Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Calendar 2015

It's December 1st, AND although
it took most of my morning, and I got nothing else done...My 2015 Advent Calendar is ready.

Last year was the first year, I created an Advent Calendar.  However, because I feel our daughter is so blessed especially this time of year with all of the presents she receives, I decided that rather than filling each bag with a "present," I would fill each bag with a charitable opportunity that she and we as a family can participate it.  I also included fun family activities we could partake in like a hike, board game night, or looking at family vacation photo albums while drinking hot cocoa.  Our daughter loved the whole idea last year, so I am doing the same this year.  Although, this year, I did add a few little baggies with little surprises inside for her.

Here's a  little back story about how this year's Advent Calendar came about...

After a wooden tree shaped Advent Calendar caught my eye 
while shopping the other day, I wanted to replicate it...but of course, with the Thanksgiving Holiday, and our after Thanksgiving Day tradition at Disneyland, I truly ran out of time.  But, just like in college, I crammed this morning and made a mad dash to The Home Depot for some supplies.

I picked out two pieces of 1x2 furring strips (you can choose whatever width you want).

I then had the lumber guy cut four pieces (I goofed, it should have been five pieces) measuring various lengths for the branches as follows:
 15 inches
18 inches
20 inches
 22 inches 

I had him cut another piece measuring 36 inches for the main trunk of my wooden tree.

 I had him cut the remaining wood into four pieces for my base or stand.  Each piece was about 8-10 inches in length, but you can make yours any length you want to ensure your tree will be balanced and stand firmly in place.

I lightly sanded each piece, as furring strips tend to splinter easily.
I lightly rounded each corner for safety.

I used 1.75 inch nails to attach each piece to the main 36 inch trunk.  I used two nails on each of the tree branches to ensure they were securely affixed to the tree trunk.

Because I needed this project to go as quickly as possible, I spray painted the tree once it was all nailed 
together.  I gave it about two coats of spray paint. (Be sure to paint outside, or in a well ventilated area)

 Drying Process:  
I set the tree out in the sun for about 45 minutes, and it was perfectly dry.

Clothes Pins:
I spray painted the clothes pins and let them out to dry in the sun as well.
 Once they were dry, I hot glued them to each of the tree 
branches, evenly spacing them.  This is where my GOOF comes into play.  Because I only had four pieces 
of furring for my branches, I had to clutter my baggies a bit on each branch ...but they turned out just fine.

I clipped each baggie to a clothespin, and attached a little bell strung to a red and white Christmas baker's twine to the baggies that have a little special goody inside.

I used black card stock and craft scissors to create
a chalkboard-like background for the numbers.
And Done!

And there you have it.. My version of the wooden Advent Calendar Tree I saw a the store the other day.

Happy December!




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