Aren't advent calendars fun? I especially wanted one to put daily Christmas activities on it like Jordan Ferny had suggested. I'll also be adding a daily scripture too. My little one is too young to help, but this would be a really great kid project. Very easy! They could practice their number writing skills, or cutting, or knot tying! Yay for Christmas helping develop fine motor skills, hahaha.
Of course part of living simply means I wasn't going to go to the store to pick one up or spend hours (and dollars) making one. So I looked through my crafting supplies and what did I find? Green paint samples from Home Depot that I kept when deciding on colors a while back! Yes! FREE!!!!! (tutorial below)
Step One: Cut 25 triangles out of paint samples or colored paper. I used Bear paint samples from Home Depot which have 4 colors per card, meaning I needed 7. (which is exactly how many I had, lucky) I like to hand cut because it looks more tree like than perfect triangles...differing sizes slightly is a good thing I say.
Step Two: Cut strips of brown paper in different widths. I used a textured patterned paper I happened to have a scrap of, but more paint chips would be great too. These can be taped or glued to the back of the tree and stick out for the stump
Step Three: Lay out the trees in a line so you can put them in a pleasing order. Try not to have too many light colors or dark colors in one spot, space them out.
Step Four: Now that they are in the right order, paint on the numbers with white paint. You can write with a white pen or even white out too. I like the hand done look, but if you are afraid of it, use rubber stamps or number stickers. I actually tried to copy the font of some number stickers I had (which look a bit like stamps). Let dry before working further.
Step Five: Cut 49 pieces of 3 to 5 inch lengths string or twine. I used thick linen string left over from a weaving project. The longer the lengths of twine, the longer your garland will be. Keep all strings the exact same length. Now cut 2 foot long lengths for the ends.
Step Six: Using masking tape (since it is easy to rip into the right size and shape) tape the piece of string to the trees so the string come right out the top.
Step Seven: Tie Tree #1's string, one of the 12" strings, and one of the empty short strings together in one knot. The further from the ends the knot is, the closer together the trees will be. Check to make sure it is half the distance you want the other tree to be from it. Then pick up tree #2 and tie it's string to the end of the short one just tied on to #1, plus a new empty string. Keep tying 3 strings together in order until you reach the end, then use the other 12" string to end it with. Always keep the same length of string from the end of the knot on each one so that the trees are evenly spaced.
You can be done here if you like. I then wrote different activities to do each day until Christmas (see Jordan's blog post) like build a snowman, visit the Christmas lights as Temple Square, read Luke 2. You could put a different Christmas scripture for each day to read too.
VARIATION: You could put a decorated Christmas tree on the back, so that each day you have one more decorated Christmas tree. In that case, cut two trees out at the same time back to back so that they will be symmetrical. Same with the stumps. Then decorate with small ribbons and paper punches or glitter glue dots.