Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Simple Advent Calendar

   This year my family will begin the tradition of an advent calendar to count down the last 12 days until Christmas. (You can read more about Christmas traditions in my post, Creating Traditions.) The idea for my calendar was inspired by a friend who made something very similar to this. I took her idea and tweaked it a little to be age appropriate for our two and a half year old son. The beauty of this advent calendar is that it can be changed every year to adapt to the ages of your children or just to keep things exciting.  

The main idea: The calendar is made to be opened one section at a time, for the last 12 days before Christmas. Each day a family member breaks open the appropriate hole and reveals a special treasure  and the scripture reference to a specific part of the Christmas story.

The advent calendar is made with: 
1. One new muffin pan (they cost around $4.00 at Walmart)
2. Wrapping paper
3. The card board that comes with the muffin pan (don't throw it away!)
4. Stick glue (because it's washable and won't hurt the pan.)
5. Bible verses
6. Trinkets to symbolize each part of the Christmas story. 

Keep the cardboard that comes with the pan.
1st, I had to decide what would go in each muffin cup. You really can put anything you want in there. Some ideas that my friend had were: candy and a Bible verse for younger children, or instructions for an activity such as, baking cookies for your neighbor, for older kids.  I decided to put the scriptures to a different part of the Christmas story in each muffin cup along with something to symbolize it. This part of the project took me the most time because I was trying to think through the story of Jesus' birth and come up with symbols that wouldn't be too hard to make or find. As you can see, I cheated on one calendar day and just put one of my son's toy sheep in the cup.  It fit, so why not?
Baby Jesus on a straw bed.
A gift from the wise men.

Verses and Symbols complete.

2nd, Place the cardboard that came with the pan on a sheet of wrapping paper and trace the circles.

Trace the cardboard to make circles.

3rd, Cut each circle out. Be sure to cut a little wider than what you actually traced so that the paper will fit over the edges of the muffin cup.

Cut 1/2 inch wider than the actual circle.

4th, Use a glue stick to put glue around the edge of each muffin cup. Place each paper circle over the muffin cup.

Glue around the edge of each cup.

5th, All you need to do now is number each cup from 1-12. I wanted to use cute scrap-booking numbers but couldn't find any before I started this project, so... I used an indelible marker. 

Number each cup.

Completed Advent Calendar 
The calendar is definitely not glamorous but I'm looking forward to using it with my family this year. 
If you have any advent calendar ideas, I would love to hear about them! 
Merry Christmas, Friends!

1 comment:

Faith said...

Super cute! I love homemade advent calendars and this one looks really fun! My family just had one made out of fabric with flaps to lift to see each picture. It was simple but fun. Thanks for sharing!

Visit my blog for a chance to enter my jewelry giveaway:)