and LOVING. I haven't even really had crafty thoughts for a while but my great friend and neighbor has been helping get out of that anti crafts slump and I am starting to dream in paper crafts once again. I decided that I wanted to put together a craft night for anyone in town that wanted to join. I got word that some wanted to make a Christmas advent. I needed to find something that would be fairly low cost, easy enough for even "non crafters" and could be completed before December. I searched quite a bit on the Internet and came across this (and now sadly I can not find it again to site the source-if you have seen it let me know):
There were no instructions but I loved the idea and figured that it could be something that could be easily made at our craft night. So I set out to create my own version. And I ended up loving it so much that I just had to share (I know lots of people like to get together and craft over Thanksgiving-maybe there is still time for others to gather the supplies to make one).
The project cost $13.00 for all of the supplies (and each participant had to bring their own Christmas paper). I found the clipboards at Walmart, and the hooks (in the hardware section by the towel racks and stuff). I bought the tags online from Ebay and got them for much cheaper than you could anywhere else. The stands were purchased from Michaels crafts (I had a 20% off your entire purchase coupon-you can get one by signing up for their e-mails). I was going to use letter stickers and number stickers but they were way out of the budgeted amount so instead I found an adorable printable number set (found here at Ziggles) and created my own tag that says "days until" and Christmas. Having them printed or copied some place is much more affordable than buying packaged stickers. We used spray glue to attach the paper to the clipboard and then spray glue and double sided tape to make the tags. I bought hangerless tags but we created our own using crochet thread (4 " pieces).
This is what the hooks looked like. These were attached with hot glue to the clipboard after the background paper was put on. I tied a couple of ribbons through the holes on the hook to dress it up a bit.
I created these "Days Until" tags that were glued to a double layered tag cut from cardstock.
The clip on the clipboard was disguised with bits of ribbon tied around it.
We used mounting tape to give the tags a raised look and I actually ended up using it on a lot of my tags.
Here is what it looks like from the side with the stand. I love the big lump of brightly colored tags. So fun and festive and exciting for the kids. I am going to put a little activity on the back of each one so we have something to do each day as we count down.
I started with a blank board and created my tags from #25 down to 1.
This is #25. I used the pattern that you can find here (to make a felt nativity) and downsized it and cut it out of paper.
I wanted to give you an individual look at all the other tags. I loved creating these. Some are simple and some are more complicated. After I made each one I said, "that is my favorite" but ended up loving the next one even more.
For #22 I cut the tag to the shape of the reindeer face (this is from an old Pebbles in my Pocket paper piecing pattern). I used the same idea only cut it a different size. I wrapped bakers twine around this antlers to give him a "tangled up" look.
For #18 I wrapped a long piece of yarn around the tag and tied it with a piece of bakers twine off center. #17 is made with a 3D sticker.
#16 came to me in my sleep. I cut the tag down the same size as the snowman.
#12 has 3D pom pom ear muffs and a yarn scarf.
#8 is made from a BUNCH of teeny tiny holly leaves I cut from green cardstock. The berries are small glue dots covered in glitter. #5 might be my favorite. I cut little letters out of chipboard (and after remembered that I had chipboard letters already premade) and sprayed them with spray glue and then wrapped them in mini bakers twine. I attached them with glue dots.
#4 has a scarf cut from a piece of an old t-shirt. #2 has 3D bows made from bakers twine and ribbon and #1 has a 1 1/2" piece of satin ribbon tied around it.
I am so happy with how it turned out. Making the tags was a bit meticulous but that is just because I had so many ideas that I wanted to do. You could make them much simpler for sure. I originally wanted them to all coordinate but in the end I love the variety and all the different tags. The kids will be so excited to see "what comes next." I can hardly wait until December 1st to put it to use. We are going to count from 1 to 25 but you could count backwards too, or just put one tag on at a time. I love the big pile of tags to go through and it will help the kids see that we are getting closer to Christmas as the pile gets smaller and smaller. Tis the season for major craft inspiration and wonderfully fun paper projects. Enjoy and please share.