Durable, Spicy DIY Advent Calendar

Hello Everybody,

what does it mean, when our best-son-of-all - usually a sleepy head - jumps out of bed early in the morning? Exactly! It's advent calendar time!
In case you don't know that type of calendar: These are special christmas calendars used to count the days in anticipation of Christmas.
They can be filled with chocolate, little gifts, toys, gift certificates...

Here is the story of our family advent calender, which has been with us every Christmas for 6 years now...

In November 2011, I decided for the first time to make an advent calendar for our best-son-of-all.
In Germany, advent calendars that can be filled with personal gifts are thick to the ground.
However, most of them are fairly small: Only big enough for a piece of candy. But I wanted to surprise our best-son-of all with little presents every day, like a small book or a Playmobil figure.

Finally, I found a so called XXL advent calendar, it was quite long, more than 1,8 meters and came with large enough bags. It was meant to hang on a door.

This is what the advent calendar used to look like originally - I didn't take a picture of the original calender, but the picture below is quite close (only the bags and the gloves of Santa have a different color.):

The original advent calendar (Sorce: Ebay)

On top of the calender there is a painted wodden Santa figure. The 24 bags are glued to a long piece of felt.
Nice idea...kind of...kind of because: How can a small child reach the top bags, when the calendar hangs on a door? And this is part of the fun looking at the bags and taking out the little surprises every day...

So this turned into a little advent calendar DIY:
I found a white thin plywood panel that was laying around in our basement (I guess, it used to be the back of an old IKEA Billy). I cut the long red felt into three pieces and stapled them next to each other on the plywood panel.
I carefully separated the bags from the felt and reordered them. - I mixed the numbers because looking for the right number is also part of the fun of an advent calendar - at least for us :-)
Additionally I repainted the numbers with glitter paint (since they were printed really sloppily)
When I was done, the calendar was about 80cm x 80cm big. We hung it up low, so that our best-son-of-all was able to reach all bags:

DIY No. 1 (2011-2013)
This was our advent calendar for three years. Our best-son-of-all adores and cherishes that calendar and is excited as soon as we get it from the attic.

When the calendar came down from the attic in 2014 after summer-hibernation (is there such a word?) it felt like there was a little tuning needed. I didn't like the staples, that were visible and the bare plywood panel was boring.
So, in 2014 my best-son-of-all and I did a little advent calendar tuning:

Our advent calendar was treated with a new decoration made out of fir branches (artificial ones because of durability), dried fruits, christmas spices and glittering stuff. Our best-son-of-all chose the pieces and I glued them with a glue gun to the calendar:

DIY No. 2 (since 2014)

Conveniently, there were some left-over dried fruits and spices. So I made a picture of them and turned that into a design for a Decoupage paper:

My decoupage softpaper with dried fruits and spices is available at Ebay and Etsy

Additionally (best-son-of-all liked that one a lot) we treated Santa with google wibbly wobbly eyes and gave the calendar a new hanger:

A close up of Santa :-)
And this is it: Our longtime, durable family advent calender, 6 years old now but still precious :-)
What may be in it this year?

Our advent calendar - packed with little presents

I will share this post at Totally Terrific Tuesday and Show and Tell.

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