When I was little, my grandma made this gorgeous advent calendar for me. Sadly, as a child, I didn’t really appreciate it. It’s been hanging in my closet for about 15 years, I’d guess.
The other night, Remarkably Domestic Husband mentions that we should get an advent calendar. (Yes, it was around December 20. Better late than never.) I thought, “What ever happened to that advent calendar I used to have?” And lo and behold, I found it in the back of the closet, hanging there, waiting to enjoy another Christmas.
Since this isn’t the greatest photo (I need some kind of studio with proper lighting), let me explain. The whole thing is made out of a long rectangular piece of burlap. The top has a felt tree with silver grosgrain garland, and the bottom has 24 pockets made out of red felt. I love the little Santa on his sleigh with his reindeer. Why exactly is Santa carrying a broom?
The idea is that every day you open a “present,” you get a new ornament for the tree. It’s crazy adorable, don’t you think? One of the best parts was that, since my birthday is in December, that day was a birthday cake. Really cute.
What’s also amazing is that my Grandma made all of the ornaments, and they are so old school you cannot believe. I’ll elaborate on some of my faves.
Now, can you stand how ingenious some of these ornaments are? My favorite thing is the very judicious use of styrofoam packing peanuts. They aren’t actually those peanut-shaped things, but those kind of bowl-shaped ones– do you remember those? I haven’t seen them in a while. Grandma used them for the ends of the drum– which is, in the middle, a rolled piece of holiday ribbon, all encased in red yarn for the design. It’s so clever. She also used these styrofoam pieces for the layers of the cake. I also love the crazy silver round ball/bead guy– what on earth is he supposed to be? All highly adorable and clearly handmade.
Over the years, though, I’ve lost a few, so I decided I’d make up for it, seeing as we’re using this thing now, and make some more ornaments to complete the 24 days. I jetted on over to Michaels and searched the aisles looking for raw material. So here’s what I came up with:
Now, this one didn’t require Michaels. The kids found these pinecones outside, and they were tiny enough that I thought they’d work. And they did. Are you getting the scale here, y’all? This crap is TINY.
So, the snowman turned out looking a little like his magic hat is on just a tad too tight, but everything was so darn small it was hard to do much better. Three pom poms glued together, seed beads for the buttons, googley eyes, a piece of ribbon all rolled up for the carrot nose, and I made that darn hat– MADE IT!– from a foam sheet. Did I mention how small all this stuff is?
This one is my favorite, though:
I strung a whole bunch of these tiny little bells on a wire, shaped it into a circle, managed to get it to stick together, and added the ribbon. I love it.
The kids are loving putting the little ornaments on the tree, even if we did do 19 in one afternoon.
I love this little tree so much, I’m tempted to make them and sell them on Etsy. There are some similar ones up there, but nothing with these old school craft ornaments.
Two days until Christmas!