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What I MadeDecember 2, 2011

My husband and I were recently reminiscing about Christmas traditions. He told me how much he loved his family’s Advent calendar, where each day they would hang a new ornament on a little tree. Now I grew up in the Catholic school system, and remembered lighting a candle a week on the little wreath, but had no idea what an Advent calendar was or what the purpose of them. I did a little bit of (last minute) research and threw one together last night for my family. And because I was late to the game, I admit to cheating on the first day… “Make a wreath” was first on the list and accomplished at the DesignSponge event last night.

Want to see how to pull off your own calendar? Click below for instructions.


– paper
mini envelopes
– string
(see “notes” at the bottom for a simple alternative version)
– scissors
– pen

1. Write a list of Christmas-like things to do. Examples include:
    – Sing three Christmas carols.
    – Drink hot cocoa.
    – Watch “Elf.”

2. Cut the list into strips or print onto cards if you are that fancy (and have time).
3. Number your envelopes for each day – I did the 1st up through the 25th.
4. Fold and put the slips or cards into each envelope – do NOT seal yet.
5. Flip the envelopes over so the flap side is facing you – be aware that they are backwards so you will lay out the cards starting with the highest number on the left and the lowest on the right. Arrange the spacing evenly to determine the length of string you will need.

6. Once you’ve laid the envelopes in order, lay the string so that it tucks into the crease of the envelope flap. Leave about 24” or more on either end to hang.
7. Lick the flap and close, being careful to keep the string tight to the crease.
8. Lay a book or something heavy for a minute or so until the seal is dry.
9. Repeat the process until all the envelopes are done.
10. Once all envelopes are dry, hang up and enjoy.

A few helpful notes:
– When you open the envelopes each day, just be careful to tear the envelope open and not disturb the string too much. Ripping it off will surely bring the whole sucker down.
– If you don’t have mini envelopes around the house like I do, take a wide strip of paper (about 2.5” x 6”) and fold in half to make a 2.5” x 3” folded card. Write your holiday note inside. Hang from the string and seal with a staple or sticker.

I made mine in only one episode of “Cheers” (Tom and my current nightly Netflix obsession). I hope you enjoy and if you are a day-late, dollar-short crafter like me and get this done, send me pictures, k?

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