Monday, December 7, 2009

Nativity Advent Calendar

Haven't seen much of me?  Well...that's because I have been busy making this:

While I love the finished product, it was VERY frustrating putting this thing together.  When I bought the e-pattern, it said the approximate time to complete was 5 hours and the approximate cost was $5 plus the cost of the frame.  That wasn't exactly true in my experience.

But, let's start at the beginning.  A few weeks ago, I started looking for an Advent calendar for my kids.  I really wanted one that built up to the nativity and the birth of Christ, not just one that built up to Santa.  Nothing against Santa (we have plenty of him in our house), but the true meaning of Christmas can easily get lost.  After scouring the internet, I found this and bought the e-pattern.  I LOVE the concept.  Every day from Dec 1 to Dec 24, there is a scripture passage to read working backwards from the resurrection back to Christ's birth (a little confusing for the kids but very unique).

Once you read the Scripture you turn over the ornament and on the other side there is a word or picture to remind you of what you read.

I absolutely love the finished project.  So here's how I made it.

You start out printing the tree from the pattern onto green cardstock.  It is printed in 3 parts.  Then you cut it out "just inside the black line."  I don't know about you but I must not be a very good cutter because I could not seem get "just inside the black line."  So I improvised and decided the tree needed some brown inking on its edges.  Wha-la, no more black lines.


Then, you are supposed to make the ornaments using scraps.  I decided it out be easier to make them digitally.  Then I could just "flip" them over digitally and put the Scriptures on the back.  But then I realized I needed the Scripture and ornaments seperate so I could put the holder between them.  Anyway, here are my digital ornaments.

I used my handy, dandy Creative Memories custom cutting system circle patterns to cut out the ornaments and the Scripture.


And I guess I forgot to read the part about making the backs with the Scripture green to blend in with the tree.  Oops!  Anyway, next you put in eyelets on each hanger.  This is part that made my calendar so much more expensive that the estimated cost.  They assumed that you already had an eyelet setter and a hold punch the right size for the eyelet.  I didn't have either, and had to buy them, which added another $10 to the cost.  Here was the point of my first great frustration.  My eyelets were 1/8" in diameter.  I originally thought I could just use my craft knife to make the hole for the eyelet, but that didn't work.  So I went to buy an 1/8" hole punch, but no one had one!!  So I had to buy a 1/16" one instead and had to make 3 or 4 holes in each hanger.  After I did all 24 like that, I had had it!!!  I had to go to bed and sleep off my frustration before starting again the next day.


OK, then we come to more frustration - stupid, silver metallic thread.  I was supposed to put it around the eyelet then tie a small knot around a pencil to hang the ornament with.  Stupid thread was impossible to tie!!  I had to get my husband to help because it literally required 4 hands to tie the dang things.  Finally got all 24 of them tied (sorry for no pictures of this steps - I was too frustrated for pictures).

Then you push the star brads through the designated dots on the tree and hang the ornaments on the brads.  Tape the tree to the background paper (I taped the paper to the plastic of the frame).  Then put it in the frame and you are done.


What do you think?

I love our calendar and I really hope it lasts several years because I'm not making a new one anytime soon!!

I'm posting to

The DIY Show Off

Update:  I also linked up with Living with Lindsay's impromptu Inspire Me party.



  1. Wow it turned out great. I like the idea of putting scriptures on the back. Great job!

  2. Wow! I gotta give you props. I wouldn't have done all that work.

  3. I love it, but don't know that I'll be making one anytime soon. I'm easily frustrated!

  4. super cute--and the tree is really cute too.


  5. Oh my word, that was a lot of work! I wish you lived near me because I had all those supplies you had to buy!

    It really did turn out super cute though! I hope by next year the horror of it all will have faded. :)

  6. That's quite a project, but it did turn out beautifully! Great job!

  7. Cathy, that is a really beautiful idea. I love the idea of making sure the family remembers the "reason for the season"!

    You have been a busy crafting mummy haven't you-I love both your Christmas projects!

    It is another hot day here...the kids have been swimming and really enjoying the warm weather. Me? "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!"

    Best wishes, Natasha.

  8. Well, glad to know I wasn't the only one tired today! (from SITs)

    That is a really cute project. I wouldn't have ANY of those things to do it, though. ;) Maybe next year. There's just TOO much going on this season.

  9. That is awesome! I wish I was half as crafty as you!

  10. I love this! You did a fantastic job.

  11. Just an fyi most people are still not getting the correct info in their reader-as you know, my updates are over 2 weeks old and I have made multiple other posts. I've been on with Google multiple times and they don't have an answer and I realized I am not getting everyone's updates in my reader either.


  12. What a lovely Christmas project for the whole family to enjoy.

    I also wrote about my nativity Advent calendars:

    Merry Christmas,