Monday, November 21, 2011

Eclectic Advent Calendar - Be Very Merry!

 I no longer have small children at home, other than on the joyful occasions when my grandchildren come for visits, but I have always had advent calendars to help my children anticipate Christmas. (And because I have always been a crafter.)  There was the long wood Santa with a nail for a button for each day of December before Christmas and a little bag in his hand to hold the buttons.  There was the wood manger scene with the wire bowed across the top with red beads to be moved to the side for each day, with the last bead, moved on Christmas Eve being a yellow star being moved into place just above the sweet baby Jesus in his manger. 

I just thought I was past that,  but when I saw the amazingly crafted 'junquey' advent calendar in one of my Somerset Magazines, I was smitten.  (A picture of the Somerset calender and the instructions I used to make mine are at the bottom of this post) Collecting the numbers for the calendar was almost as much fun as actually putting them together.  My dear friend Cathie of secondhandstuft is as much of a collector as I am, and she helped me fill in the 'blanks'.  Working and sharing with her made it even more fun. I can't wait to see hers, and I hope she posts it on her blog too!!

My son Spencer cut the blocks in half for the '3' and the '10'. Then I found that being an antique dealer was handy as  I  raided the display of antique Santas I have for sale at the antique store.  (2, 17 and 25) Of course, as always Karen at Graphics Fairy was my fairy godmother for this project. 

From her site I netted a great vintage Santa, a snowman and a top hat (7, 15, 23) as well as the Christmas Music behind the "Merry" banner at the top. (Ever wonder what we did before Graphics Fairy?)
This is the whole deal, I am so excited it is done.  I have my grandchildren coming on Sunday, so I plan to introduce it to them, so they will have one more thing to be excited about at Grandma's at Christmas time!!  (By the way I have a four year old granddaughter who does altered art ... I am not kidding she is making me a smash book!! Am I lucky or what!)

And last of all is a close up of the 'Christmas' flag banner at the bottom of the calendar.
Here are the promised instructions for making your own calendar.
1. You start with a cookie sheet, (Make sure it attracts magnets) or as in my case, a sheet of tin, because my 'numbers' were considerably larger than the ones in Somerset. 
2.  I covered mine with wrapping paper because my 'larger format' was too large for scrap book papers.
3. I glued magnets to the back of my numbers and altered items.
4.  In selecting positions for numbers its important to balance your colors, so that you don't have red and red together, etc.
5. Its also important to mix your textures and materials as much as you can.  I did end up with a lot of game pieces at the top because most of them just go to 12.  Of course blocks, dice and dominoes look similar and tend to add up to 12 or less as well. I also tried to spread the rusty around as much as I could, and the antique santas, as well as graphics.
6. One thing I didn't consider is the weight, and both of my heavy metal (Cow tag 16 and tap handle 21) items ended up on the same corner, so it took some doing to get the calendar to hang straight once they were both on it.

This calendar is my 'inspiration piece'.  It was in the Somerset Life Autumn issue (Still available at Barnes and Nobles), which is one of the Somerset Group of magazines by Stampington.


  1. Gee never cease to amaze me. Awesome! (*_*)

  2. This turned out GREAT! I love the "eclecticness" (if that's even a word!) of your advent.