DIY Sparkle Advent Calendar
I pinned Elf on the Shelf ideas this year, thinking that this would be the first year that maybe he would visit our house. Nay! I realized that The Destroyer still wasn’t ready. She’d never be able to not “touch” our little elf and ruin the whole thing. So we’ll wait another year…..or maybe he’ll never visit us.
To be honest, I’m actually glad. I secretly wanted to do a “service” Advent Calendar with the kids and was worried that doing both might be a little too much. I really wanted the kids to have the excitement of counting down the days, but I also wanted them to focus on doing for others in the month of December.
Since September the toy commercials have been going strong and I was soooo sick of hearing “can I have that for Christmas?” for every…..single…..commercial. These kids needed a reminder that there are others less fortunate and giving always feels better than receiving. I tried to make my expectations reasonable, knowing that we probably wouldn’t hit every day perfect, but we were going to give it our best shot!
In the meantime, I got to make a advent calendar that we could use over and over again. There were plenty on the web for inspiration, but we wanted ours to be a “KISS” original (keep it simple summer, I know, cheesy).
I started with some scrap wood from Menards. Just thin strips of wood that were about 42 inches long and about 1/8 of an inch wide. They were only $.29 a piece, so I splurged and bought four. For the base I used a piece of pallet wood I had left over from a previous project, but any chunk of wood would do, as long as it would sit straight and was big enough to hold the weight of the tree.
I laid out the wood in the shape of a tree, marked where I needed to make cuts with my pencil, and got out my handsaw. Once the boards were cut, I sanded them real quick and hit them with a quick coat of my favorite $.99 white spray paint from Lowes to get them slightly white but a little faded. When the spray paint dried, the girls painted the strips with a little glitter paint to give the tree some sparkle. They had fun and always love to help, no matter how much glitter gets on the table. Meanwhile, I painted the base “holiday red” to give it a little pop of color at the bottom.
Next I put the tree together, using wood glue and my staple gun. The staples were long so it went together with just one staple right in the middle of the board. Then I screwed the based on using one long woodscrew I found in my husbands “tool area” (we’ll just be nice and call it that for now).
Once the wood glue dried, I glue-gunned on some mini clothespins purchased from Michael’s. These were in a bag, 6 for $1. This was the most expensive piece of the project, but I thought they were cute and figured the kids could paint them next year to add some color.
The last step was to clip on the envelopes that were going to hold the daily “service” idea. These were old toilet paper rolls I’d saved. I sealed one end with glue and then painted a square with chalkboard paint to write the days number. I had wanted to used these cute little chalkboard gift tags that I had bought at Target in the dollar section, but I didn’t have the idea quick enough. When I realized that they would work great for the advent calendar I went back to get more (only 2 days later) and they were already gone. Ugh, so mad at myself. I knew I should have gotten more! Oh well, I have a lot of chalkboard paint. I just don’t like to paint, so I avoid it when possible (notice all the times I spray paint instead).
Anyhoo, we got the numbers written down and the girls helped me clip them on. Ta-dah! We had a finished service Advent Calendar.
I”ve got to say the kids have been really excited to come and see what the service idea for the day is each morning. So far so good……………….
Below is a list of some of the service/random acts of kindness ideas the kids and I came up with (with a little help from the internet):
-Bake treats and take them to the fire station / police station
-Write a letter to a service member thanking them for their service
-Candy bomb a parking lot with candy canes
-Bake dog treats and distribute to dogs in the neighborhood
-Leave a nice note and some candy on the windshield of a stranger to brighten their day
-Donate food from pantry to food drive
-Go through toys and books and donate items to charity
-Take apples to teachers (this was changed from donuts & coffee by my son)
-Do something nice for a loved one
-Tell someone you love them
So that’s our DIY Advent Calendar. Do you have one at home? What does it look like? I’d love to hear examples of things that parents put inside for daily treats or whatever. Thanks for stopping by,