Thursday 10 December 2015

DIY Advent Calendar Step by Step Tutorial

Looking for an easy DIY advent calendar to make yourself?
This one is easy, uses only readily available material and it won't break the bank.
It's also fun to do together with the kids.

The materials you will need are:
-Craft paper (Or any kind of paper that is not too thick and not too thin. Recycling paper bags -like the ones Zara has- from your shopping ventures would also work well for these.)
- Ribbon of your choice
- A marker. I used a black one but you could do it in any colour/s of your choice
- Scissors
- Glue 
- Stapler (optional)
- Lids or saucers to be used as templates for the circles drawn within each circular paper.
- A hanger or maybe a piece of driftwood, a stick or anything that you could hang these on. You could even skip the hanging option because these could be hung practicaly anywhere. Even on the Christmas tree itself.

First you need to draw 48 same-size circles on your paper. 
Each finished circle pouch is actually a pocket so you need 2 circles for each of the 24 days counted on the advent.

Cut them all out neatly.
I like to keep the original black circle on the outside as part of the design so I cut carefully around it.

Time to draw some circles of varying sizes on the paper circles to help with the drawing in the next step.
Find some lids or saucers that are the size you want, place them carefully on the paper (so that they are centered correctly) and trace around them with your marker.

Then comes my favourite step in the making of the advent, adding the numbers and drawing around them.
Adapt them to your personal style. Make them as similar or as different to each other as you wish, and as minimal or as detailed in design as you want.
I left the back circle of my pouches blank but you could go crazy and decorate both front and back if you like.

Now it's time to put the cicles together so we have to make the ribbon loops.
Cut out 24 pieces of ribbon for the short loop and 24 pieces of ribbon for the long loop. 
Mine measure at about 9cm or 3.5 inches for the short one and 24cm or 9.5 inches for the long one.

Take the blank back paper circle and add the little ribbon tab to the inside of it. 
You could glue it if you like but you could also use a stapler to cut down on time. (The back circle is not visible on the advent anyway, so a staple is quick and efficient and ultimately invisible.)
Just make sure that the ribbon is placed side by side as shown in the pictures above, to make the threading of the large loop into the smaller one easier when they're finished.

To attach the larger loop onto the front circle of the pouch I chose to glue it because I din't want a staple visible on the front of my circles.
If you do not mind it showing, you can staple your larger loop ribbons onto your numbered circles and save time.
Whichever method you use, make sure that the ribbon is centered onto your circle -use the number to make sure you are attaching it in the exact middle of the top- and that one end is glued directly above the other.

Now you have both front and back circles ready and you must glue them together.
Last year I just used one piece of ribbon and glued the circles shut (after I filled them with their designated content). That meant that the circles had to be ripped apart to get to the surprise inside. Admitedly, it was fun but I was also a little sad that all my hard work was being thrown away.....
So this year I made the circles into pouches so that the advent can be re-used next year -and hopefully the year after that.
This is the step that turns the circles into pouches so if you just want to glue these together and have a little round 'pillow' that can be hung, skip the step shown in the pictures and just glue the circle shut. Don't forget to fill it first though.
If you prefer the re-usable version, turn the numbered circle around and on the back of it mark an area that will be the opening and will remain unglued.
It has to be fairly large so that you can put in and take out of the pouch anything from a piece of paper to a small piece of candy or trinket.
Now put glue around the edge of the rest of the circle and then press the back circle onto it, making sure the tabs ,as well as the two circles themselves, align.

Once you're finished with all the glueing together of circles, you have a 24 day advent to fill as you please!

The pictures above show you how to loop one tab into the other so that the pouch closes securely and can be hung.

I played around with some hanging options and finally settled on the simplicity of a wire hanger.
I thought of just using pegs to clip the pouches on but decided to keep it as uncluttered as possible so I decided to make the hanger itself open and close.

I used wire clippers to cut through the wire on the one sloping side of the hanger and with some pliers I turned the two cut ends into hooks.
This will affect the length of the one side and this in turn will affect the shape of the hanger but it can be easily rectified by bending  the bottom of the hanger a bit to make it slightly curved. 
Now you have a hanger that can be easily opened and closed every day to un-hang the day's pouch.

Before settling on the hanger option I tried out some other ideas that you can see above and below.

What do you think? 
Which would you prefer?


  1. Πολύ ωραίο! Καλές γιορτές!

    1. S'euxaristo poli Eleftheria! Kales giortes kai se sas!

  2. Ωραία ιδέα! Καλές γιορτές!

  3. Βρε Τζια μου, ζωγραφισες παλι! το λατρεψα!!!!! μπραβο :)

  4. So cute and so creative! Καλές γιορτές να έχουμε!

  5. Υπέροχο!!! Και πολύ μού άρεσε κρεμασμένο στο ξύλο. Καλές γιορτές να έχουμε :)

  6. Thank you so much, everybody! Merry Christmas to you all!!

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