As everyone knows, I love an advent calendar! However, I keep hearing from people that they wish they had kids at home so they could still have one – well, I can’t have your kids move back in (they can do that on their own), but I can give you an advent calendar that can be geared for adults. Instead of treats for each day, there are acts of kindness, or family activities, or romantic holiday activities – it can be what ever you want it to be.
– Large frame
– Foam core or wood to fit the frame (optional)
– Fabric to fit the frame (optional)
– Staple gun
– 24 ornaments
– Spray glue
– Glitter (of course)
– 24 clothespins
– 24 notecards or large hang tags
First, prepare your frame. I had one from a broken mirror that I just spray painted silver, but you could also use an old window frame or a new one from the craft store – lots of different looks you could create so be creative. You do want it to be big enough to hold your 24 notecards (4 rows of 6 cards). I wanted mine to have a background, so I cut a piece of foam core to fit where the mirror was and used spray glue to attach a piece of fabric to it. I then used masking tape to tape the fabric covered board into the frame. You could easily not fill the frame and have it be open, which creates a very art studio feel which I think is pretty cool.
Once you’ve got your frame sorted out, attach the twine. Staple it to the back of the frame a few inches down from the top, string it across the front and staple it again on the other side in the back. Since the twine tends to slip through the staples, I secured it with a little knot around each staple. Do this across your frame in 4 places – top, bottom, and split the difference for the two in the middle.
For the ornaments, I purchased inexpensive natural wood ones from the craft store (they were around $1.00 each). I spray painted them all silver and when they were dry, gave them a quick hit with spray glue and then some glass glitter. The secret to making this advent calendar not look junky is to make sure all of your ornaments are different enough to keep it interesting, but similar enough so there is cohesion. If you’re not cheap like me, you could also go out and just buy 24 matching ornaments.
For the acts of kindness cards, I used black 3×5 hangtags, but any cards would work. On the front write the day and on the back write the act for the day. Get creative and remember, you actually want to do these, so keep them small and doable. It really can serve as a reminder to slow down and enjoy the holidays – whether that is volunteering, watching a mushy movie with your honey, or simple taking 15 minutes to sit in front of the Christmas tree.
Now, lay an ornament on top of a card and clothespin it to the twine. It’s that simple.
Now every day, you can take a moment, read the card, hang the ornament on the tree and perform one random act of kindness to keep you in the holiday spirit.