Dear Lillie · Nov 30, 2014

Wooden Tree Advent Calendar Tutorial

The girls and I thought it would be fun to make an advent calendar this year. We were looking through a Pottery Barn Kid's catalog and saw this wooden tree one that we all loved but it was a little pricey and also already sold out. Because the wood looked like it had pretty basic cuts I figured we could make our own relatively easily and I have to say it really did end up being a surprisingly easy project and really didn't take all that long.

Here's what you'll need

*** 6 pieces of wood. I used 1 by 4's. You will cut them in length in a range from 6.5" to 25.25" for the horizontal pieces of the tree to 38" for the vertical piece of wood.

*** 6 screws

*** 25 mini clothespins (I got mine from Michael's)

*** 25 little bags and tags (I got mine from Michael's)

*** glue gun

*** some kind of star or tree topper (I found a star that was close enough in size at Michael's)

*** stain or paint (I used Rustoleum's weathered gray and then topped that with Minwax's provincial)

The first thing I did was line up my five pieces of wood to make the horizontal pieces and marked off where I needed to cut each one. (you can fine the measurements in one of the photos below).

Then I cut each the end of those pieces at a 22.5 degree angle and laid them out on a vertical 38" tall board. I put them approximately 1.5" apart and then just added in one screw on the center of each board. I didn't worry about the fact that it would be visible because once the little bags go up they will hide the screws.

We also played around with adding a base. Although we didn't end up using it we did go ahead and paint the boards a weathered white (this picture was from before we painted them) so we can add the base at any point if we change our mind.

Then we stained it with one coat of weathered gray and one coat of provincial.

So once it is screwed together and stained here is what it will look like. (You can also see the measurements. The measurements for the horizontal boards are for the longest part of the board. Obviously the measurements for the top part of each board will be a little bit less).

After that we just used our glue gun to glue on each clothespin and then added the bags and little tags. We wrote the numbers 1 -25 on the little tags with a white paint pen.

Then we just added a picture hanging hook to the back of it and hung it up. We hung it in the dining room so we could get a few photos of it with some decent lighting and then we moved it up to the hallway where it will stay throughout the rest of the Christmas season. These pictures are super grainy because I had to crank my ISO way up but at least you can see the spot we made it for. I also hung the bags to the side a bit once we put some things in them because I thought it looked a little bit better that way. Also our star was supposed to go a little higher but I'll just blame the weird low placement of it on my little helpers. =)

We've been asking quite a bit about what we were putting in the little bags. The main purpose of this for us was to bring focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas and the story of Jesus's birth and include one verse in each bag. We've found several options for this by just googling it and so today's project is to actually print them out and add them to each bag. I am probably going to go either with this option or this one. We also included two little candies into each bag. One for each of the girls. Mostly chocolate kisses but a couple of bags have bite sized Reese's and then one bag each week has a little "prize". I actually didn't want to include any little "prizes" in the bags and wanted to just focus on the verses and have a little kiss in there for each of them but we have a few days this month that will be a little bit challenging so we decided on those days to have a little prize to make getting up those mornings a little more enjoyable.

Okay, that's it! I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday! We'll be back tomorrow morning with our Christmas house tour!

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