Handmade Advent Calendar By A Pint Size Crafter

This year I crafted a bit more than usual and unlike big furniture makeover projects, sometimes I didn't craft alone.

Last year I created three Christmas countdown calendars that took way too much time for what was basically a single use item.

Brown Paper Bag Advent Calendar

So this year I wanted to create countdowns that could be reused each year.

If you haven't stopped by to see the advent calendar I created for Daughter #1, click {HERE} and take a peek.  But what inspired this years calendar was the pint sized crafter below.  She diligently created her own Christmas countdown project.

We set aside some days to start working on her calendar, and while it took longer than I originally thought, I wasn't upset about spending quality one on one time with her.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

With an after school snack and some hot chocolate under her belt, I helped her set up her sewing machine and explained how and what she was going to be creating. 

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

I had some templates already cut out based on this post from Pillar Box Blue.  I rounded up a couple of scissors that could actually cut (this was the hardest part!) and the Princess and I cut out 24 shapes.

For the shapes we used holiday gift bags from Christmases past, and there wasn't any rhyme or reason to the patterns that were chosen, and both of us agreed our favorites were the ones with the moose.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

Using the borrowed sewing machine of Daughter #2, I helped stitch a few designs, but the pint size crafter created 95% of the project on her own and without my help.

The man with the power tools cut and connected some pallet boards for her, and to save time I stained them so they would be dry for our next craft day.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

I used Fusion Mineral Paint stain in Cappuccino - my new favorite.  It is a stain and finishing oil all in one, so stain the wood, and done!

I like to clip a piece of sponge for little projects where the stain doesn't have to be perfect.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

The Fusion stain isn't really for crafting, it's made for furniture like table tops, but it works just fine on any wood such as these cheap and free pallet boards.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

The color Cappuccino really warmed up the pallet wood, it ended up looking like vintage boards that had been around a while, and it's still rustic looking.

If you want a full tutorial on this style countdown calendar, you can see my detailed post, but the same process was used on this one.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

Each shape has an opening for tucking in pieces of candy, and adding personal notes for her family.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

The Princess also made her own tags, which is the really fun part of this craft.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

I couldn't find a closeup of her tags.  For my calendar the tags were black, for hers the tags are white.

Since the tags are not specific to a holiday, I will do a post on those another time, but they turn out looking like little porcelain enamel tags and it's fun to watch the embossing powder melt.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

She stamped her numbers on, carefully spooned the powder on each tag with a baby spoon and we watched the magic happen.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

Bonus, as the tags were melting, the kitchen smelled like fried chicken, which is what was last cooked in that electric skillet.

For the top of the calendar I gave her basic instructions for stenciling - that her brush should be mostly dry and she needs to tap it up and down to keep paint from going under the stencil lines.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

She stenciled like a pro I tell 'ya.  I think she secretly has her own crafting blog.

A deer and snowflake were chosen from two of my Old Sign Stencils, and she wanted it simple.... some trees, snow falling, and one deer leaping across the sky.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

I promise you that her deer had a head, she's a better stencil-er than I am picture taker.  I didn't want to intrude on her crafting or our time together, so I just snapped a few phone pictures here and there to capture the moment in time.

Advent Countdown Christmas Calendar

Which was the best part of this whole calendar making, the moment in time.

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I will update these links with the one to making the tags when I post it.

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  1. aaaw the product and crafter are adorable!

  2. What a great time creating together! Truly a family affair.
    She is so adorable, did a wonderful job and is a natural at stenciling :) Love it! Wonderful use of the gift bags (see you knew you should save them! :)
    So was chicken on the menu after this? :)
    Happiest holidays to you and your family!!
    ~ Christina

  3. Oh Bliss, this melted my soul. I love how much you love your family. She did an amazing job. She has your crafty gene. Mention I think hers in amazing.

    Bravo. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  4. Oh I love this beautiful post, Bliss! So wonderful! Your granddaughter is very artistic...the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Merry Christmas!


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