Yesterday I started work on a homemade Advent Calendar similar to one sold at Pottery Barn. But at $199 it was too steep for my budget. So, I gathered some leftover moulding from our garage and set to work! Want to see how it turned out?
Ta-Da! And it was absolutely free!
I ended up using tiny finishing nails in addition to the glue to secure the limbs into place. I was afraid opening and closing the clothespins would loosen the glue. Now they will stay nice and secure. Painting the tree and star before attaching the clothespins was a good idea. I would also recommend attaching the sawtooth hook on the back prior to painting as well.
In order to paint the clothespins, I clipped all 25 pins onto a piece of cardboard and took them outside to spray paint them. I figured it would take forever to brush them individually.
Once the clothespins were dry I glued them into place using hot glue. Then I brushed a little of the white chalk paint on the fronts of the clothespins so they would match the color of the rest of the tree. I glued a gold and pearl button in the center of the star for extra sparkle and glued it into place at the top of the tree.
I printed out the advent numbers using my printer and used a decorative punch to cut out numbers 1-25. You can print your own using the largest font on Microsoft Word or you can find tons of free printable on Pinterest. You can see the punch I used below. I flip the punch over so I can center the numbers accurately.
I then glued the punched out numbers to small brown envelopes using Modge Podge glue and a small paint brush. You could use the clothespins to hold Christmas Cards, ornaments, miniature stockings or small gifts to count down the days until Christmas. I used clothespins because it is what I had on hand but you could also use small hooks. I love how it turned out!
The dimensions for the cuts are below:
Truck of the tree: 40 inches
Top Branch: 8 1/2 inches (holds 3 clothespins or hooks)
Second branch: 12 inches (holds 4 clothespins)
Third Branch: 17 inches (holds 5)
Fourth Branch: 22 inches (holds 6)
Fifth branch: 25 inches (holds 7)
Each of the branches are approx. 3 1/2 inches apart.
Tip: Use a level or a square to assure the branches of the tree are perfectly square with the truck of the tree. A few of mine are a little off. A bit of scrap wood + 33 wooden clothespins…..
Equals a fun and free Advent tree that you and your family can use for years to come! Happy Crafting!