Monday, December 9, 2013

Vintage Advent Calendar

Sometime during the Christmas season last year, I saw a cute tabletop Advent calendar, and I decided to modify it a bit and make one to replace the Advent calendar we have been using for about the last ten years.  I gladly give credit for this creative idea to the Lemon Tree Creations blog.

What really caught my attention were the tiny vintage Santa flashcards.  If you decide to make one of these, just do an internet search for "vintage Santa flashcards," and you will have numerous places to shop for them.  I purchased mine from the Etsy shop "Pretty Little Studio" for roughly $5.00.

Of course by the time I had seen the idea last year, it was way too far into December, so I ordered the cards and had the plan to have it ready for this Christmas.  Even so, here it is, the 9th of December and I've just finished the project.  I guess that just means I'm normal.

You will need a variety of supplies, including:

-A picture frame (the size is determined by how large your Santa cards are - mine has a 4 x 6 opening).
-Christmas fabric or paper for the background
-One small clothespin
-Wooden Scrabble type letters
-Set of vintage Santa cards (mine are 2 7/8" x 4")
-Small storage bag or envelope

Tools needed for construction:

-A glue gun

Start by removing the glass and cardboard backing from within the picture frame.  Discard or recycle the glass piece.  It will not be used.

Using the cardboard as a guide, cut a piece of the Christmas fabric a bit larger than the cardboard.  If you are using Christmas paper, trace around the cardboard and cut a piece of the paper the same size as the cardboard.

Using either your glue gun or strong tape, securely fasten the edges around the cardboard.  Be especially careful at the corners so the fabric isn't bunched up there.  Skip this step if you are using Christmas paper.

Now fit your background piece into the frame, and replace the table stand part of the picture frame back on too. 

Carefully lay out the clothespin, cards, and letters so you can see how they need to be spaced before gluing.  Then use your glue gun to apply the clothespin and the wooden letters.  

Clip in one of the number cards.  I chose to go with the actual date, of course knowing that Christmas comes on the 25th.  Other families may chose to put the card in that indicates how many days until Christmas.  I didn't select that option, because I was afraid that if for some reason I forgot to change a card one day, then the number would be incorrect when Christmas actually comes.  

So essentially, I am counting up to Christmas.  That just seems easier to me.

Now, what to do about the other numbered Santa cards?  

You could simply use a small envelope or ziploc bag and clip it behind the frame onto the stand.  However, I unearthed a little drawstring bag, buried in my Christmas gift wrap box.  It was just the perfect size to fit the extra cards.  

I tied it onto one of the picture hanging hardware loop thingies on the back of the frame, and tucked it behind the stand.  Simple and convenient.  Everything is together.

And there you have it - a simple vintage Advent calendar of sorts.  This project was easy, and took me under an hour to put together.  Probably the most time was involved with gathering up the supplies I needed and waiting for the glue gun to heat up.

I decided to place it right in the center of our kitchen table, along with some greens and a Christmas candle.  (My husband says it looks like a shrine of some sort, but what does he know?  I like it.)

Now I can glance at it and know just how far away Christmas really is.  

As if I wasn't feeling the pressure enough already....

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