Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Countdown #1!

This week is all about Christmas in our household!  Well, the whole month will be about Christmas, but we'll be especially working hard to get things like our front room, dining room and great room set up for Christmas this week.  We'll be working on our mantle, a centerpiece (or two) for our dining table, our Christmas tree and a few Christmas crafts including two Christmas countdown calendars that we completed this weekend!

Prior to this weekend, we didn't have a Christmas Countdown Calendar or Advent Calendar.  Growing up we had a cute felt calendar that was a Christmas tree.  My brother and sister and I took turns putting felt ornaments on the felt tree.  I remember the calendar fondly, and I'd love for my kids to have a similar memory.  Also, it will help in answering Lucky's almost hourly question, "Is Christmas tomorrow?"  She is so excited!!

There are some great options available that are store ready like this one:

Pottery Barn Kids
But they are pretty pricey.  (This one is no longer available, but I believe the sale price was $69.  I'm actually a little sad that it's out of stock because it reminds me of the one I had growing up on a larger scale.  My credit card is not sad, however.)

There are also great DIY versions.  Aaron from The Thrifty Abode did a great calendar round up with this post.  This version is the one that I was just smitten with:

It's so sophisticated and beautiful.  I just love it!  With 'No Spend December' in place, I was in total luck when I discovered Katie used a 36" x 48" cork board for her display.  She wrapped it in linen and used card stock display and number tags.  I just so happened to have a brand new 48" x 36" cork board that I had picked up late this summer on clearance for $15 at Michael's.  I intend to use it in our office eventually, but knew it would work perfectly for our countdown this year!

While I did have some white duck cloth on hand that I could have wrapped the cork board in, I chose not to use it for a couple reasons:  1.  It would have taken more time to iron the fabric and staple it and 2.  I have another plan for the duck cloth and really love the look of the linen on Katie's version.  I might go the linen route once the cork board is hung in our office, and I'd rather not wrap a cork board twice.

So, I kept the cork board au naturale, and cut out my cardstock cards:

(Different fabric options were also considered)

I used my handy dandy paper cutter to get straight lines.  

I printed numbers on card stock using Arial Bold 100 type face.

I just used clear push pins to attach the hole punched cards to the cork board.

Here is how the calendar turned out:
It is officially safe to say that I love it!!

In Katie's original post about her calendar, she included her inspiration photo from Pottery Barn:
Can you believe how closely Katie's mimics the original inspiration?  Anyway, I noticed there was birch bark under some of the ornaments in the original image.  Since I now have lots of birch bark, thanks to my Forest Friends, I threw some up on my calendar too!

When it came to finding ornaments for the calendar, it ended up being much easier than I anticipated.  Remember my ornament purchase on December 1st (the first day of 'No Spend December')?  I ended up returning a number of those ornaments because I didn't need them after all.

I painted some craft letters we had in the basement of our old house spelling out our kiddos names.  L for Lucky and H for Charm (real name, not nickname) and a wood heart we had in a craft drawer:

I added twine hangers with a staple gun.

Lucky personalized the back of this ornament.  She wrote our last name, the ages of everyone in our family, a flower, etc.  It's in my top five favorite ornaments ever!

I plucked a few ornaments from our tree like this one:
Bill and I were married at the church shown in this ornament.

I picked up a few of these feather wreaths (trees, too!) from Kohl's last year.

I also found ornaments from objects around the house, like this one:
It's a newspaper pear that I picked up at Michael's this summer for $1.  It was hanging out in our newly organized kitchen cabinets.

I also tied a string around some cinnamon sticks.  So easy!

 And finally, we started a new tradition with this ornament:
We cut off the end of our Christmas tree and took a Sharpie to it!  On the other side is a more personalized version.  We plan to do this every year!  (Dina from Honey and Fitz posted about this idea here.)

So there you have ornament calendar countdown!  Do you like it?  I'll be back later today to post about the other Christmas Countdown that we've started in our house!

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick.

The DIY Show Off

Linking up to Passionately Perfect.
Linking up to Centsational Girl.


  1. Such a great idea! I absolutely LOVE it!!!! I love the colors...nice job!

  2. That is so great! I think it's my favorite of all the advent calendars I've been stalking. Think I need to figure out how to make a magnetic version of the for the fridge ...

  3. Thanks! A magnetic version would be great fun as well!!

  4. I'm in love! What a great idea, every single piece is so original and even better that there is a personal message behind some! Thank you so much for linking up!!

  5. I love it, too! I love how it's simple, whimsical, and eclectic. Thank you for sharing!

  6. You did an amazing job with this. It's every bit as good as Katie's :)

  7. Beth, what a fabulous job. It's so eclectic and such an eye-grabber! You should enter it in my company's craft contest.

  8. Hi Beth, I saw your post on Jones Design Co's blog & I just had to pop by & see what you did!& Hey! it is just beautiful !!! Think I might just have to give this one a go for Christmas 2013 ..... it'll take me that long to get all the bits together!! Really, really lovely work x x

    1. Thank you so much!! Have fun collecting items for the project:)!