Celebrating Advent 2011 ~ DIY Advent Candles & Calendar

What do candle votives, a metal tray, a can of blue spray paint, some clothes pins and a permanent marker have in common? Advent!

Well, it does at MY house. ; )

Every year we create our own little set up for an Advent candle wreath and calendar. This year I thought about actually buying an Advent Candle wreath or candelabra. And I almost did… until I thought about a little votive set that my mother in law recently gave to me. It came with four votives on a bronze colored metal tray with some decorative gravel. It occurred to me that a couple of small changes and a $4 can of spray paint later, I could have this year’s Advent candle “wreath” in a snap. (And very inexpensively with something I already had!!)

And THEN.. and then.. I was sitting down and thinking (imagine Pooh, “think, think, think…”).. and I was wracking my brain trying to decide what to do for this year’s Advent calendar. I knew that I wanted to take the same approach we’d used for the past few years (not assigning specific tasks to specific days, but writing out all of the activities and choosing one each day.) I just hadn’t decided on a method of presentation. And then the light bulb came on! Aha!! How much spray paint does it take to paint one little metal tray? I’ll have plenty left over. Combine that excess paint with an excess of new clothespins and some leftover ribbon and voila!!

The best part of this new Advent “calendar” is that it’s reuseable, unlike the calendars of years past. Most of these activities are ‘regulars’ that we keep year after year. Others, such as sewing Christmas stockings, that I have planned this year but won’t necessarily want to do next year, can still be reused because there’s another side! Next year I can flip those activities over and write something else on the other side. =)

I’m really happy with the way both of these turned out and I look forward to using them all month. I love, love, love the blue. Last year our decorations were mostly turquoise/teal and white/silver. I plan to keep that color scheme while adding in a little red. This will do nicely. It just goes to show that you don’t really have to spend a lot of money to celebrate in style and with fun. And I still have almost half of that $4 can of spray left. I wonder what I can paint next….? ;0)

(P.S. If you want to know what’s written on the clothespins, I’ve taken close ups of the Advent Calendar clothespins and included what they say in the caption. Read this post more information about Advent and how we celebrate it. )

Have fun making your own Advent decorations! And if you already have, feel free to share links in the comments!

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